What do you do when your friend doesn’t like golf?

As a psychologist, I feel qualified to coach someone on how to host a successful intervention- so here’s what to do when someone you love doesn’t love golf. You may have watched the show “Intervention” and have an idea of what that would look like. Those strategies may be a little bit extreme for the type of behavior we’re trying to change, but something has to be done. Let’s look at how to change the mind of a friend who doesn’t like golf. 

  1. Make a list of all the reasons you love golf. Maybe it’s the fresh air, the cool polo shirts, or unplugging for a couple of hours. Maybe it’s the socialization, the distraction from daily life, or how good the cold beers taste. Don’t hold back, list the best of the best. 
  2. Make a list of the person you love’s favorite things and/or activities. What do they like to do? What excites them? How do they spend their free time?
  3. Find parallels between what you love about golf and the activities they enjoy. If your partner loves puzzles and you love the strategy behind improving your golf game, there’s an easy parallel of a skill-based task that allows you to figure out something difficult. If your best friend is into carpentry and you love getting out there to clear your mind, the parallel could be that both act as a distraction from daily life, or learn which tools best help you accomplish your goals. 
  4. Identify which of their favorite activities is feasible for you to do with them and organize and make plans to do that. If they love coffee, ask them to take you to their favorite coffee shop and order you their usual. If they love bourbon, ask them to teach you about their favorite bourbons and why they like them. 
  5. As you move through the activity with them, find a way to naturally bring up their parallels. Express gratitude for teaching you about their favorite thing, talk to them about the similarities between that activity and golf and let them know you’d love to reciprocate by taking them out for 9 holes of pitch and putt. 
  6. If they are hesitant, share with them the additional parallels you’ve identified between their activities and golf. Then talk about all the other things you love about golf so they can see the genuine excitement you have about golfing with them. 

If all else fails, use the standard intervention lingo. “It hurts me when you refuse to golf with me in the following ways…”. That should get them out on the links with you!

Dr. Chelsi Day

Dr. Day is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is an Ohio native who completed her Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Health and Sport Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio while competing on the Varsity Swimming and Diving team as a diver. She then went on to earn a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology followed by a Master's degree and later a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.