Recently I was practicing my bunker game and a gentlemen came up to me and asked what I was working on. Well, it is good I have a filter between my brain and my lips because my first thought was to reply sarcastically, “My putting game” but instead I told him I was working on being more consistent with my bunker shots.
Without asking me if I want help, he proceeds to give me tips (all the things he works on) including open your stance, open your club face, don’t forget to accelerate. I told him I am just practicing and work on all the same things he does (hoping he will get the hint and leave me alone). Finally he ends with this winner “Maybe your eyes are closed.” I was really not sure how to respond to that comment but I just said “Thanks and you have a great day.”
Now this experience is not the first time a guy has interrupted my practice to give me tips and it makes me wonder “Do men practicing have other golfers come up and give unsolicited advice?” It seems so odd because I would never give unsolicited advice to anyone. I actually have good fundamentals and my goal at the range or practice area is to work on my weaknesses, try new shots, etc.
There are times I have had guys just talk to me and say “great swing” (as an ice breaker) and we have a nice chat for a few minutes. But you’d be surprised how often unsolicited advice is the way a guy engages with me. Generally, I take the high-road, I give the “advice giver” the benefit of the doubt and assume that he just wants to engage in conversation and he is clueless that implying I need help is not a great conversation starter. In my mind I’m thinking “What the heck, who does this guy think he is giving me advice. I mean I understand there is a stereotype that men like to fix things but I’m not broken. He needs to work on his own game.”
So what do I do in these situations? Well, I’m try to always be a nice person and would never choose to make someone feel bad so I just spend the few minutes of time and try to not let it bother me. I suppose some women might put a guy in his place with a clever response but life is to short to be cruel.
In closing, I am writing this post to give my own advice – guys, don’t assume a women wants your tips on the range. If you really want to talk to her, just say “hello” and if you really can’t resist the urge to “help” — ask the women first if she’d like a few tips. At least that way, you are giving her the choice.
Catherine, good advice. Most guys mean no harm and you are commended for taking the high road.