He Said

How to Golf and Have a Happy Marriage

Follow these four steps to save your marriage. A few insights from one golf-obsessed man to all the other poor saps out there trying to figure it out.

“Your wife doesn’t really hate golf—it only seems that way.”

So why does she yell, pout, and freeze you out whenever you make a tee time? Well, my friends, it took me several years and a lot of “we need to talks,” but I finally figured it out. Now that I have, I realize I’m sitting on a gold mine of information that I wish I’d had access to years ago. So I’m going to do what any decent man bound by the brotherhood of golf would do: I’m letting you in on my secret.

Step 1

First, you’ve got to look at the big picture. When you approach a hole, you get the lay of the land, map out a plan, and strategize. Your marriage is no different. Before you make plans to play a round, take a look at the “course” of your marriage. Where are the bunkers (family responsibilities, chores, wife’s schedule/plans)? Yes, you work all week—but so does she. Doing your job at home doesn’t mean giving up golf, it means going golfing with a clear conscience. Take care of your responsibilities as a husband and a father before you golf and you’ll be one step closer to a guilt-free round.

Step 2

Pay attention to your wife. In golf, we keep our heads down—but in marriage, we need to lift them up. Sounds simple, but we miss this one a lot. I’m not saying that you have to write love letters and buy flowers (though that never hurts), but you do need to show her love and respect.

Step 3

Golf responsibly. Be honest and take a good look at your schedule and bank account. Where do you spend the majority of your time and money? Golf is a wonderful game and you have every right to play it and love it. But like alcohol, drugs, and gambling, it can get out of hand. You know it’s true. If your game has become an obsession, then your wife is right, and you need to bring it back into balance. Create a “golf budget” much like you would a financial budget. You don’t have to quit cold turkey—in fact, you don’t have to quit at all, but you do need to identify the priorities in your life and care for your family above all else.

Step 4

Enjoy golf more than ever. Once you break golf’s control over you, you can enjoy it even more. Without the arguments and guilt that once surrounded your game, you’ll finally feel the freedom of guilt-free golf.

“Someone once told me there was more to life than golf. I think it was my ex-wife.”

Bruce Lansky