Monday, July 16, 2012

The Perks of Junior Golf

Everyone gets along...

My boys have taken up golf this year.  Honestly, this is a very good thing for me.  First of all, I no longer have to endure hours of football practice, watching them get pummeled by other boys who are encouraged by their parents’ admonishments to “get him!” or “don’t let him get by you!” or, my favorite, “take him down!”  Typically I spent the bulk of those practices with my hands covering my eyes and hoping the Big Kid would guard someone (anyone!) else but my son.
Football games were no better.  Every Saturday I sat in the blinding dog-day summer sun wishing the opposing fans would lose their air horns and please go eat a hot dog so I could catch a few zzz’s between plays.  When I wasn’t trying to sneak in a nap I was desperately praying the coach would relegate my boys to the sidelines instead of putting them on the field, exposing them to the perils of tackle football, which, of course, always involved the possibility of winding up on the bottom of a large pile up.  As long as they held on to the ball and got back up after the whistle was blown I considered the play successful – no matter how many yards were gained (or lost).

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching football.  When someone else’s son is playing, that is.  For some reason I just don’t possess the same inner strength as the other football parents that allows them to watch their sons participate in a game whose main objective is for the players to capture the boy carrying the ball and bring him down to the ground – no matter what it takes.  No, as a parent, football is not the sport for me.

Enter golf.  Oh, yes, this is a sport a mom could learn to love.  First, there’s the dress code.  Every day my boys wake up and dress themselves in khaki shorts, a polo, and a BELT.  Without my having to tell them to.  And they wear these really cool hats – Puma, Taylor Made, or Callaway, just to name a few.  They look so sophisticated – you know, like Chevy Chase in “Caddyshack”.

Secondly, they love the game.  Almost daily they set their alarms in order to get up and out the door to the golf course before it gets too hot.  No one has to bribe them to work on their game, and they never dread heading out to practice.  When they’re not at the course they are either camped out in front of the television watching the Golf Channel, out in the yard perfecting their swings, or in the garage cleaning their clubs.

They push each other to improve – either through friendly competition or compliments and encouragement.  Seriously, they are NICE to each other.  Who knew golf would facilitate a close friendship between brothers at such an early age?

However, I have to admit, the best part about golf, for me, is when the weather is pleasant and I decide to stick around the golf course for Happy Hour on the veranda.  The sun shines, the birds chirp, the breeze blows gently, and I sip a glass of wine while watching the boys on the driving range or putting green.  At that moment, all is right in the world.

Do you have a golfer in the family?  If so, what is your favorite part of the game?  Do your kids play a sport that you like, or dislike?  Do you own an air horn?


  1. Our county offers FREE golf for kids. We've done it a few summers, but find it's not our cup of tee :D

    1. Oooo, FREE golf! That would be wonderful! But, I know the game's not for everyone - my daughters have both given it a go, but never caught the "bug" like my boys have :-)

  2. Well, now I have to disagree that golf is a safe sport. My two brothers (thought they weren't officially "playing golf"), were swinging the clubs in the backyard, when one of them struck the other accidentally in the head, severing his ear. This was fortunate, in that had the "slice" been a fraction of an inch forward, he would have killed him. The other fortunate things were that we lived next door to a doctor, who escorted us to the hospital and stitched it back on; and that my mother was a registered nurse so knew how to take care of an errant ear. Looking back it's incredible that we were able to survive our childhood fun.
    I'm sure your experience will be different! But just in case, tell your sons to keep their heads low!
    This is now long enough that I think I'll just post this on my blog for tomorrow!

    1. Donna, you have reminded me of my own early experience with golf equipment. When I was in Jr. High, my dad and his wife moved into a new house in a brand new neighborhood. We were one of the first families on the block - the road out front hadn't even been paved yet. My step-brothers and I would go out into the street with my dad's golf clubs and "hit" rocks the length of the street. At one point one of the boys held a club over his head and said, "watch out - I'm going to throw this." For some reason I didn't really think he'd do it. I was wrong. Next thing I knew, a golf club came hurtling toward me. I was so shocked I couldn't move and wound up getting a club right in the face! I was so mad - and in so much pain. I ran into the house and cried to my dad, who promptly told me, "maybe next time you'll listen and get out of the way."
      Fortunately I didn't suffer any injuries beyond a hurt ego - but I'm so sorry your brother didn't fare as well. Thankfully it wasn't as bad for him as it could have been!
      So, there you have it: my boys have definitely been advised about the proper way to use a club, as well as the importance of being aware of your surroundings at all times!