Getting to know people can be hard if you’re joining a new club on your own. Jeremy Ellwood highlights a number of ways to make friends at a golf club
How To Make Friends At A Golf Club
Different people want different things from their golf club membership, but expanding the circle of friends with whom they both play and socialise is important for many.
Some will find it easier to make friends at a golf club as they are naturally more gregarious than others, but I would say I don’t fall into that category and have had to rely on different ‘methods’ over the years to get to know people.
Getting involved in club competitions is absolutely key, as it provides the ideal chance to get to know people in the environment in which all golfers should be most comfortable – i.e. out on the course.
Even if you have no great desire to play competitive golf every week, it is worth putting yourself out there early on as you try to find your feet.
Clubs have a major role to play here too, especially with many struggling for members.
My advice would be to find a club where a good percentage of the competitions are drawn randomly.
Yes, many golfers want to play with their regular partners and that is understandable, but in the current climate it’s important that new golfers are integrated fully into the club, rather than risk them leaving within a year or two because they’ve struggled to get to know people.
If the existing members simply play with who they know every week, a vital opportunity for integration is lost.
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I well remember that at one club where I was a member I put myself and my partner down on the startsheet for a mixed foursomes alongside some longstanding members.
Next week, we doublechecked the startsheet only to find they had moved themselves to a different slot with other longstanding members.
That sent out the wrong message and was the catalyst for me eventually leaving that club.
So before you join a club, find out whether or not a good number of club competitions are drawn randomly. If not, it may be worth looking elsewhere.
On top of the ‘official’ competition schedule, many clubs also have a number of informal ‘roll-ups’ throughout the week, and these can be a great way to get to know others.
My current club has a number of these friendly semi-competitive gatherings and I’ve regularly been invited along to get to know new people.
Often the secretary, pro and others will be aware of other new members looking for a game. Pairing up that way can often lead to lasting friendships between two or more people in the same boat, and that has certainly been the case for me in the past.
And if your new club has a full social calendar, get involved with one or two of those events in your early days too, so you can meet as many people as possible in one go in a relaxed and friendly environment and get a better idea of who you are likely to click with.
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