How to make new (golf) friends in your new surroundings

August 17, 2019

There are few things more disorienting than a big move — say, shipping up to NYC to work for GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com for the summer. Your daily routine gets thrown for a loop. Take the wrong subway and you’ll find yourself in the wrong borough. Most unnervingly, you can kiss your regular golf regimen goodbye.

That’s my deal. Right now, I’m a golf loner. We all get there. You might have friends who’ve quit the game or have simply grown tiresome. Whatever the cause, you need new golf pals. Think positively: This is an exciting opportunity for social expansion!

If you’re of a certain age — talking to you, millennials and Gen Xers — you’ll be looking for tech-driven solutions. Should you be a private-club member, the Thousand Greens (thousandgreens.com) community of golfers functions as a sporting, platonic Match.com (or, if things really go well, a Tinder for club-swingers). For the daily-fee crowd, consider searching Facebook or Reddit for local golf groups. Or you could post something yourself on social media or Craigslist. Just don’t, you know, sound desperate. Or weird.

If all that’s too far out of your lane, there are more old-fashioned routes. You could — gasp! — put down that smartphone, go to your local course and start talking to people. I know, I know…it seems drastic. But often the people best attuned to the local golf scene are those who comprise it. Visit the pro shop and ask around if there are other Lonely Larrys or Solitary Sallys. See if there are any twosomes or threesomes going out who wouldn’t mind a fresh face. Or go out alone and — knock on wood — play through the foursomes until you can join up with another single. A trial run could spark a healthy bond that’s out there for the taking.

The final go-to tactic is maybe the oldest in the book: Drop a few hints around the office water cooler. You’ll be surprised: It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. In any line of work there are others like you, pining for a new pal — and the start of a beautiful golf relationship.