The return to Augusta National, especially on Sunday, is the first sign of spring in my (golfer’s) mind. I am very excited to re-introduce my family to the game as a life-long group adventure. My daughter has already begun using my son’s putter for hitting anything and everything that surrounds her…the dog, daddy’s leg, and mummy’s coffee mug.
My son’s taking his tee ball swing to the t(ee) box. We will soon return to the range, then a putting competition, followed by lunch. Perfect!
My wife is quite excited about playing some 9 and dines, as well as looking for a new wardrobe (most likely, the other way around).
For these reasons does golf bring me, us, much happiness. Golf can be as individual or team oriented as you like. We can play all sorts of combinations – dad/son vs mum/daughter; dad/daughter vs mum/son…eventually kids vs parents.
Though I may never make it to Georgia this weekend, I look forward to playing with my family, with golf leading the way.
Golf, sport, is a life-long pursuit. Acquiring any skill takes time…time…time…and more time. The most frustrating part is the speed at which it passes…you by. According to Matthew Syed (Bounce), 10 thousand hours are needed to “master” a skill, in his case, table tennis. Playing hopefully once a week, at the range twice a week, I’m only at 6 hours weekly, 24 hours monthly, 100 hours annually. At this rate, I will have golf mastered by age…143…maybe I should remain focused on my main sport…fatherhood.
But, is mastery the point, or even possible, with golf…sport. Yes, for some who have dedicated their lives to it. And this brings me back to “daddy caddy”. At this point, I have been a father for 80,000 hours, and have much more time to go. This is the time that I can not afford to worry about outside pursuits as much, but keeping the life balance in check because time waits for no man.
Fortunately, winter be short, and summer be long…like my patience.
Hawaii to Arizona to California to Canada? Yes, we had a glimpse last week of single digit temperatures, barely. But, seeing the tour begin in these hotspots, Phoenix with frost warning?, gets the juices flowing.
Heading out from the basement or garage, grabbing your driver, and lashing away at the ball on any green patch of real estate, dormant for too long, was definitely on my mind. Thanks to global warming, perhaps, we have had little winter weather. Indoor ranges and simulators can keep the cobwebs from growing on your clubs, and your swing. But, there’s nothing like the “real” thing.
Wouldn’t it great, though, to play all year round in an environmentally controlled space rather than travel to distant locale. So, then the only flying needed would be your ball onto the green. And your longest drive would be down the fairway, not a winding coastal road.
“If I build it, you will come!”
As you get older, you learn to balance your energy and efforts. Add a family to the mix, and time efficiency is key. Today, I start my fitness goal for 2011, running 42 km at age 42: 10k in early May, 5k late May, 6k late June, and 21k early September. Plus golf, plus family vacation, plus work, plus friends, plus spouse, plus etc. So, how can I get away with this during a normal week? Well…I don’t!…easily.
But really, I must squeeze in any hour possible for myself, most likely early, early morning or late, late night to be able to afford the time. I have heard from others that training for a marathon is taxing both on yourself, both physically and mentally, but also on your family. The hours and hours spent focusing on a single goal can often jeopardize the needs of the many – my wife and kids. Luckily, I have a great family who has joined this amateur on his quest. Unlike one pro, who has had his tiger tail pulled in another direction, scheduling both life and career has become the biggest challenge of them all. Fortunately for me, “love (of golf) will keep us together!”
Though, I can hardly wait for my 43rd.
p.s. As part of my pre-season training, I will be posting bi-monthly for springtime, so please stay tuned.
Do you feel SAD? It is a scenario that can hit home for those living in northern climates. The symptoms can vary in severity, but are treatable…light therapy, diet, and exercise are such examples. For the pre-season golfer, I have many cures for forlorn links affective golf (disorder) or flag.
Surrounded by walls of kids toys, storage bins, and insulation, I have turned my unfinished basement into a “training centre”, complete with putting/chipping mats, a media-ready workout space, and a hitting net (unused queen-sized blanket). Between playing house and dodgeball, I do get some opportunity to work my slot swing – smooth and relaxed and compact. But, the old swing is still hanging around, as seen from the dents in the furnace.
So, hold tight, but not too tight, to your grip on reality being cooped up for 4 months. I bring you ways to turn your thoughts of winter blues to summer greens!