If golf is a new venture for you, or if you’re more introverted by nature, you may find it challenging at times to forge friendships with the women you golf with. Though you have golf in common, this may not always seem like enough to build a relationship

The truth is that some women find their dearest friends through involvement in activities. Though you may have a strong circle of friends already, it can be nice to develop relationships where you’re spending a lot of your time, especially if you’re playing full rounds of golf. There may be few things more awkward than spending 18 holes with someone you don’t know or can’t seem to connect with.

Relationships are often built through commonality, communication, and openness, so if you’ve found you haven’t yet made the connections you would like, try these ideas to help you build relationships at the golf club:

Find commonalities.

Yes, you have golf in common, that’s true. But there’s so much to golf that can take your relationship further. Did you both start later in life? Do you both dread a certain hole on your home course? Maybe you both share a similar strength on the course.

Golf can be a great start, but don’t stop there; what other similarities might you both have? Think about family, work experiences, travel, and more. No, you don’t have to have everything in common, but finding a few common experiences or perspectives that you both share can help set the stage for a positive relationship.

Communicate well.

Though we just talked about finding commonalities, it’s also important to look at how you communicate with your new and potential friends. For example, we don’t just want to ask about a variety of topics, hoping to find one in common. If someone shares they lived in the south and you’ve never been, you can ask what that was like, do they go back to visit, what’s their favorite memory, and more. This may seem obvious, but if you’re nervous around new people, you may be searching for something that you both have in common. Remember, people usually love talking about themselves (even if it takes time to open up). Asking more questions will allow you to get to know them and will help create a connection between you.

Challenge yourself to be open.

To find those things in common with others, we need to be willing to open up, especially if your playing partner just did. You don’t have to share all your stories, or go deep, but if you tend to be more closed-off, remember your goal to build relationships on the course, and fake it ’til you make it. By putting yourself out there, you give yourself the chance to make meaningful relationships.

Even with this advice, keep in mind that you won’t click with everyone on the course, and that’s okay. But, you might also miss out on great friendships and enjoyable relationships if you don’t try to find commonalities, communicate, or open up to new people.

Have you made lasting friendships on the golf course? Keep the conversation going in the comments!