Ask Stina: All's fair in love and golf
A. This is like being friends with your doctor or financial consultant: You have to try to keep your personal and professional relationships separate. Avoid soliciting advice when the two of you are playing golf, no matter how much you're struggling. Instead, tell your friend to put you on his teaching calendar for the next available weekend so that you can take a proper lesson from him, and pay him for that. However, if he offers you tips during a round--and even if those tips help--don't give him cash; that would be tacky. Rather, buy him lunch or dinner after the round.
Q. Whenever a male colleague hears that I'm a golfer, he acts really surprised, which irks me. Why should it be so strange that a woman plays golf? What's the best way to respond?
A. Have you considered that your co-workers might be pleasantly surprised and are just happy to have found another potential golf partner? If you're a reader of this column, you know that I'm a staunch proponent of equality between women and men--in golf and in life. But sometimes we women have to stop taking everything as an insult. The fact is, women golfers are rare in this country (there are about 5.3 million of us), so it is surprising when a woman says she plays golf. But to most men, it's a good surprise.
Q. My wife drives the ball well over 200 yards, but she uses women's golf balls. I think she should use a higher-compression men's ball. Do you agree?
A. Golf balls marketed to women typically have very soft cores so they can be easily compressed by players with slower swing speeds. But that doesn't mean soft-compression balls are only for women. In fact, many balls marketed to men also have low-compression cores to generate more ball speed. The big difference between men's and women's golf balls is usually the dimple pattern. Women's balls typically have dimple patterns that give them more lift, because keeping the ball airborne is a key to distance for players with slow swing speeds. Unless your wife's tee shots are flying too high, she can still play well with women's balls. That said, all golfers--even slow swingers--could benefit from using the multilayer, urethane-covered golf balls used on the pro tours. That's because those balls spin more around the greens and stop faster on wedge shots. But they are more expensive.
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