Father Son Activity: Golf

January 19, 2011 in Fatherhood Insights  

Father Son Activity: Golf

My dad got into golf about 10-15 years ago. At first it was just a tool to help make new business relationships across the pond in Asia. But after a few years the sport took hold of him. Now it’s what he does, it’s what makes him happy, where he hangs out with friends — it’s a big part of who he is.

Over the past 10 years I’ve been around this golf stuff, but I never took it that seriously, probably because I was in that “FU parents! I’m into speed metal and my friends and my girlfriend and i hate you!” stage… it wasn’t the right time to try this sport, or any sport for that matter :)

Now, however, the game has taken a hold of me… somehow… just like it did to my dad. I love the approach, the greens, the challenge, the sounds and smells, walking the course with friends, hitting the ball solid (which, of course, only happens about 3 times a round… maybe don’t talk to daddy after golf until he gets a cocktail in him, k? :).

Here’s one of the things I love most about golf: whenever I visit family, there’s going to be a game of golf: dad, my brother, my dad’s dad, and me. Grampa’s just about 80 and he’s out there with us swinging away. That’s an awesome part of this sport: maybe more than any other sport, golf is accessible for the very young and the very old.

For the rest of my days (as far as I can tell) golf is going to be a part of our family affairs, it’s where business conversations, marital advice, money lending, truth revealing is going to happen (and maybe a par or two as well). So, that’s why I can’t make it through this video without f’king tears welling up in my eyes:

What hits me deep about this video (besides that kid’s killer swing) is that golf is going to be something that Aiden, my almost 2 year old, will have in his life in some capacity for all of his days. That shot where the kid just makes it over the water? I hope so hard that Aiden gets to make a shot like that, that he gets to build that confidence and feel his worth, capability, and that he has hope about his future, a desire to build something, the state of mind to attempt it.

Earlier we talked about how to use activities to build relationship with your kid. Golf is going to be one of those hijacked activities for me… where I get to talk to my son about dreams, jobs, women, how I met his mom, how I got my first job, all while we walk from one shot to the next.

Some Thoughts On How

Golf is weird: it can be really simple, and it can be really f’kin hard. Here are some thoughts for you dads out there on how to “do” golf with your children… from a kid with experience.

  • Get curious about your kid. In that post we talk about a golf specific story and a way to be on the course that won’t alienate your kid.
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice. This is a hard one. You’re going to see things your kid is doing on his/her swing, and you’re going to want to say shit about it: “you’re lifting your head.” “You’re swaying.” etc. Try to let him/her ask for it first, don’t just offer it out there. Just because your intentions are good doesn’t mean your kid’s going to hear it that way. This is a big one.
  • Get your kid some decent golf clothes, not shit from the country club. Get them some nike or addidas stuff that looks good on them, that they like and enjoy… so they don’t feel like clowns on the course.
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice.
  • Power through… It may be a little awkward on the course the first several times, but conversation will come up naturally. You’re learning how to be on the course, how to be with one another, don’t force it, and don’t give up.
  • Let your kid hear a little about what you’re dealing with at work, worries, fears. Share something that reveals to your child that you’re vulnerable. You are, aren’t you?
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice.

Good luck out there guys. Let me hear some of your stories about golf or other activities with your kid/dad: I’m curious about what you guys are thinking.

Photo Credit: Travel Oregon

Please Comment & Add Your Voice!

Dustin January 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

This is great, loved reading this. Makes me especially interesting in exploring my kids’ curiosities as they get older.

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Laura Jo Richins January 20, 2011 at 8:23 am

This was a really great video. Thanks for sharing it along with your experience. Parents miss out on so many great teaching moments and fun with their kids because they are not fully present in the involvement with their kids. Kids grow up way too fast (although sometimes it doesn’t seem fast enough). Build the relationship with them while they are young and it will last through the rough times and become true friendship as they get older.

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Ben January 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm

New subscriber here, read this first post and I’m hooked. My boy just turned two, I can’t wait to take him golfing here in Georgia in a year, maybe two. I should probably go learn first, so I don’t look like a complete tool…

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Chase January 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Ha! Awesome! Thanks for chiming in Ben. Good luck with the beautiful game!

Rhiannon, Travel Oregon January 25, 2011 at 9:29 am

We’re glad you were inspired by our Oregon Golfers video. We still get a bit teary-eyed when we watch it!

We would, however, appreciate it if you’d credit the photo in your post to Travel Oregon.

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Chase January 25, 2011 at 9:59 am

Sure thing! Credit added :) Sorry about that.

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