Gordon on Golf

5 guidelines to building romance through golf

Golf couple
Carruthers Creek, Ajax, Ont. (Rachel Wittenberg/ Love the Moment Photography)

Even the dating web site eHarmony recognizes that, listing “15 reasons to date a golfer.” Among them, “golfers strive for emotional balance,” “they know how to make conversation,” “golfers understand they must forget mistakes and move on,” and “committed golfers are in it for the long haul.” Finally, these relationship experts point out, “you’ll be spending countless hours together in pristine park-like settings. Not a bad way to nurture romance.”

They might have mentioned etiquette, balance, equity and all those other fundamental values in the game. As well, the rules would be worth mentioning. Not the new Modernized Rules of Golf, although those certainly have their place in the actual playing of the game.

If you want golf to help forge and strengthen a romantic bond, you would be well advised to follow these guidelines which I have learned (often the hard way, particularly No. 1) over three decades of golfing with my beloved.

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1. Be mindful

If you’re not asked, resist the urge to offer your well-intentioned opinion if your partner is having an off day. You most likely don’t have the instruction credentials to rectify the situation. Second, even though they love you, it is more likely that you will only add to the frustration.. If you are going to follow only one rule, make it this one.

2. Go on vacation

Take a golf vacation together. Sitting on the beach is all fine and good, but getting out on the course and sharing some conversation and laughs is far better.

THE COLONY, TX - OCTOBER 05: A couple watches as Brooke Henderson

3. Nine and dine

Whether it’s an organized weekly couples’ league or just an impromptu outing for just the two of you, nine holes followed by a leisurely dinner and drinks is a wonderful way to unwind and catch up.

4. Don’t take it too seriously

Sure, you want to play your best but the object of the exercise is to enjoy each other’s company.

5. Include family

If you have kids or grandkids, invite them to play a few holes with you. Or maybe it’s your brother and sister-in-law or other relatives you love but don’t get to see often enough. Golf is a great excuse to reinforce those family ties.

I speak from experience, as I mentioned earlier. My wife took up golf after I did and fell for it as hard, or maybe harder, than she fell for me. We’ve done all things listed above, from golf vacations to couples’ nights to including family. And while the pure meaning of Valentine’s Day is focused on your one and only, and my wife and I have spent many delightful hours golfing together, I can tell you that one of my everlasting memories is the sight of our son and his grandfather golfing together. That’s something else I truly love.