Golf is a wonderful hobby. For good or for bad however, it takes a lot of time. And if you want to be good at the game you have to spend hours on the course practicing. For many people, that's absolutely fine. My father is retired. He and my mother spend three days a week on the course at minimum. I also have friends that are single and spend many nights and weekend on the links.
But for many people (like myself) family has become the priority in our lives and golf often comes in low on the list of important to-do's. That's why I try to blend my family and my golf game whenever possible. Don't get me wrong...I love to play a round with my buddies or with just my wife and myself. But contrary to popular opinion, golf can be a family affair.
Here's a great example. For weeks this summer my kids begged me to take them camping. They wanted to spend some time with mother nature and I wanted to spend some time playing golf. So I thought, "why not do both?" I looked up some of the incredible state park/golf combo areas here in our beautiful state of Georgia and picked one that looked interesting.
We didn't even own a tent, so I did some quick research online and found a great car camping tent for under $200. It was one of the instant models so I knew even I could set it up with minimal effort.
I dragged a few other essentials out of the garage including our old Coleman cooler, a few sleeping bags, a battery powered lantern and yes, my golf clubs. My wife filled the cooler and three other bags with enough food to feed a small army and we hit the road.
Living in the suburbs, you forget how beautiful the North Georgia wilderness can be. You also forget that virtually anywhere in Georgia you're only a couple hours from a beautiful state park or other outdoor attraction.
A short 90 minutes later we arrived at the campsite. Another 30 minutes and we had the tent pitched, the sleeping bags laid out and a small fire crackling in the crisp evening air. The kids roasted hot dogs for dinner and cooked marshmallows for dessert, while my wife and I enjoyed the stars and the relative peace of the outdoors. It had been a while since we'd done anything like this and I was glad we made the trip.
The next morning we woke early and made a quick breakfast then headed for the nearby golf course. We grabbed two carts one for my wife and daughter, the other for me and my son and played a quick nine holes. It turned out to be a beautiful course filled with wildlife. The kids couldn't have been more thrilled to see the deer and other woodland critters. And I couldn't have been more thrilled to spend some quality family time and play a little golf.
After our round, we grabbed a bit of lunch at the clubhouse and headed back to the campsite. After a short hike through the nearby woods, we packed up camp and headed for home. Not more than 15 minutes into the ride back both kids were zonked out in the back seat and my wife and I enjoyed a bit of husband/wife time talking about life and family.
Overall, it was a great trip. My wife and I were happy. The kids were happy. And everyone got something fun out of the trip. If you're in a similar situation, try to involve your family in your golf game. It's important to teach your children and your spouse about the game, so they can understand why you love it and devote so much time to it.