Judy Furst: Everything He Can Do, She Can Do Better
Women feel more comfortable with women,” says Furst, explaining that most of her students are female. When it comes to male instructors, she says many women feel judged, and anyway, she explains, men often take the technical approach, focusing on swing analysis software and such and getting caught up in the intricate mechanics of their games.
“Women don’t care that much about that,” she offers. “For the most part, women all look at themselves on video and say, ‘don’t let me wear that again!’”
There’s a lesson in that, and it’s a lesson for the men. Golf, after all, is a game, and as we know some of the guys might take it a bit too seriously. All kidding aside, women have a lot to teach men about golf, and men would be wise to take a lesson from the likes of Judy. Here, the illustrious pro shares some of her expertise and perspective with us on what, exactly, we do better.
1. We Enjoy the game more
Guys get so tense, it’s more meaningful to them or something. For women it’s not “do or die.”
Just relax, it’s a game.
2. We grip the club more loosely
Guys grab it like they’re trying to kill it. Men feel like they have to grip it firmly, but it’s just not necessary. Looking down the range, I’m seeing white knuckles. You don’t need it.
3. We Play reasonable golf
So often guys seem to be thinking, “I can do it! I can hit this shot, this one-in-a-million shot!” I’ll be in a playing lesson and we’ll come to a situation where you have to make a decision, but it’s not really even a decision, and the guy is like, “I’m going to go for it!” and I say, “Ok, I wouldn’t go for it, but go ahead.” They always think they can make the impossible shot—the long carry, the shot over the trees, whatever—instead of just playing a reasonable game, and of course they don’t make it.
4. We Have better tempo
Men tend to be more rough, less fluid. They’re always focusing on hitting it further. Women, you have to get them to hit the ball more. When you’re learning or trying to fix a swing, you want ’em to wail on it—”Hit it! Then we can back down.” If you don’t know your max it’s hard to get better. But men need to do the opposite, tone it down. With women, I just don’t think that anger is in them—and I’m generalizing, of course, but if a guy wants to kill the ball, a woman, I think she just wants to hit it straight. With that, she naturally has a better tempo somewhat because she’s not trying to kill it.
5. We Can let it go
I think women can let it go a little easier, let that bad hole go, stay in the moment. I see men get down after a bad shot, they get angry, they take it to the next tee and it affects the rest of their game.
6. We Play faster
Tradition’s course is roughly a five-hour round. Women tend to play a little faster I think. I always tell them to “play ready,” and so they play ready golf. Also, they’re not taking it so seriously, obsessing over which club to use, etc. They just look, make a decision and hit, whereas men tend to think too much. Now the thing you find is that if you have a foursome of women with a foursome of men right behind them, then the men will tend to play fast, for whatever reason. And if the men catch them, the women will let men through. But if it’s the other way around and the women are playing faster and catch the men, men will not let women play through, not very often. It’s like they want to be in that position where they can be standing in the fairway with their hands on their hips going, “C’mon!”
7. We Play it forward
I play with guys and I’m playing from the center, from the whites, and they’ll be at the back. They have no business being on the back tees. It’s still a challenge from the forward tees. I’m playing forward, so what? I still have to putt, but the round is more fun.
8. We Putt better from 5′ in
I don’t know why, and it’s just what I’ve observed, but it just seems like so many of the women are fearless from 5′ in, they’re just going for it. Men could learn something: women seem to be more aggressive from 5′ in, men get too timid. It’s not like “we don’t want to miss this,” it’s like “we DON’T miss this” because the distance seems short. And so they get timid and they leave it short or mess it up.
9. We Putt out
Women normally putt things out. With guys, you always see “That’s good, pick it up,” and the distance is like this [gestures arms wide apart]. Do you know how many of those I’ve missed? A lot. With women, it’ll be a couple of inches and I’ll be like, “pick it up,” but no, they want to putt it out. The effect this has is that at the end of the round, the guys think they make all these putts but they don’t. The score reflects a hallucination, the fantasy round they wanted to have. At least with the women putting out, the score is the score.
10. We Dress better
Yes, I think we do.