THE BLOG

Beginning Golf: What I Didn't Know

01/29/2014 12:09 pm ET | Updated Mar 31, 2014
Blend Images - Denise Crew via Getty Images

This article was originally published on Better After 50.

1. Women's golf clothing is ugly. It's so ugly I was considering not taking up the sport. Uniforms can be attractive (like tennis and yoga clothes), but I never saw a woman's outfit in a golf store I wanted to buy. What woman looks good in a collared shirt and Bermuda shorts? Hemlines go up and down through the decades -- short is in NOW, so how about letting us girls wear our minis? Where are Lulu or Athleta when you need them? One day I will find the "me" in golf clothes. One thing for sure is it won't be the Team USA Ralph Lauren stylin' look.

2. Girlfriend time on the golf course is magical. Walking, talking, joking and exercising for four hours -- togetherness. However, no matter how much love there is, love doesn't hold up against bad counting. Even the best of friends will keep track of "your score" and call you out if you write down what you believe to be YOUR "correct" hole count.

3. Generosity -- not! You may think it's kind when your friends give you a "gimme" meaning, your putt is so close to the hole you can just pick it up. However, if you are new to golf, beware! Even though a gimme sounds like a gift -- nope -- you still gotta add a stroke. I thought it was free.

4. Bad Memory is not an alibi. Even if you forget your score, you can be sure someone will tell you what it is. It seems that everyone remembers to keep track of all your shots on a hole better than their own. You can be sure your girlfriends will remember your score at the end of each hole, but just don't try to correct them about theirs. Hey, isn't this supposed to be a friendly game of golf?

5. Handicaps are like weight, the better you do, the lower you go. Annoyingly, whether you're trying to shave your last five pounds off the scale or five shots off your handicap, success is teasingly out of reach.

6. Golf courses can be spectacularly beautiful. Coastal settings, bird watching, sunsets and good air. It's all seemingly perfect until the cigar smoker in your foursome pulls out a stogie at 10 a.m. and lights up! P.U.!

7. Grace and golf almost always go together. A beautiful swing, a precision chip and a finessed putt are mesmerizing to watch. However, have you ever seen a pot-bellied player with a belly putter? Tucked right under the fold in the "pot," the gut is used to steady the putt. No YIPS for the putter but YIKES for rest of us. Not a great visual.

8. Unplugging is required on the golf course. This can be the greatest gift of golf for those of us addicted to our iPhones. However, shutting down your technology habit for four hours is like admitting yourself into a "lock-down" detox center. Heart racing, anxiety producing and ultimately after much "self-talk," rewarding.

9. Women's tees. Inequality reigns. This is one area where we appreciate men who designed the golf course. There is no greater gift than taking that stride from the men's tee to the women's tee. Before your first swing, you're already ahead.

10. Golf language is fun and provocative. It's OK to cheer on your husband (or your friend's husband) and tell him to "stick it" for a putt or "get it up" for a chip or "honey, don't worry, that was a really tough lie." Ha, ha. Now that's fun.