Men are from Mars — Women do Mulligans

Few would argue at the statement that the differences between men and women are vast and complicated.  Those male/female differences were never so obvious to me as when my sister-in-law and I played golf recently with 10 male members of our family for our annual family fun day on the links.  Being the only two females in a group of 12 was as eye-opening as it was comical.

I married into a family of fanatics who take their golf games seriously – me … not so much.  I play for the simple joy of being outside in good weather.  The only thing I take seriously about my golf game is my sunscreen. It’s got to adequately block cancer-causing UV rays while at the same time allowing just enough rays to penetrate the SPF to chase away pasty winter skin and give me a healthy sun-kissed glow.

When a man shows up to the course for a game of golf, the wheels in his brain are turning so furiously he’s in danger of giving himself a stroke.  He’s mentally analyzing his swing while justifying the recent purchase of a new driver that’s scientifically designed to take 10 strokes off his game.  He’s fixating on choosing the perfect dimpled golf balls that will ensure the maximum yardage allowing him to outdrive his brother/father/son/brother-in-law or uncle.

When a woman shows up for a game of golf she’s thinking about whether foregoing a hat for five hours in order to avoid “hat hair” is worth the risk of developing skin cancer, age spots, crow’s feet and/or wrinkles if she plays sans hat.

I play so little golf over the course of a year that when I do get an opportunity to play I rarely focus on my score or the end result.  If I hit a few good shots on the driving range I quit while I’m ahead. I know I’m going to tire quickly once I’m on the course and I don’t want to waste all my good shots somewhere that they really don’t matter.   My husband, on the other hand, will hit every single range ball in his large bucket and borrow what’s left of mine in order to perfect his swing, his timing and his form. If the last ball he hits in his bucket is a bad shot, he will steal balls and continue hitting until he can end with a great shot.

A woman has a singular obsession when it comes to golf:   Do I look fat when I bend over and tee up my ball?   Our main focus is:  “Does my butt look huge in my back swing?”  As the game progresses we girls can blow off a lost ball in a water hazard amazingly fast, but if we think for a moment that we resemble a beached whale as we’re hacking our way out of a sand trap, that’s enough to make us lay down our clubs for good regardless if we’re actually having a good round.

A woman will spend hours shopping for and picking out the perfectly matched golf ensemble hoping someone will notice that even her nail polish matches her socks.  A man’s only worry about his golf attire is whether the striped shirt has a proper regulation collar.  He’s not bothered by the fact that his plaid shorts clash with that striped shirt nearly as much as he is by not having pockets deep enough to hold his extra balls, tees, stroke counter and score card.

Women are kinder and gentler to one another on the golf course allowing each other to take as many mulligans as necessary to feel good about their game.  Men punish each other with unflattering nick names and threaten to send one another to the ladies tees to hit with their pants around their ankles if they hit an unfortunate shot off the tee or shank a ball in the trees.

A man generally only cares about beating at least one other person in his foursome. As for me, I only care about having fun and hoping that my score per each nine holes is less than my age (which at the writing of this is 57).

That Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus stuff may apply in the real world but on the golf course the sexes are clearly defined: men are Taylor Made and Cleveland Launchers.  Women are mulligans and ladies 8s – but we are never, EVER to be referred to as a Big Bertha. 

Last, but certainly not least – the most important rule for any man who is paired with a woman on the golf course:  it’s not how you play the game that counts to us girls, but it’s how good you look while you are playing that is the most fundamental part of a woman’s game.

Kath and Nancy Golf Photo

Happy reading … and may your balls always fly straight and may the wind be ever at your back.

Blessings in Christ,

Kathy K.