Quite often women complain ‘the men won’t talk to me’. The fact is, you need to talk to them. In their language. Men like to discuss sports, business, golf, cars, and……well, sex and women.
Do not feel as if you need to cover ALL of these topics but know that while discussing sex and women may not be something you’d care to tackle, you may find you could learn how men think. And in turn, they could learn how you, and other women, think. Knowing how the other side views the world is well over half the battle in learning how best to get along. This doesn’t mean you have to suffer through a slew of off color jokes, jock strap humor, bust size inquiries and the like, but you should be prepared to handle these conversations if they arise. You don’t want to act like a cloistered nun who has never heard this kind of talk before. You do want to have the right amount of tolerance.
A few years back, did you ever tune in to the ‘Tom Leykis Show’, syndicated out of Los Angeles? Every woman should have listened to this show at least once to hear what men all over the country were saying. Some of it is unbelievable, gross, and hard to fathom, almost taking women back to the opinions and status of 200 years or more. However, it is worth hearing so you can understand where some men get their opinions. Leykis is still around but in a different capacity. You can check out his website, www.tomleykis.com.
Other radio stations and certain shows in particular cater to male audiences. In Detroit, 101.1 WRIF notoriously covers topics that are of interest mainly to men. You may not agree with what goes on but you can bet men are listening and talking about the day’s morning show happenings and the guests that co-hosts Drew and Mike were chatting up on ‘The Riff’. One advantage to tuning in to these types of shows is that the men you play golf with will be shocked to hear YOU listen to the shows. Sometimes it will be difficult to listen without wanting to jump inside your radio to give them a piece of your mind, but you will benefit from your male cohorts recognizing you’re ‘in the loop’. Don’t forget to listen to the news excerpts and the sports shows so that you become familiar with what is happening in the world and in the various sports arenas.
Don’t expect the same in return. Very few men will tune into The View or Oprah or The Ellen DeGeneres Show to understand how women think. I won’t say it isn’t important but they will never want their buddies to know if they do. And do not initiate conversations about your kids, no matter how wonderful they may be – unless Junior got a hole-in-one or a double eagle the first time out, or you are playing with colleagues who work in education, child-care services, or other kid-friendly professions.
Take time to become familiar with and learn the basics of the following sports:
Know how the games are played, the basic rules, how many players are on a team and how many play at one time, some terminology, and some of the major events and name players. If your city has local teams in all of these sports, know the teams, where they play, and the key players. In Detroit we have everything: The Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, The Detroit Pistons at The Palace, The Detroit Lions at Ford Field, and The Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, commonly referred to as ‘The Joe’. The only thing lacking these days, unfortunately, is a major golf tournament or a PGA or LPGA Tour stop. With the economic downturn rampantly pounding the Detroit area, it is no surprise that sponsors, consisting of mostly car companies, have backed down, which means no more Buick Open, Ford Senior Players, or the LPGA’s Oldsmobile event. This is odd considering golf’s popularity in Michigan – you’d think someone would pick up on it since the opportunity is wide open now.
With NASCAR, there aren’t home teams, though you do have racing teams, many with prominent owners like Roger Penske, Richard Petty, Richard Childress, the Earnhardt family, and Jack Roush of Roush Racing, whose headquarters is in the proverbial Motor City – or more specifically Livonia, Michigan. Learn about each track and its intricacies: whether it is a fast track like Talladega or Atlanta where speeds can top 200mph, or a short track where maneuverability is paramount like Bristol and Martinsville, or a deadly track, like Daytona, the infamous site of Dale Earnhardt Sr’s. death in 2001.
Do you fish? Consider learning how. Many golfers love this sport. I wondered how you could possibly combine two warm-weather (for the most part) sports without sacrificing one. About two years ago I began to fish, in both salt water and fresh water and now I see the light (as it streams through the water and you can really see the fish)…….watch for an upcoming story, ‘Fish-N-Chips’, which chronicles venues offering sterling opportunities for both in Michigan.
In golf, there are no home teams, but since the Tours travel everywhere, there will be some event in or near many major cities in the U.S. Here in Michigan, we have very high activity in many aspects of the game including top-notch organizations such as the Michigan Professional Golfers Association (MPGA), the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) which governs amateur golf, the Michigan Women’s Golf Association (MWGA) which provides information and tournament opportunities for public course women players – and many other public and private associations as well. Clubs in Michigan have hosted significant golf events: Oakland Hills in Bloomfield Hills hosted the Ryder Cup back in September of 2004, the PGA Championship in 2008, and has been the site of several major PGA Tour and national amateur events. Oakland Hills is also a major site for business golf – more so as foursomes than outings, which are limited – and an invitation here is not to be missed. Every state has their ‘star courses’ and it is up to you to know what and where they are. Indianwood Golf and Country Club does host numerous business and charity golf outings and will be the site of the USGA Senior Open July 12-15, 2012. I was a member st Indianwood back in the early 80’s and can testify that the seniors will have their hands full if owner Stan Aldridge allows the rough and the heather to grow, tightening the fairways to frighteningly narrow widths.
Michigan has the largest number of public access golf courses in the country and the most courses, both public and private, in the U.S. of the ‘cold weather’ states. Michigan also has a higher percentage of women golfers than anywhere else, at about 28% of the total golfing population. Other areas of the country are at roughly 22%.
There are other ways to become knowledgeable on golf topics: read golf magazines such as Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Travel and Leisure Golf, Links Magazine, and GolfWeek. There are hundreds of golf websites besides www.theAPosition.com: the Executive Women’s Golf Association is a national organization which helps women learn how to use golf as a business tool. Go to www.ewga.com for more information. Check these sites every few days or so, as stories are added, updated and changed frequently. By doing so you should find answers to just about any golf question or situation you may ponder. For more localized information, many states have their own regional magazines, like ACES in California, On the Green Magazine in the Myrtle Beach area, Midwest Golf Magazine, Colorado Golf Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, The Met Golfer in New York, Flagstick Golf and SCORE Golf in Canada, and Michigan Golf Magazine here in my home state. Watch The Golf Channel – you’ll be amazed at the wealth of golf information you’ll gather in a short period of time. Most media mentioned here could do a better job of including more articles and stories written by and for women in their publications or on the air. For many years, women have been considered as a serious emerging market, though companies have been unable to capture it as they should. Ladies, please contact any media outlet you may know and tell them what you think. It is the ONLY way awareness will improve.
Read your local newspapers for golf information though I hate to say that golf coverage there is on the decline. Many main newspapers in major cities do not have a dedicated golf writer any more. Of course, this is one reason The A Position came to be so all is not lost, but the trend is not appealing.