My wife and I have two sons. Carson just turned 4 and Caden is just two months away from turning 7.
Since Caden was about 18 months old, he’s been able to replicate a pretty solid golf swing. Ever since then, I’ve been anxious and cautious about taking him out for a round of golf.
I’ve read too much about Earl and Tiger Woods. It’s not that I don’t want my son to become successful. I do. In golf? That’s up to him. I’ll try to guide him as well as a 10-handicapper can, but he’s 6. Two years ago, we started him in junior lessons at the Meadows in Moorhead. Several times we spent time together at the practice greens of courses in the area. Earlier this year, we walked over to Edgewood on a couple Sunday nights to chip and putt on the green behind the driving range.
For a while, that was enough. Caden hits the ball perhaps 40 yards and loves to take the pins on the practice green out, even when he chips. So we made up some “holes” hitting from different locations about 30 yards away from the practice green to simulate a real golf hole.
My friends all urged me that it’s time to take him to a course. For a few weeks, I wasn’t real sure his pace of play. He likes to be distracted by a) weeds in the grass. b) numbers on golf balls. c) just about everything else but walking to the green to putt.
But I knew it was time. I absolutely didn’t want to rush him. I never picked up a golf club until I was almost 10. I remember those days when my opening hole of 165 yards forced me to go around a small pond halfway to the hole. I surely did not want him to get frustrated walking 9 holes and be overwhelmed, even at a short course.
But Thursday night came along and it was better than I imagined for him. He marched to every shot, sometimes ran. He enjoyed taking the pins out, using the golf ball washer, finding broken tees to use and hitting some really solid shots. For me, I enjoyed it, too. He didn’t get frustrated. He simply didn’t care.
He was impressed by his own shots. He seemed impressed with mine. (Although he didn’t even turn around when one of my tee shots zipped past the hole – he was focused in on finding more tees.)
I was pretty impressed by his 6 on one hole (Talk about shooting your age) and his demeanor. Always a smile. I couldn’t help but remember what I felt like when I started this great game. It was really fun.
The gorgeous evening – double rainbow included – was simply a wonderful walk for a father and his son. We be doing it again for years. In a couple years, we’ll even have a threesome.