A special guest blog from Tim Gallant.
Tim manages to get more golf trips in than pretty much anyone I know. Here he gives some tips on how he manages to negotiate so much time away from his beloved wife. Read and learn!!
You’re sitting around with your friends after a round at your local course, and soon the discussion turns to golf trips. Before you know it, you’ve hatched a plan for a week-long golf break full of sunshine, banter and maybe even a bucket-list course or two.
You select a date, and vow to get down to planning as soon as you’re back home. But at that moment, you suddenly remember one very important barrier: getting permission from your partner!
And it’s at this hurdle that many well-laid plans have died like roses without a drink of water in the Sahara; slowly withering away into a feeble non-existence.
Lucky for you, we’ve been in this situation more times than we can count, and have a few pieces of advice when trying to get a free pass from your nearest and dearest.
Be Johnny Appleseed
The key to getting the green light for any golf trip is to start planting the seeds early and getting approval so far in advance that there’s plenty of time for everyone to get on-board. Starting 12 months or more in advance can really help the sell-in process. Start with something like -
‘Dave and I were just talking about how much fun it would be for the two of us to head to California for a friend’s golf trip sometime in the future.’
Leave the date TBC at the moment (even if you’ve already circled the dates, checked flight prices and searched the local courses). When your partner quite rightly fires back that it is a crazy idea, just say things like ‘Oh, it’s not going to happen tomorrow. We were thinking in a year or two’.
This will go a LONG way into getting that trip off the ground, and is step-1 in the process.
Use points up QUICKLY
My friend Coleman likes to say ‘Points expire fast!’. What we mean is the points you build up for being Mother of the Year or Husband of the Month. When you are in the good books, that is the time to circle back to that idea you planted a few months prior.
‘You know, I was thinking about that California golf trip again. Dave says the flight deals are incredible right now.’
This is when you start the conversation about the nitty-gritty. How long you’ll be away from home, how much it will cost and who’s going. When this situation arises, it’s best to act like the hero.
Be the hero of the group
Any good sales person will tell you that you never start with what you actually want. No, you need to start high and work down. When your partner asks how long you want to go for, this is when you need to be the responsible hero. Exhibit A:
‘Well, Dave wanted to go for 10 days, but I said that’s crazy. I think we could probably do it in eight days. Maybe seven at a stretch, but I really don’t want to be away from home for more than a week’.
You might have had one week in your head all along, but psychologically making your partner think that you have whittled it down will go a long way into getting the thumbs-up.
I’ve seen it a thousand times (and done it a few) where you over-reach and end up with nadda. Make sure you are realistic with your ask. If you’re planning a holiday with your family in Melbourne and want to golf - be realistic. You may want to play ten courses in the Sand Belt area, but realistically ask if you can do one or two morning rounds before the kids are awake. This is a bit of YOU time that is well deserved. Just don’t expect 5 x 36 hole days while the family think ‘Why are we even on family holiday together?’. That can get you put in the dog house real quick.
Think 4 shots ahead
Remember, the first trip will lay the foundation for all others. If your budget balloons and you play so much golf that you come back home a zombie, then your partner is less likely to sign-off on the next trip. You want everything to be effortless and for it to seem like you weren’t even gone!
To this point, be considerate in the lead-up and aftermath of a golf trip. Remember, you are LUCKY to be having a weekend/week/day golfing, so be sure to help with the things you might not normally do to let your partner know how much you appreciate them.
The above should keep most golfers in good steer and remember, batting .500 in this game is great. You may get a few trips knocked back, and that’s ok. Over the course of the years, you’ll still end up seeing some pretty great places.
There is one EXPERT move, which I have held for dire situations. This should only be reserved for those most solid of partnerships, where you know that, no matter what, forgiveness is on the horizon. I call this:
So let’s say your Johnny Appleseed didn’t go according to plan and your partner has effectively nixed your ideas for a golf weekend with your friends. You are still desperate to go, but know only a Hail Mary will likely save your chances of making this a ‘go’ operation. That’s when you reach for The Double-down.
For this move, you have to wait until your partner is on the verge of picking a fight with you. Just as things hang on a knife edge, you bring up the golf trip (the worst possible moment, thus doubling down on the amount of heat you’re about to get!), sending your partner into full fight mode. But you stay calm and don’t lose your cool! After things have blown over, your partner will (hopefully) realise that they overreacted to the mention of the golf trip, when they were really upset about something else. This is where you need to play the victim! Start by saying how you and Dave hadn’t seen each other much the last few years and you thought it might be a nice bonding trip, but apologise for even bringing it up. Don’t even mention the golf. And then, in your partner’s guilt, they will be forced to relent in order to save face.
Try not to gloat though - play it cool and wait a bit before booking the trip (like 15 minutes).
I hope the above helps in securing that golf trip you’ve always dreamed of taking. While things like cost, time and logistics can prove challenging to overcome, in my experience, the gatekeeper for most of my trips comes in the form of a feisty Italian who would rather stab herself with a pencil than hear about any of my golfing trip plans :)
One final pearl of wisdom
If your partner says ‘Do whatever you want’, then my friend, accept defeat and pick up another battle down the line. Going on a golf trip when your partner has uttered these words is a death sentence. The next fight you have, you will be blown over by a tornado of accusations that will leave you floored like Ricky Hatton after a fight with Money Mayweather. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Good luck and let us know how you get on!!