August 9, 2007

All's fair in love and golf

Q: How do I tell my girlfriend that her golf outfits are less than appropriate? She wears hideously tight tops, and her shorts are too short. It's embarrassing.

A: My advice is to lie through your teeth and break out your wallet. When it comes to our clothing, the only way to get us to dress differently without hurting our feelings is to use positive reinforcement and trickery. Take your girlfriend shopping under the guise that you want to reward her for her improved golf skills. Help her find something nice to wear, and then keep telling her how good she looks. She's likely to gradually change her style. Whatever you do, never tell her you're embarrassed by the way she dresses. Unless you like sleeping on the couch.

Q: My wife doesn't get along with my best golf buddy's wife and no longer enjoys taking trips with them. I love playing with my buddy. How can I persuade my wife to preserve the foursome?

A: Flowers and jewelry always work. (Kidding.) If you and your wife spend a lot of time together, your wife should suck it up for one trip a year. But if the two of you rarely have any alone time, and vacations are few and far between, then you're the one who's going to have to give in. You can't expect your wife to spend the only week the two of you have off together all year with a person she loathes.

Q: Why do LPGA Tour players seem to take longer to finish a round than players on the PGA Tour?

A: LPGA Tour players take longer on the greens (on average more than five minutes per group vs. 3 1/2 minutes for PGA Tour groups) because they use their caddies' input more and tend to mark, rather than tap in second putts. But the LPGA recently implemented stricter rules against slow play. The goal is to cut at least 22 minutes off the average round by year's end. Now if we could only get the Sunday-morning men's groups at my home course to do the same.

To submit comments or questions, e-mail Sternberg at stina@golfdigest.com.