How can I make friends at my golf club?
Question: I’ve just joined a new golf club and I’m finding it difficult to make friends. I’ve always been very shy and I find it hard to approach people. Any tips on how I can get to know some of the other ladies? Gill, Birmingham
Answer: I dont envy you!
Joining a new golf club as a female is tough and not that dissimilar to being the new girl at school. I’m surprised the ladies’ section didn’t ‘buddy you up’ with another lady to introduce you and get some games organised.
Speak to the lady captain to see if that’s a possibility. Other than that, there is no gentle initiation really, you are just going to have to be brave, jump in at the deep end and turn up for a roll up.
As in life you will meet some nice ladies and you will meet some that are not so nice, but that’s all part of the fun! You only need to meet one or two ladies who you really like and they will help show you what’s what and who is who.
Lastly, remember to smile! Everyone is nervous in new surroundings but smiling will make you far more approachable. This will encourage people to speak to you and give you a helping hand.
How do I overcome my bogey hole?
Question: Whether it is the drive, the second shot or around the green I always have this sense of dread playing a specific hole at our course and it doesn’t happen anywhere else so it has now become mental. Laura, Cumbria
Answer: Well, as I may have said before, you produce what you fear, so if you are always worried about messing this hole up you will continue to do so.
My advice is to change your usual routine for how you play the hole. So if you normally take a driver off the tee try hitting a 5 wood, which will alter the distance you have left to play, forcing you to use different clubs.
I also strongly recommend you go out by yourself and play two balls on this hole and, if possible, walk back and play it again. Repeating the exercises above should take the fear out of it.
How can I cheer up my friend?
Question: My pal has been feeling down lately and she’s refusing to come to the golf club or socialise with our group of friends. I’ve tried asking her what’s wrong but she insists she’s fine. I think she’s depressed, how can I help her?Sarah, Lancashire
Answer: The best way to help your friend right now is to let her know that you are there for her and will be there if/when she does ever need to talk.
Once you feel she is reassured suggest some activities away from the golf club, such as going for a coffee or a driving range to hit a few balls. Getting her out of the house and active may help her to feel more relaxed in your company and she will then hopefully open up to you.
Most importantly though, try to be patient. Do not rush or pressure her into doing anything she doesn’t want to. Depression can creep up on a person and she may not even realise that she is acting differently.
Ensure she is eating properly and still taking care of herself. If you feel she is still not herself after you have done the above, speak to a close family member about your concerns. The fact she has a friend that cares about her so much means she has the support to get back to her old self.
Emma Booth is a PGA professional at Avington Park and Winchester Golf Academy
To book a lesson, call 07730534551 or Tweet @ladygogolf
Have a question for Emma? Email firstname.lastname@example.org