Polo is a pastime generally reserved for the upper crust -- they don't call it the "sport of kings" for nothing. And because it tends towards exclusivity, it's chock full of good looking, wealthy, and athletically inclined players.
Yesterday marked the start of the annual Miami Beach Polo World Cup, so if you want to get in with the best of the aesthetically appealing, ball-chucking, horseback-riding athletes flooding the beach, you need to be in top form. Winston Churchill once said, "A polo handicap is a passport to the world." So, y'know, dating a player would probably make life pretty sweet.
We spoke to our buddy Alex Webbe, Director of Polo for the World Cup and all-around polo guru, for some hooking-up suggestions.
1. Know your terms and polo basics.
- A chukker is a period - there are four per game in beach polo.
- In beach polo there only three players on a team - but in field polo there are usually four.
- They hit the ball with the side of the mallet, not the end.
- A polo handicap is what determines a player's skill. It ranges from minus one to minus ten goals, and it's so difficult to obtain that 90% of the players in the world sit at two goals or less.
2. Use a horse-related pick up line:
- "Who are you riding today?" "Who did you ride in the last chukker" They love to talk horse.
- "I've got a stable of horses at home, I'd love if you could stop by and see them."
- "Know of any good polo ponies for sale?" Most players are selling at least one or two ponies at any given time.
3. Don't ask stupid questions.
- "Why did you need to use a whip on your horse?" It's a crop, and that's probably a touchy subject.
- "Do you ride the same horse all the time?" They don't.
4. Have some lines that make you sound smart. Even if you're full of shit.
- "What a beautiful chestnut!" Because odds are, there's at least one chestnut on the field.
- "Well done!" This applies to almost any match, to someone on the field.
- If one team gets badly beaten, "They were obviously outhorsed." Meaning, one team had better horses than another.
- If someone asks you what you thought of a chukker, "It was a little bit choppy from time to time." Again, applies to almost anything.
5. Hey ladies! Here are a couple dudes to keep your eyes on:
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- Kris Kampsen: super talented dude with a six-goal handicap who turned pro at 15.
- Santi Torres: 19-years-old. Utterly adorable. Young blood, baby!
- Vincent Mesker: Denmark-born player who was the topic of a movie dubbed The Polo Kid.
- Jamie Morrison: In addition to his outstanding on-field talent, this cutie's dad was a major music mogul during the days of Pink Floyd, Elton John, etc. Quite the family.
So go forth and get laid, polo groupies!
The Miami Polo World Cup IX is taking place on South Beach, between 21st and 22nd Streets, through Sunday. Attendance is free. Visit MiamiPolo.com for schedule and details.