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bones75

Ladies Starting Golf, Expectations

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My wife might finally get into golf. I deserve zero credit, as after years of trying the only thing that got her to start playing is her best friend is getting into it. 

I've heard that women generally improve faster than men, as they're more focused on form than trying to smash the ball. Everyone being different and all.... What would be fair general expectations for score after a year of lessons (say 2-3 a month), a round a week, and (hopefully) a range session a week?  She keeps asking me this, and I refuse to give her an answer, but I'm curious what others think. My wife is a competitive tennis player (for people in their 40s), and her friend is basically completely new to sports.

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Happy to hear your wife is getting into golf! 

I don’t know if there is any general expectations when it comes to golf but I can share my experience. 

I am in my 40s, never competitive in sports except for HS tennis. I was a snowboarder in my 20s and an avid skier in my 30s til now, other than that I played no other sports. The first time I ever touched a golf club was in late 2014. I took numerous lessons for at least 6 months and spent at least a year just hitting balls at the range before I started playing golf in 2017 (mostly because I was too scared to actually play and make a fool of myself). And when I was hitting balls, I was out at the range every single morning for hours. I probably wouldn’t have started golfing if my instructor at that time had not chased me off the range and said I needed to start playing.

Actual start date for golf was August 2017 when my husband and I joined a country club so I could play unlimited golf. The first month alone I played 26 rounds!! I started out in the low 100’s and it took me about a month to break 100. That season ended in Nov’17 with scores consistently in the low 90s and I played about 100 rounds. 

I took 4 months off to ski and came back March 2018 for my 2nd season. Took me about 2 months to get my swing back and I started playing regularly again (4-5 rounds/week) in May. Started out in the low 90’s and broke 90 by July. Since I was playing so much golf, I actually spent less time at the range. I only practiced for maybe an hour on days that I did not play golf. I was still taking lessons about once a month.  I ended the season in Nov’18 with scores in the mid 80’s and played ~120 rounds.

I took another 4 months off to ski but during that time, I made myself see my instructor once a month even though I was not playing golf. I did not want to start from square one again in the Spring and the off season lessons really helped. When I came back in April’19, I started where I left off in the mid-80’s, still playing 4-5 rounds/week and my scores finally went down to low 80s by summer. I started taking weekly lessons at Golftec in August (for my driver) and purchased a putting mat (which I use nightly) and within weeks I broke 80. I have been hovering high 70s and low 80s the last 2 months. I have played 121 rounds so far this year. I only have about 4 weeks left in this season before I head up to the mountain, so I don’t think my scores will change much. I do plan on taking off season lessons and keeping up with my putting for the next few months. 

My husband and I started playing golf at the same time, but since he is still working, he only gets to play on weekends. It took him 1 season to break 100, another to break 90. He just finally started to play in the high 80’s consistently. I think I improved faster than my husband because of how much more time I put into golf. 

Edited by FlyingAce

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Well I’ve been blessed in that earlier on, back when our love was young, my wife went to the range with me one night on a holiday, and while spanking a few she asked if we could play a game. I kept away from any instruction was just supportive. Now for your question...tough one. Looking back it was rough going for a while until one day we got paired up with another couple and the other wife was a real professional. On her game, dressed and played sharp, and I think that changed things forever with my wife. 
Since then we have really enjoyed playing together, but it took years. Everybody is different so you never know.
 

Aloha  

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@FlyingAce Thanks so much for sharing. I hope and pray that my wife gets hooked as much as you did!

@iSank Its funny, but your story really hit a note somehow. I think that my wife meeting another golfer who has the whole package (game & attire) is something that she would really get into.

That said, if you can think of any other ideas or experiences on how to keep her motivated, I'd love to hear them. I know many other ladies who did get into it here and there, but never stuck with it. Much of that is out of my control, but I hope some of it is. Earlier in our marriage I was the infamous "instructor husband" when it came to sports, but boy did I learn my lesson. No unsolicited tips anymore and any asked-for-advice I keep super short. Other than that, I'm not sure what else I can do to make it enjoyable as possible for her.

 

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My wife has played a lot of tennis, (definitely not competitively), and defensively. She will play golf occasionally, but goes with me to the range quite often (both of us are retired).  She hits straight enough, but has no power.  When we play it is at a short pitch and putt.

if your wife plays an offensive power style of tennis, I would think she should progress fairly quickly.  If she has the length, and a good instructor, the swing will come along.

John

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@bones75 I’d suggest you to tee it forward with her once she starts playing. My husband mentioned a few times that I was improving too quickly that he felt like he was always playing catch-up. It was difficult to ask him to play the forward tees with me (which eventually he did until he broke 90), so I actually moved back to the whites/regular tees with him. It kinda leveled the playing field a bit when my shots doesn’t seem that long anymore, and made him feel that we are playing golf together and not against each other.

 

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My wife started with me 8 years ago. Took a few lessons and was hooked...but...she really got golf crazy when she joined two ladies leagues at a muni we play. She is out twice a week with them once with me and is no longer afraid to book and golf by herself. Got herself from high 20's to a 19 this year. She's thrilled with that.

