Tania Wagstaff, 49, teacher and Special Educational Needs consultant from Warwickshire was going through a divorce, when a friend recommended golf as a great way of meeting new people and getting out more.
It seemed like a good idea, but little did I know quite how good an idea it would turn out to be!
Once I started playing I was hooked. The game helped me socialise with new people, spend more quality time with my teenage sons – and eventually met my golf-mad new partner Dale, who I married in August 2015.
I was already a member of the gym at The Warwickshire Golf & Country Club and this allowed you to use the par-3 course, so I was keen to give it a go.
I decided to start with a six-week Get into golf course with senior PGA professional Ian Smith who was calm and encouraging. He matched us up with somebody who had the same ability which kept you feeling confident and positive. We also had a goal for the end of the six-week course – to play a round on the par-3 course, so this also kept you going.
I loved it and was soon totally hooked on golf. I bought some second-hand clubs for £50 and started playing as often as possible. I found it was also a great way to spend more time with my teenage sons, Gus now 19 and Archie, 17.
Teenage boys don’t like to be seen out with their mum because it’s not cool, but playing golf was ok so we played together a lot. I also played with girl-friends and met lots of new people.
When the divorce had been finalised and I eventually felt ready to consider having a new relationship, I joined a single-parent dating network. I spotted a man called Dale on there who played golf and we started chatting and eventually met up for coffee. We had loads to chat about and got on really well because we were both hooked on golf.
The relationship eventually blossomed and we got married in August 2015. Even though he’s a more experience player than me, we can still play golf together because of the handicap system and that’s one of the things I love about the game and why it is so great for meeting new people.
Golf really brought us together as a couple and it’s still something we really enjoy together. We both love the countryside, fresh air and walking and golf ticks all those boxes.
I also love how golf keeps you coming back for more. When it goes well you want to repeat that experience. When it goes badly, you want to play again to see if you can do better next time. It’s compelling.