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Culture

For the lonely golfer, new site aims to offer links

Created by a former pro golfer, Forelinx not only allows you to book tee times, but also aims to help you find nice people to play with.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


forelinx.jpg
It's a golf booking site and a find-a-friend site all in one. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If he swore ten times, he swore a thousand.

"#&%@_! hell, Gordo!" he scream at himself after another bad shot. After one errant drive, he turned like a discus thrower to fling his club. And there I was in the line of fire.

Gordo, you see, just couldn't control himself. Which is one reason I don't play with him anymore. (The other is that his wife thinks I'm a bad influence. She's right, of course.)

Golf is a lonely sport. It can be even more lonely if you have no one to play with. It can be unbearably lonely if you're paired with an uncontrolled Beelzebub of self-centered screaming and club-tossing.

Which is why I'm rather fascinated by a new site called Forelinx. It exists so that you can not only book a tee time, but also try to find a nice person to play with.

The site's creator, Danny Wax, is a former pro. He played the Nationwide Tour for two years (that's like AAA baseball). His stats show that the most he made in a year was $39,740. Such a good thing that he had also studied business administration at the University of Denver.

I asked him how he'd come to conceive of Forelinx. He explained: "After playing professionally for three years I racked up tons of contacts and met countless amazing people in each city I visited but remaining in contact was difficult. The business cards piled up and had no organized way of staying in touch."

Men aren't always very good at keeping up contact. They wait for each other to do it, and, naturally, nothing happens.

Wax, therefore, believes that his GolfNow/LinkedIn crossover won't necessarily find you new friends (although it might), but will make sure you're in touch with those whom you already know you like playing with.

I asked him, you see, whether his own abject loneliness was at the heart of this concept. After all, golf tours might as well have been created by Ayn Rand. It's every man for himself, and plenty of dinners for one. Might Wax, I teased, actually have no friends?

Wax told me: "When doing our research before building the product we did a small amount of market research and found that the average golfer plays with 4-5 people throughout their life. So it's not about friends deserting me but a solid way to get a hold of them or determining which are interested in playing golf."

Whisper it quietly, though, but golf is dying, as CNN and others have reported. As Wax himself told me, the four biggest problems are money, time, no one to play with and the difficulty of the game.

There's the slight perception of snootiness, too.

Still, Forelinx has access to 1,500 courses across the US, and Wax believes that he is creating an online community that can then be productive (socially and, who knows, maybe business-wise, too) offline.

I wonder if, once he's replaced his front tooth, legendary golfing socialite Tiger Woods will sign up.