Is The Golf Course The Place to Find Love?

Golf can provide a true testament of someone’s real character, highlighting flaws as well as glowing credentials. Katie Dawkins delves into 5 things to look out for when it comes to dating a golfer

You may bump into the love of your life on the fairways
(Image credit: Katie Dawkins)

It’s true that taking up golf actually gives single women a chance of finding that special someone. Prior to the pandemic, women accounted for only 12-14% of golfers. This figure has over doubled thanks to lockdown and now participation alone stands at 45% female.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a husband or a wife, golf can definitely highlight some life long values that you have on a soulmate checklist. It will also highlight some characteristics that might make you walk in the other direction.

Golf is a perfect first date activity. It’s almost as effective as rigging your potential partner up to some sort of lie detector. Golf makes us very vulnerable, we often show our true nature and character flaws are quickly highlighted. So what should you be paying attention to? 

Finding love on the fairways

Finding true love on the fairways

(Image credit: Famara)

Here are my 5 things to look out for when you play golf with your new or potential partner…

1. Reaction To A Bad Shot Will Reveal All 

Katie Dawkins playing with Mark Townsend and Jo Taylor at Essendon Golf Club

Is he smiling or swearing after that shank?

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

In life you could be waiting months or years to see how somebody really copes when stuff hits the fan. You’ll find out in seconds whether they’re a calm and collected person who will help strengthen you. Or, if indeed they crumble after a slightly mishit drive that’s sat in the middle of the fairway. 

This is the reason why that if I was seeking to go into business with someone, I’d play golf with them, as it's the fastest way to get to know the real person. In life you can hide behind mirrors, but on the course you are pretty much stripped bare. 

Often embracing a failed shot shows someone with integrity and a want to work at something, which are handy skills on and off the course. If he hasn't hung his head and sulked, but instead discussed what he needs to work on and he’s excited to improve, then tick that box! Someone with a love for learning will have an enthusiasm for life. 

2. You’re Beating Him, How Is He Really Feeling? 

Is he more obsessed with his game?

Is that a grimace or a smile, is he more obsessed with his game?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How did he react when you teed it up on the same tees? Has he stopped talking to you after you drove the ball past him. Sulking is a big no no. Has he walked on ahead when you’re taking your shot? Or, is he waiting to see how good you hit it so he can shower the compliments.

If you have to ask him to step back as he’s in that personal space, then you may have someone who will cling to you. Gentle amber light going on there. But basic manners will soon come to the surface during a round of golf.

3. How Seriously Does He Take His Golf? 

Is he taking his golf so seriously he's forgotten you're there?

Is he taking his golf so seriously he's forgotten you're there?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you have a tour pro wannabe on your hands? This is a date after all, so has he gone into INSULAR mode or is the banter running rich in between shots? It’s very quick to see a golfer who is a little bit 'Gaston' on the course. Self-absorbed people will be in their own zone, so it’s easy to feel like you may as well not be there. Nobody needs this in a relationship, but it’s an easy one to fake over a few drinks. This character flaw hurls itself at you in a golfing environment. 

Worse still, has he already told you a pork pie about his score? Honesty is a vein that runs deeply through both the game of golf and the game of life. If there’s dishonesty on the golf course then that characteristic is programmed into that person. A guy who can laugh at his bad shots and card that 10 is a keeper in my eyes. Someone who drops a ball down his trouser leg and perches it up in the rough is a different kettle of fish.

 “Golf is said to be a humbling game, but it is surprising how many people are either not aware of their weaknesses or else reckless of consequences.” – Bobby Jones

4. Dishing Out Swing Advice 

Unwanted "advice" early on in a round is a big old warning signal

Unwanted advice early on in a round is a warning signal

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sometimes even high handicappers can assume it’s ok to tell you what you’re doing wrong, often blissfully unaware that they could really do with a lesson themselves. If he’s pointed out all the areas of your game that are costing you shots and is currently 29 over par (on the 7th), then you could be in for a bumpy ride. Somebody who always thinks they know best can be very draining on a relationship. 

If he’s complimented your game and is generally an absolute gentleman, that's brilliant. If you’re a decent golfer and your partner is constantly looking for reassurance and compliments, they may need a lot of emotional holes filling in their lives. They may not be looking for love, but looking for a caddy to carry them! Beware, you need your energy to fuel you. Energy givers are what you’re after not vampires. 

5. Hug Or Handshake At The End 

Do you go in for the hug? Did he offer the handshake?

Do you go in for the hug? Did he offer the handshake?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

I mean, if it’s love at first sight then go for it - by the end of the round you’ll soon know so much more than you’d have learnt in 10 dates! Equally you'll know if your date is into you! This is a two way deal just to remind you...

Golf is a game that mirrors life so very closely, what better environment to find someone to share your life with. They always say travel the world with someone and you’ll soon know, I say why take 4 months when 4 hours will do the trick.

Those who know, know. If you found love on the fairways we'd love to hear from you. Email if you have any stories and here's to many more couples being hit by cupid's ProV1 this Valentines. 

Owner of the popular Facebook Group Ladies Golf Lounge, Yvonne met her husband when he offered to "help" her with her golf

Yvonne Brooke, owner of Facebook Group Ladies Golf Lounge, met her husband when he offered to help her with her golf

(Image credit: Yvonne Brooke)
Katie Dawkins
Advanced PGA Professional and freelance contributor

Katie is an Advanced PGA professional with over 20 years of coaching experience. She helps golfers of every age and ability to be the best versions of themselves. In January 2022 she was named as one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches.

Katie coaches the individual and uses her vast experience in technique, psychology and golf fitness to fix problems in a logical manner that is effective - she makes golf simple. Katie is now based on the edge of the New Forest. An experienced club coach, she developed GardenGOLF during lockdown and as well as coaching at Hamptworth Golf Club she freelances, operating via pop-up clinics and travelling to clients homes to help them use their space to improve. 

She has coached tour pros on both LET tour and the Challenge Tour as well as introduced many a beginner to the game. 

Katie has been writing instructional content for magazines for 20 years. Her creative approach to writing is fuelled by her sideline as an artist.