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The do's and dont's of the golf date

Brandon TuckerBy Brandon Tucker,
Managing Editor

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

You’ve got to give Tiger credit. He’s made it clear once and for all: the golfer can in fact get the girl.

Of course, a nine-figure net worth, global superstardom and a buddy whose babysitter just happens to be an international super model helps. I’ll get started on the first two prerequisites. Now, I just have to get my neighbor to fire little Betsy who babysits his kids every Friday to pay for her new cell phone, and coax him to seek out new help through the pages of the Spring Vikki Secrets catalog.

It’s not just Tiger who’s made it acceptable for women to consider polo-clad warriors. Phil Mickelson tied the knot with former Phoenix Suns cheerleader Amy McBride several years back . . . and Lefty hasn’t even won a Big One. Distracted a little, Phil?

Since the golfer’s stigma isn’t entirely dorky anymore, why not start using the mysterious allure of golf on the opposite sex?

As much as the enjoyable stench of beer, smoke and sweat makes a bar or club the ideal place to take your special lady, why not be a gentleman and show her the true gentleman’s game? It’ll be refreshing in more ways than one for the girl who’s been taken on the same date of dinner and dancing more repeatedly than Anna Kournikova flip-flops between hockey players.

Phil Mickelson and Amy McBride It’s also been said you can find out more about a person through a single four-hour round of golf than a month of dinners. You and your partner will garner an infinite amount of knowledge of each other in just one date, giving the relationship some welcomed acceleration.

The problem of course, is that in a four hour-round of golf, your date will discover an awful lot about you. If your etiquette and composure is awful indeed, you’re in trouble, and any momentum between the two of you may slow to a wounded hobble.

A quick preface though. If your date is a novice with the sticks, taking her out for an afternoon on the links will be a long, boring, frustrating experience for both of you. If she doesn’t dig the links, take her elsewhere. That’s why there’s 257 Putt-Putt locations worldwide.

You may be inclined to take her to the finest course in the area. Don’t . . . at first. Would you take her to a five-star restaurant the first night? No. You need something to build on. Don’t take her to golf’s version of Steak n’ Shake either. Instead, more like the Outback Steakhouse of courses. You know, not trying to impress anyone but getting the job done at a reasonable price.

Now it’s showtime. Ladies are masters in the art of interpretation. So during the round, watch the signals you broadcast to your partner. These actions may seem miniscule, but they could mean a world of difference.

For example, you go ahead and stroke your putt even though she’s away. You think: “I was ready to go, she was still lining up her putt.” But she thinks, “If he’s impatient on the green, he probably wants to rush into everything .”

And what about all the times you put your brand new Titleist back in the bag for a “water” ball on holes with hazards? You’re thinking, “Hey, a sleeve of balls these days ain’t peanuts. That’s why I always bring my B stash”. Bad move, that’s interpreted as being cheap by the lady: “What? Not even using his precious new ball on this hole? Will I have to wait for a movie to come to the $1 theatre before he takes me, too?”

But it’s not like every action you make will be a mark against you. There’s some subtleties that will make you appear charming and chivalric if you execute them correctly.

Women love brave, Herculean men, right? That doesn’t mean you have to go for the 630-yard ninth in two. Staring at 270 to the green with water right and O.B. left? Don’t be a dummy, dummy. You’ll only look like a steroid-induced meathead and probably end up topping your nervous 3-wood. Show her your reserved, stoic approach and put an iron to 100 yards. Then dazzle her with your soaring wedge that backs up to six feet. Tease her a little, don’t go for it all.

Always wash your ball between holes, even if it doesn’t have a spec of mud on it. She’ll appreciate the attention to cleanliness.

Is your afternoon stroll being slowed on the back nine by a foursome of duffers? Sit back and relax rather than firing your customary warning shots. Enjoy the time. Test her sense of humor by poking fun at the ninja turtles ahead (get it? Four slowpokes?): “man, I haven’t seen a foursome this bad since 98 Degrees,” or “It’s OK, I think I recognize them. Ya, that’s the wait-staff from Mitch’s CafĂ©."

Finally, never forget the golf date’s golden rule: Always finish out. No gimmies. No inside-the-leather. No automatic two-putts. After all, a girl likes a guy who can finish the job.

The Singles Scene

Interested in meeting singles through golf? Try one of these or some of the countless other Singles Golf Associations.

The American Singles Golf Association: Singles golf is all about fun, fellowship and fairways according to the ASGA. 50 clubs have been established nationwide and the ASGA is always looking to establish new chapters. Their membership is within one percent of a 50/50 ratio. The club has monthly dinner meetings where future outings are arranged at singlesgolf.com

Golf Fore Singles: Golf Fore Singles is a club based in southern California and has 40 to 60 members at any given time. In order to be a member, you must be non-smoking, shoot under 120 and be single. Outings are held two or three times a month, followed up with dinners. http://home.earthlink.net/~golf4singles/

Golfmates.com: Golfmates.com helps you find your perfect partner for golf online, and its claims golf is the “perfect first date”. Browse amongst hundreds of singles interested in meeting on the links. Golfmates.com is offers free trial memberships. You may search the database for free, too, at golfmates.com

Western New York Singles Golf Association: The winter may be long in upstate and western New York, but that doesn’t stop the WNYSGA from meeting at domed driving ranges. They welcome those who have enjoyed the game for decades, or those just becoming familiar with it. http://users.adelphia.net/~lppdon/

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.

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