Dear Molly

How do I show my love on the links?

Dear Molly: My significant other is not a very good golfer, but I am careful not to give her lessons on the golf course unless she asks. What can I do to help?

My first thought was, “Here’s a question from Mr. McMulligan.” But, then I realized, no, he’s already figured this out: Get Molly to the course with just enough time to schmooze, peruse the shop and roll a few putts. Then buy her an adult beverage at the turn and feed her at the 19th hole. It’s that simple!

On the range, we’ll collaborate on the lessons we got from our man Drew Brumley at GolfTec. But once we’re out on the course, Mr. M knows that I prefer to minimize technical jibber jabber, especially the negative kind. I just hate it when I see some husband telling his wife all the things she is doing wrong! So my best advice to you if your SO is open to lessons and advice: Frame every tip positively, so that instead of pointing out her flaws you suggest corrective thoughts. This is supported by advice from a pro who told me the subconscious doesn’t hear the “don’t” before “go in the bunker.” “Middle of the fairway,” now there’s a thought worth verbalizing!

For some professional advice on love on the links, however, I checked in with nationally recognized golf instructor and president of ExperienceGolf Elena King, who says, “My husband is TERRIBLE at golf!”

That would be Jim. “He’s in sales and he plays a lot of customer golf and gets razzed that his wife is a golf pro,” says Elena. “He never has had an issue with it and has always been a good sport.”

Elena says she doesn’t give Jim much advice – because of their careers, they play together only a few times a year and only for fun. She does, however, have advice for you, with exclamation points:

  • “Keep it fun! It should be about enjoyment and learning, not outcome and results. Expectations can really create issues and take away the fun.”  
  • “Start on a short course and do not take a new golfer out on a big course until they are comfortable. It’s like shoving a new skier down a black run … They are not coming back!”
  • “Of course … Seek good instruction!”

To every point, here’s an amen and three exclamation points!!! With any loved one – partner, parent, child – do what you can to make golf fun and they’ll keep coming back to enjoy that time with you.

Molly McMulligan, the nom de plume created by golf journalist and CGA member Susan Fornoff, is the CGA’s on-the-course advisor on how to have more fun on the golf course. You don’t want to take swing lessons from Molly, but if you’ve got a question about etiquette, relationships or the culture of golf in Colorado, Molly will find the answer. Send your questions along here.


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