You may want to ask someone how they did in golf for several reasons. The approach that you take will depend on your goals and the type of relationship that you have with the person.
The key to asking someone how they did in golf is to ask open-ended questions politely, e.g.: “Are you being consistent with your golf game?”. This gives the other person the possibility to share as much information as they feel comfortable with.
Asking as a Senior Player
As a senior player, you want younger players to improve. Sometimes it is good to ask them how they think they did, to evaluate their perceptions. You may also want to ask about a game if you weren’t there while they were playing.
Asking questions provides you with information that you can use to further adjust your training to meet their needs and to build up some trust with them.
You can ask:
“How was your backswing?”
“How was your weight distribution on the course?”
“How did your game hold up today?”
“How was it out there?”
“How was your swing today?”
Your questions as a senior player can help you to understand how another player is feeling. You may not want your questions to seem like an interrogation. Instead, you want to use a casual tone and wording that allows you to start a conversation with another player.
Open-ended questions allow you to be more casual than questions that only prompt short answers from younger players so it’s important to ask about the game by using questions that don’t have a defined answer.
Players may sometimes perform well on most rounds but have difficulty with a particular round. In that case, you can be more specific.
You can ask:
“How was the seventh today?”
“How did you feel about your ninth?”
“I notice that you seem a little frustrated. Was it the seventh?”
Your questions about how a golfer is playing can sometimes be as precise as possible. With more information, you can offer more help. Of course, you’ll have to adjust those questions based on what you see during a game.
Precise questions will help you to focus on how a player feels about their performance with a particular type of club or on a specific type of surface.
Asking as a Competitor
If you’re a competitor, you’ll want to know several things about the player. You may want to know how they feel about the game but you may also be asking because you want statistics.
Having definite figures gives you a better idea of how they will perform as a player, than just knowing their emotional state.
Pure data is usually unbiased. If someone says, “Oh. my game isn’t too good”, that can mean anything. They could be a humble superstar who eats up the course every time they play.
To get precise answers, such as their score, when you ask about their golf game, consider saying:
“Excuse me, how much did you get on that hole?”
“Hello. What did you get there?”
If your competitor is routinely breaking 100, it shows that they are a fairly disciplined player. Don’t respond to that news with signs of resentment. Be happy for them and ensure that you have something good to say in response to whatever they share with you.
Asking as a Friend
As a friend, if you ask about a person’s game, it’s usually because you’re interested in how they are developing. You may also just ask to show interest in something that they like.
You may not want too much of a detailed answer and you may want to avoid phrasing that’s going to make the person go into a lot of detailed statistics.
You could ask:
“How was your game?”
“Did you have a good round?”
“Did you play well?”
“Did you lose any clubs?”
“How did you play?”
It’s usually easiest to ask a friend about their game if you know they want to tell you. Some people will drop hints that they’re excited or had a bad game and want to talk about it.
They may sigh, stuff their clubs in a corner, or prominently display their clubs in a position where someone will see them and ask about their game.
If your friend is doing well, they may be happy to talk about their score. Expect that some will be willing to tell you about their game all the time, and a simple, “How was it?” is all they need to share a few facts.
If you know that your friend is really serious about their game and they hope to compete at some point, the questions that you ask may be different.
You may also know more about the game of golf after a few years of watching them play. In that case, you may be able to ask more specific questions than someone who is just asking out of casual interest.
Players often remember what went wrong. Sometimes they can focus too much on that and get discouraged. If you see that happening, as a friend you have the opportunity to help them focus on what they did well.
You can do this by asking questions like these:
“Which things worked well in your game today?”
“Is your approach to your short game working well for you?”
“How is your golf game improving?”
Asking as a Service Provider
Service providers have a vested interest in ensuring that all of their clients are satisfied. If someone is always performing in a discouraging way on the golf course, they may not be as eager to keep playing, as an individual who has both good and bad days.
If a club owner or another service provider asks how someone did in golf, it’s usually because they want to know whether the player is enjoying their experience.
The way that a question is phrased can give more information that can help the person to improve their experience. This leads to greater profits for them.
If you are a service provider in the golf sector, you can ask:
“How was the course today?”
“How was the game?”
“How is your golf game?”
“Did you enjoy your round?”
“Are you satisfied with today’s golf experience?”
Give People Time to Reflect
Sometimes when you ask someone how they did in golf, they may not have an answer right away. They may hesitate for different reasons. Some may just not be in the state of mind to answer you directly at the time.
Before you ask about their game, try to determine whether it’s the right time to ask. If someone is upset about their game or even seems to have something else weighing on their thoughts, it may not be a good time to ask. The how of asking questions about something important to anyone else should also involve careful thought about when is a good time to ask.
Sometimes the context helps and a question about their performance may be better answered over fruit punch or any other beverage of choice. Being relaxed can help a player to reflect on their game and answer you with candor.
Reflection does not come naturally to everyone. For some players, it’s a skill that they develop over the years. Asking how they did will help them in that process.
As you journey with a player through the years, the way you ask them how they did in golf can involve a greater level of reflection.
For example, you could ask your wife or husband who plays golf:
“Were your shoulders off balance during the game today?”
Showing Interest in Kids
If your child has started to play golf, asking them about their game can be a way of demonstrating interest. You will want to ask about the game in different ways, as often as you can do so.
Your child will be sensitive to the level of interest that you display. Pay attention to the cues that they give you so that you can strike the right balance between being seen as nosy and being perceived as uninterested.
With children, take your cues from them sometimes. When you only ask the same general question, you may seem to miss out on things that they’re trying to tell you.
For example, if a child comes home after a golf game and says, “I don’t want to play golf anymore”, you may need to change your phrasing.
Instead of asking, “How was your game?”, you can ask:
“Did something make you unhappy about your game today?”
This will give you more information that you can use to guide a frustrated child.
On another day, your child may come home and be excited after golf. You can ask questions that allow you to celebrate their achievement. You can say:
“It seems like today’s game went really well. Do you want to tell me about it?”
A less vociferous child may not talk about their achievement but they still want some form of praise or recognition for playing golf well. Your questions can display interest and encourage them to keep doing their best.
Sophie Hammond is a journalist, psychologist, and freelance speechwriter for people in politics and business. She lives on the edge of the Rocky Mountains with her dog and a lifetime supply of books. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop.