1. Find a teaching pro with whom you’re comfortable, then stick with her.
2. And I do mean her. There must be exceptions, but overall, women listen better and are more adaptable in their teaching approach.
3. This one’s for men: Most of you would also be better off with a woman, for the same reasons, and because she won’t play into your long-ball fantasies.
4. Ignore condescending remarks until you can’t, then try something like, “Excuse me, but it’s a hard game. I’m trying to learn, and I don’t believe I’m slowing you down.”
5. Be sure you’re not slowing him or her down.
6. Are the forward tees no longer than 5,200 yards? (This is the benchmark used by Alice Dye, Pete’s wife and an architect in her own right.) Otherwise, register your feelings with the pro.
7. Are these forward tees real tees or mere afterthoughts, poorly maintained and positioned at a 30-degree angle to the fairway? If the latter …
8. Play your game, and let him play his.
9. The play is the right verb. It’s not supposed to be work.
10. Nip all spousal advice in the bud.
OUR FAVORITE RESORTS
Actually, all resorts are couples-friendly these days, for the simple reason that couples account for about half the action on most resort courses. Picking a top five is a quixotic e endeavor, but my extended family particularly enjoys:
- The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, with a great spa and just about every imaginable inland activity in addition to great golf.
- The Desert Inn in Las Vegas, quite beyond belief, given the location, and with the only remaining golf course on The Strip; the pros in town still rank this classic retro as one of their top three venues in a valley with a lot of great new layouts.
- Mauna 1 Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii, the grande dame of all the famous resorts on the island, with the justly famous Robert Trent Jones Sr. golf course.
- The Four Seasons at Hualalai on the Big Island, with the terrific new Jack Nicklaus layout, perhaps the most playable he’s ever designed. (Important note: Play is restricted to community residents and registered guests of the hotel.)
- The Lodge at Ventana Canyon in Tucson, a stunning desert stopover with a stunning Tom Fazio golf course that’s not as difficult as it looks, which is a nice attribute for a resort layout.