So there we were on fourth hole tee box and my partner leans over to me in the golf cart and say,
What is the name of the guy in the blue shirt?
I get the familiar confused look and turn to him and say, “I don’t know. Tom? or Bob?” and shrug my shoulders hoping the other players don’t hear our conversation. But what could I do? We had forgotten the names of players we met on the first hole on the course. This is an embarrassing predicament I find myself in more often than not. I want to get better at they skill (and it is a skill) because it helps life on and off of the golf course.
How can we get better at remembering names? Let’s pretend this discussion that you and a friend are paired up with two other unknown (yet friendly golfers).
Remembering Names Tip #1
Write down the other players names on your scorecard. Even if you will not be playing a match obscuring the round with the other players, jot down their names. The act of writing aides in memory skills. After the fourth hole, you will not need to refer the scorecard before exiting your cart and engaging in a conversation.
Remembering Names Tip #2
Associate their name with a physical aspect of the person. I played a round where there were two new players and one was named Bill. Bill wore a nice blue shirt so I used that descriptive characteristic. Blue shirt = Bill. Other such pairs can be:
- Tall = Tom
- Red bag = Ralph
- Quick backswing = Quincy
Use a little alliteration to help make the name stick.
Remembering Names Tip #3
Engage them in a conversation on the first tee. Start or end two or three sentences to the new people with their name. It sounds silly but it works as long as you don’t do it too obvious.
- Dave, have you played here before?
- What tee will you be playing from Frank?
- What kinds of ball you hitting Hector?
The key is to use their name shortly after hearing it to help it sink in.
Remembering Names Tip #4
Use a teamwork strategy with your partner. In a quiet and subtle way, make sure you both heard the names and assigned them to the right person. Double check with each other and be a good wingman. This works unless the first example is the case.
Remembering Names Tip #5
The best way to learn a name is to care about the person’s name. If you greet a new player and hear the name and then turn and think about your drive and approach shot that may or may not lead to starting the round with a birdie with means you could break your course record, you decided where your priorities lie. Take the time to meet and commit the name to memory and show some respect.
How do you help learn people’s names when you meet new players on the golf course?