Golf can be a great way to enjoy time with your partner (the one you’re in a romantic relationship with, not your go-to golf buddy). You’re probably both busy, so golf might be a nice way to spend some time together. Notice how I said, “can be” and “might be.” Just because you love your partner, there’s no guarantee you’re destined for golfing bliss.

It seems natural that you’d want to share hobbies with your partner, and sometimes golf can be that perfect fit. However, sometimes it takes time to get into a groove that works for both partners and sometimes, golf is better left for playing with friends. If playing with the person you love is sucking the fun out of the game, or you’re worried about taking your relationship out onto the course, here are a few ideas to try.


Reflect before you play

Before you even step out on the course, consider if you’re a good fit for golfing together. Is your partner advanced and you’re just starting out? Are you evenly matched but you know you get competitive? Does your partner get angry when they’re frustrated and does that just push your buttons?

Even if you think there could be issues, you might be able to work through those, so don’t write off the idea immediately. By reflecting on what could happen, you can then work to address that before you even step foot on the course.


Preview solutions for how you’ll handle golfing together

If you’ve realized that this isn’t a good fit, hopefully you can honestly tell your partner that. After all, this is the person you should be able to be 100% honest with. For example, when your partner asks if you’d like to golf together you can simply try “Honey, I love you. And I’d like to keep it that way. Maybe we shouldn’t be in a foursome together, but let’s schedule our tee times close together so we can warm up together.” Honest communication is important in all aspects of your relationship and even applies to golfing and other hobbies you might do together.

If after careful thought you still want to golf with your partner, despite the sticking points, consider how you can handle that. If you tend to get more serious and your partner is laid back, invite another couple who match your golfing personalities to help create more balance. If you tend to get competitive with each other, decide ahead of time what you’ll do if things feel a little too competitive for either of you. For example, you may want to set a rule of no coaching each other if you know that might bring up some challenges.


Enjoy your time golfing

Golf should be fun. Yes, there will be frustrating moments and challenges along the way, but overall it should be an enjoyable experience. Golf can be a great hobby to do with your romantic partner but remember it may not be the best fit. Consider ahead of time if it will work for you, setting boundaries and guidelines as needed. That way, everyone can still have fun golfing, and your relationship is strengthened by the game (even if that means you don’t actually play together!).