A COUPLE of years ago, my boyfriend Eoin gave up alcohol.
As a type-one diabetic, nights out on the town were having a negative effect on him, so he decided to knock the oul' drinking on the head.
However, this left a wide gap in his social calendar. Boys don't meet up for coffee or go for dinner en masse; they hang out together in pubs or play sports. He turned to the latter and thus began his love affair with golf and me seeing a new side to my partner -- one that I wasn't entirely mad about.
Fast forward two years and his obsession is unrelenting. He only plays once a week most of the time, out of fairness to me. However, when he's not playing golf, he's reading about golf, watching videos of golf, practising his swing, working on his posture, doing putting drills, visiting the driving range, talking about golf and trying to emulate Ricky Fowler's look (which, believe me, is not a good one).
Golf has a profound effect on his mood -- if he plays badly he's in a funk all weekend. If he plays well, he's delira and excira.
Golf makes him happy in a way that I simply can't understand. He tries to offer comparisons between his love of golf and mine of say, make-up or television, but I don't adore any one thing quite as much as Eoin loves golf.
He buys four or five magazines solely dedicated to the sport every month. His everyday style is casual, but his golfing outfits are bold and stand-out. I'd go so far as to say that with golf, he can express a completely different side of his personality, one that I hadn't seen for the first three years of our relationship.
While I'm delighted that it makes him so happy, I also feel the slightest bit resentful. He tries to involve me by inviting me along to the driving range or to play a par three course together, but I know he just wants me to go along so I can record his swing on my phone.
I don't hate him having fun; quite the opposite. I just hate when golf infringes on our time together to the point where we'll be watching a movie and he's checking the scores every five minutes on his phone. Sometimes his golf obsession crosses the line of what's fair.
I'm sure many girls my age can empathise though. If it's not golf, it's football, rugby, surfing, weight-lifting, computer games or movies. Lads in my experience have a strange kind of tunnel vision when it comes to their hobbies in a way that girls just don't. In some poor girls' cases, that one thing could be sports in general. I feel great pity for those girls, because there's never an off-season, and they skip from tennis to Formula One to hurling without pausing for breath.
I know it could be worse and, in a way, I'm glad it's golf. As sports go, it's not the most laddish. In fact, if you discount Tiger Woods, the sport has been relatively scandal free. Associated with older men and women, it's seen as a pretty classy pastime.
However, I still don't like being jealous of a set of metal sticks, but it's not something he's likely to get over soon, so I'm just going to have to suck it up and deal with the addiction. And, in fairness, when he's off with his clubs having the time of his life, I'm left footloose and fancy free to indulge my hobbies guilt free.
Plus, it sometimes helps to have the tee-totaller out of the house on a Saturday morning, particularly if I've been out the night before. A judgement-free lie-in is one of the perks, I'm not gonna lie.