A: Absolutely not. If your boyfriend wanted to date this girl, he would. So why worry about something you can't control? Besides, odds are slim there's anything going on between them. Good golf buddies are hard to find: They have to have a similar game to yours, talk the same amount of trash and enjoy taking the type of Sunday-morning bets you prefer. Whether the person is a woman or a man doesn't matter, as long as the his or her golf personality works with yours. When you find buddies like this, you hang on to them, but it doesn't mean you want to take them home. Quite the contrary. Most of my good golf buddies are men, and I wouldn't want my relationship with them to change in any way.
Q: I've heard you talk about "ready golf" in the past. Would you recommend a woman tee off first if she can't reach the group in front of her but the men in her foursome can?
A: Absolutely -- as long as it saves time, and the course design allows for it. If I'm sharing a cart with a guy and the forward tees are within walking distance, I'll grab my driver and walk to my tee while he's waiting to tee off. If he's still waiting when I get there, I'll happily go first. Then I'll get out of harm's way while my playing companion tees off and wait to get picked up after he's done. But if it will take me longer to walk to my tee than it would for the fairway to clear, I'll wait. I can still use the time to take a couple of practice swings and make sure I'm ready to swing away once we reach my tee. Common sense should prevail. It's really no different from ready golf in the fairway.
Q: My club hired a pro who's a chauvinist -- he doesn't like to teach women, and he gives us all the same condescending instruction. What should we do?
A: This is one fight worth picking. I know the type (the guy who probably thinks women don't belong on the course) and they're not easy to influence. You and your girlfriends have to band together and campaign to get him out (or to get your club to hire a second pro). There's power in numbers. Women represent more than 25 percent of the membership at clubs today, and club boards are wise enough to know not to upset them.
Q: I've been playing golf for a while and have always been told by my male counterparts to play by the rules because it's part of the honor and tradition of the game. But then these guys take lateral drops next to O.B. stakes and rake three-footers. Should I point out the contradiction or just go with the flow?
A: You have two options: (1) Kindly inform your companions that they're breaking the rules, even though you run the risk of being viewed as overly uptight. (2) Stay quiet, compromise on the rules and continue to be considered easygoing. As my male golf buddies will tell you, I opt for the former every time. Sure, being "that chick" who always points out when someone breaks a rule might earn you a few strange looks, but in the end you'll be respected more. If you're not going to play by the rules, there's no point in playing.
Have a golf-course gender quandary? E-mail Stina at firstname.lastname@example.org.