As a new golf season is upon, everyone is anxious for what the year holds. Maybe this is the year you finally break 80. Perhaps it’s the first time your son or daughter beats you. While there is no crystal ball, one thing is certain: The year ahead will be full of highs and lows, tough lessons learned and celebrated successes. As you put away your skis and dust off the clubs, you’re sure to have the thought of “Why golf?”
The answers to this age-old question are different for everyone. For some of us it’s the game our father or mother taught us to play. For others it might not be a pursuit that they came to later in life. As parents now, maybe golf provides us the chance to spend precious time with our children in their formative years.
Whatever your reasons are for playing golf or introducing your child to the sport, there are an undeniable set of values and lessons that only the hardest game in the world can teach.
Honesty and Integrity
In no other sport does the responsibility of enforcing the rules fall solely on the individual. In golf you will find very few instances of cheating, it’s just simply something you don’t do. The lessons our children can learn about honesty and the difference between right and wrong transcend far beyond the fairways.
There is no other sport in which winning occurs so infrequently than in golf. Every week on the PGA Tour, 140+ players tee it up and there is only one winner. Most of the time, no matter how well you play you’re going to lose. Faced with this daunting reality it’s little wonder that so many people quickly become frustrated and give up the game.
If our children take a liking to the game, frustration and losing are two experiences that they get used to very quickly. After a while, golf teaches our kids that success is never guaranteed and only achieved through hard work and perseverance. When our kids do finally crest the top of the mountain though (whether it be holding a trophy or making their first par), the look on their faces and the sense of accomplishment they feel are something they will never forget.
I remember my early years playing golf. Summer days consisted of my parents dropping off at the golf course first thing in the morning and not picking me up until well after sunset. The days were spent with other like-minded youngsters beating range balls, grabbing a hot dog and a drink for lunch and pretending to make the winning putt on the practice green at dark to beat Jack Nicklaus in the U.S. Open.
Once I became old enough to start playing competitively, I couldn’t wait for Monday to come around when I could play in a COJGA tournament. My white COJGA polo was my most prized possession and I made my mom take me to the course hours before my tee time so I could practice and hang out with my friends.
Looking back, it would be tough to find a time I enjoyed more with my friends than playing golf. The best part is, we now get to watch our kids grow as they experience all that golf has to offer in the company of their friends doing something they all love.
Time Spent with Family
Golf is an activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family. While you might not want to fork over hundreds of dollars for a foursome at 10:00am on a Saturday morning, there are plenty of opportunities for families to spend time on the golf course together for a minimal cost. With options ranging from Family Sunset Golf at Sunriver Resort, to an affordable relaxing round at the Old Back Nine, golf can be played in a timely and affordable manner. The memories made on the golf course with loved ones are priceless.
Whether or not you play golf, introducing your children to the game can provide a wonderful opportunity for them to learn and grow. From spending time outside in fresh air, to the sometimes heartbreaking lessons the games teaches, to forging relationships that last a lifetime, golf is a game that can be enjoyed by all.