He Said, She Said: Is golf on a first date ever a good idea?
You've heard it before: Golf exposes character. Those unlucky bounces, unfortunate lies and long waits between shots can really test a man’s patience. That's why I've always considered golf a great date. As a woman who's been playing for 12 years, I've been paired with my fair share of whackos. Better to find out if a guy is crazy before it's too late, no?
But is golf on a first date ever a good idea? When Golf Digest asked that very question on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, the responses were passionate, if not necessarily in agreement. After tallying 532 votes, 57 percent of you think golf on a first date is a great idea, 28 percent think it's a terrible idea, and 15 percent of you think the range or mini golf is a safer way to start out.
Sure, golf on a first date has its benefits. Think about it: what better window is there into someone's personality? As Dave tweets, "If the guy or gal goes all Tommy Bolt after a chunked chip, RUN!" And Matt Grandone agrees: "Golf has a way of bringing out all of a person's imperfections, might as well get it all out in the open from jump street."
But golf on a first date is also fraught with danger. Being trapped with someone you realize you can't stand could turn an otherwise pleasant afternoon into an excruciating adventure. As Jennie Ryan Luptak tweets, "A frustration-ruined round is worse than bad dinner conversation." And several guys (not-so subtly) suggest that playing golf on a first date sounds like a frightening experience. Like Tony Ostheimer, via Facebook: "THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE!!!" And Anthony Shizas, also via Facebook: "No need to have worlds colliding. Utter chaos!"
When I posed the question to my buddy (let's just call him Bob), he said that "golf for most guys is their escape with their buds, their chance to drink some beers, smoke cigars, piss in the woods and be a 'rebel.'" Good to know, Bobby. Have lots of fun in the woods. Alone.
Ultimately, I say golf on a first date is too risky. Better to meet at the driving range on a first date (yes, this still gives you fellas a chance to give us "flirty" golf lessons), enjoy a few drinks or a long walk on a second date, then venture out to the golf course on a third or fourth date -- just to be sure you can stand someone's company for an extended period.
Oh, and once we're on the golf course, be man enough to handle a good beating. Several guys say they wouldn't be able to manage playing with a woman who plays better (ahem, Rob Sievers). My girl Dani Fankhauser has a nice response: "If he's ok with you showing him up, he's a keeper!"