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2014 NH Women’s Golfing Association Championship. Courtesy NHWGA.




Social life up to par?
Meet new friends on the green

08/14/14



Golf isn’t a team sport, but it isn’t a lonely one either. Most golfers prefer to play with a group of friends, coworkers or country club golf buddies.
 
“When you’re playing, it’s you against yourself,” said James Turner, PGA head golf professional at Sky Meadow Country Club in Nashua. “In turn, it’s about the company that you have with you.”
 
Join the club
Turner said that one of the benefits of becoming a member of a private country club like Sky Meadow Country Club is that you have a much better chance of getting to know the members. 
 
“When you’re seeing the same people every day, it makes it feel more like family versus going to a public place,” he said. “Golf has kind of become a thing where if you’re joining a club, you’re joining for the social aspect of being here, especially at Sky Meadow. We see ourselves as a big family here. It’s fun to see the same people every day and you get to know what’s going on in their lives.”
 
Currently, there are just under 300 members at Sky Meadow Country Club. Turner said that there’s always the same group of golfers playing their regular Friday or Saturday game, and similarly, couples tend to play with other couples and women tend to play with other women. As with miniature golf, it’s not as much fun to go by yourself, he said.
 
Many golfers take advantage of on-site dining or bars, grabbing lunch before an afternoon game or drinks or dinner at the end. At Sky Meadow Country Club, there’s a 9 Wine & Dine, where golfers play nine holes, followed by wine pairing and dinner afterward.
 
“A lot of times they’ll do lunch beforehand, play, and do drinks afterward,” Turner said.
 
Playing a course with your coworkers is also great way to bond outside the office.
 
“A huge amount of our members, especially because we’re private, will come with people they work with,” Turner said. “They ... go out and play as a kind of team-building event. You’re out there talking about work a little bit, and also having fun.”
 
If you don’t happen to have a group of golfing buddies, Turner said, the golf course is the perfect place to meet new people. He recommends practicing at the driving range and striking up a conversation or stopping by the golf shop, where employees can help you find a group to join. 
 
“Golf is one of those things where you’ve just got to be open to meeting new people and trying new experiences,” Turner said. “It’s amazing how the people you meet out there can become your friends for life.”
 
Not just for guys
Men aren’t the only ones having fun one the fairways. For female golfers, there are plenty of avenues to meet other women on the golf course, including classes, leagues, groups and special outings designed just for them. Currently, there are just under 800 members of the New Hampshire Women’s Golfing Association, which runs weekly tournaments.
 
New Hampshire Women’s Golfing Association President Stephanie Wallace started golfing when she was 7, when she caddied for her older brother.
 
“My father gave me lessons. In high school, I was not allowed to compete because girls couldn’t play on guys’ teams, and there was no girls’ golfing team then,” Wallace said. “Of course, [now] we have First Tee here in New Hampshire that encourages both boys and girls to learn the game, and not just the game but the etiquette and all the integrity that goes with golf.”
 
There are ladies leagues and women-only clinics that provide group training just for women, which provide plenty of social opportunities and sisterhood, Wallace said. They’re also a great way for beginners to learn the game.
 
“Look for clubs that offer women’s clinics, and learn the game with other women that are just starting out,” Wallace said. “Women form friendships from there and can play together with people at their own ability so they don’t feel intimidated.”
 
Other clubs around the state also offer one-day golfing getaways or weekend trips just for groups of women. 
 
There are a few differences between how a woman plays the sport and how a man does, Wallace said. Clubs are designed differently for women, with more flexible shafts, and there are even golf balls designed specifically for female golfers. 
 
There’s also the women’s golf apparel — “There’s always fashion involved,” Wallace said. 

 






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