Dating for golfers

As a young single female who'd recently moved to a city that values a metropolitan lifestyle over an outdoorsy one, Samantha knew her chances of finding an avid golfer in Manhattan were slim. She frequented Chelsea Piers (a four-level, high-tech driving range on the Hudson River) in part to keep her game fresh, but also to meet guys.

"The first messages I got were always about golf," she says. Most women just say, ' Yeah, I love to eat and drink and have fun.' So golf really sets you apart."After using Match for several months and going on more than a dozen golf dates, Elizabeth was growing increasingly unenthused with the online-dating scene. Four days later, he sent a follow-up email with the subject line, "Taking a Mulligan." In more than 400 words, he explained why they should either "hit balls at Chelsea Piers" or play at a private course he'd recently joined. "I got into a total stranger's car, which in hindsight probably wasn't the smartest idea, but it was a full day of getting to know each other, and it didn't feel forced," Elizabeth says. Golf is such a nice launch pad for getting to know someone."Though a four-hour first date might seem daunting, it can be far less awkward than a typical first date.

She considered only guys who made mention of the sport, whether it was through a photo they'd posted or a reference in their short bio.

On a cold day in February, she came across a guy with whom she'd flirted at Chelsea Piers in December.

"Looking for golfers doesn't make dating easier, but your options are better.

They're higher quality." Samantha learned to play golf when she was 14 and says that one of her first memories of the sport is going to the range with her mom.

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"I was trying to hit on him, and he wasn't having it," Samantha says.

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