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16 hours ago, FlyingAce said:

Actual start date for golf was August 2017 ........ and I played about 100 rounds. 

I ended the season in Nov’18 with scores in the mid 80’s and played ~120 rounds.

I have played 121 rounds so far this year.  

Ace:

You have become a single digit cap in a relatively short time frame.....congrats.

You are quite the golf addict.

I know you're not lying...but it is hard to believe that a 40ish woman who has a 7 cap and has played well over 300 rds at your club has never been asked to play golf with other members.

Things must be VERY DIFFERENT in NM and at your club.

I would GUARANTEE you that if you played golf here....it would be rare that you would be playing as a single unless the course was slow and you wanted to be on your own.

There use to be 4 really attractive Asian women in a golf league I use to play in.....all the guys would be asking the league host/coordinator to be paired with them....I have played often with these ladies and they are really great to play golf with.

And it doesn't seem you have a language barrier...so that's no excuse not to play with you.....one of the Korean women we know had broken English...but that never stopped her from being asked to join up and be paired up with any of the guys at the golf course/league.

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My buddy got his Sister into golf a few years ago, and I don't know if she'd ever done anything athletic in her life. This was also rather late in life. He's retired and she was newly retired as an ICU nurse. He started taking her out to a par 3 course, eventually graduating to her own set of clubs and regulation courses. 

She is totally hooked now, to the point where she has developed some female golf buddies and takes a weekly lesson, in season, from a lady pro at Mill Creek GC. Her major regret is not starting earlier! But she loves the game and enjoys playing it. She also talked her husband into taking up the game, and she can outplay him as well most times. 

Bones, I'd keep giving your wife the same answer because there is simply no way for you to know! It is entirely up to her, and any answer you might give could have negative consequences. If you tell her that she'll have trouble breaking 100, that could mean that she stinks. If you tell her that she should be breaking 90 regularly by then, that can introduce pressure and performance anxiety. Neither one is good! Just tell her to keep working at it, and be the best she can be. 

And, as for the language barrier referred to above, I once played a delightful round with a Japanese guy who spoke NO English. I, of course, spoke no Japanese. But, we both spoke golf! One thing I remember about the guy was that he was about 6'1" (we tend to think of the Japanese as being short), he had a beautiful swing, and man, could he stripe a long iron! 

 

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@bones75 First of all, you are very lucky. Of all of my golf friends, I'd say only about 10% of them ever play golf with their wives. I, personally, love golfing with my wife. 

Secondly, what a great story from @FlyingAce. I'm sure she can give your wife great insight as she seems to love the game. 

My wife started playing a couple years after me. Let me start by saying my wife is more coordinated than I and a better athlete than I am. She played competitive softball and she played volleyball, at least semi-competitively all the way up until we had kids. She's even a better bowler than I am. 

As many have said, however, she didn't have the power that I have. (I weigh about 200 pounds, my wife weighs 108.) My wife took lessons and she improved really quickly. I believe she parred a hole the first time we played 9... she may have parred 2 or them. Anyhow, tee to green she is very solid. Saying that she doesn't have my power is also a bit misleading. She will hit her driver about as far as I hit my hybrid. So, hitting driver about 75% as far, when she weighs 50% as much seems pretty good to me. 

3 things:

1 - My wife never took an interest in putting. Yeah, funny, huh? She plays very well tee to green. Does not putt as well as the rest of her game would seem to indicate she should. She just has no interest in practicing it. Which, is fine with me. I still absolutely love playing with her. 

2 - My wife is what I call "A fair weather golfer". Which means she ONLY wants to play in great weather. I will brave the elements and consider tough conditions as a challenge. She's happy to wait for better weather. Again, fine with me.

3 - My wife does NOT want instruction form anyone who is not her swing coach. This especially includes me. I learned on day 1 to shut the hole under my nose when it comes to swing advice. I've followed that rule and we play great together. If I do that one simple thing she's a perfect teammate, both in life and in golf. Quick story: during our 2nd time playing a full 18 together my wife had about 200 yards into a green, the ball was well below her feet in what looked like pretty thick rough. She pulled her 3 wood. In my head I'm like naw, hit an 8 iron or something get out of that cabbage and then worry about getting on the green. Well, as you probably guessed she tagged her 3 wood, about 15 feet off the ground, and of course the ball rolls all the way onto the green and leaves her a 15 or 20 foot putt. "Nice shot, babe." Could have been beginners luck, could have been natural athleticism, could have been that she didn't know that shot was supposed to be difficult so she approached it with no fear. It doesn't matter. She hit the shot she choose and that instance reinforced my no advice policy. 

Sorry about the long post, but one more thing.

We played for a few years in a couples 2 person scramble league. It was on Friday evenings and it was a blast. If you enjoy playing WITH your wife, you'll probably love being TEAMMATES with your wife. I highly recommend finding a league like that. 

Good luck and enjoy the time with your wife. Golf is a great thing to have in common. 

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