Family time is an important blessing that often gets sidelined through the ups and downs of life. Fortunately, sharing skills, hobbies, interests, and so on is a wonderful way to spend extra time with your family (and friends), transfer skills, learn something new, and bond to new levels.
We believe golf is the perfect multigenerational family sport. Here's why:
It’s accessible for all ages
Golf can be played by anybody, in many different forms. I introduced my first daughter to the sport when she was only three years old, and we started by playing mini-golf at the local course. When she turned four, we had our second daughter - meaning we got busy, busy, busy. With an increasing joy for golf, and a new baby in the crew, we discovered that making golf a full-day family activity was much more exciting, relaxing, and fun (yes, all of those things) than we originally anticipated. We thought it would be hard work, perhaps a bit stressful and difficult to manage, but we thought wrong. It's one of the best decisions I've made for our family, due to the sheer amount of silly jokes, time spent together, and smiles and memories made thus far. You could even make a golf photoshoot out of it with a mommy & me dress!
Not only can young ones enjoy swinging a club, but golf can be played at any age. My grandfather played [very often] up until his 80s, and played fewer as he reached very old age; but, the point is: golfing is one of those sports that lasts a lifetime. Right in line with tennis, skiing, and a few others here and there, it's an ageless, limitless sport that provides excellent benefits for every player.
This sort of spins off of reason number one - but, it feels necessary to highlight this aspect a little more. What do we mean by multigenerational? Well, we mean mostly to say "hey - any body at any age can play this sport!" But, I think it goes a little deeper than that. We want to emphasize how beneficial it is to pass things on to the next generation.
With so many benefits to the sport - exercise, friendship, companionship, sportsmanship (to name more than a few), what about golf wouldn't you want your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and so on to experience?
As time goes on, the game has become more accessible than ever. More programs, more courses, affordable gear (both new and second hand)... The burden of cost is much less relevant than it used to be, at least at its core. Playing the game can be anything from hitting balls in a field or going to top golf, to playing on a real course or even simply smacking whiffle balls around in the back yard.
While teaching others a sport can be difficult, the benefits outweigh the hardships, and the game of golf will be able to be passed on through generations.
Benefits - an abundance of them
A few of my personal favorite types of bonds built through golf:
- Conversational - long days on the course make for conversations about anything and everything, golf-related or not
- Passing on learning/teaching family members - teaching others encourages us to look upon our own skills and learn how to communicate with others in a way they will understand. When done properly (i.e. with supportive words, motivation, empathy, and understanding), trust and companionship are built
- Sheer amount of time spent together
- Socializing with new people - there are groups of people from different backgrounds everywhere we go. Oftentimes, you'll have brief opportunities to interact with other groups on the course, and even more so at places like Top Golf, club bars and restaurants, industry events, golf leagues and school teams, and so on.
- Playful (or not) competition - who doesn't love a good family competition? Especially one that's a tradition...
If you aren't convinced yet benefits of family bonding, here are a few examples of ways that family exercise and time outdoors can benefit you and your family members:
- Family exercise to reduce stress
- Benefits of family exercise
- 10 benefits of spending time with family
- Family workouts strengthen bonds
- Health benefits of being outdoors
And so many more resources. There are tons of studies outlining the benefits for children (mental, physical) and adults, and families as a whole when it comes to physical exercise, bonding, and time outdoors. So grab your favorite girls golf outfit and boys golf clothes for your children, and relieve some stress with some fresh air and the excitement of hitting a few golf balls!
There are variations for everybody
From mini golf to traditional golf, driving ranges to virtual golf, there are options for every family member, and every occasion you can think of. With the rise of places like Top Golf (among many others), has come the rise of social-focused, non-experienced golfer events. And while some may find it to be frustrating, I support the introduction to the game of golf in any way, shape, and form - for all people from all backgrounds. Traditional golf can be lengthy and involve a lot of patience - it's admittedly not for everybody. While that makes me sad, it's certainly not my place to be upset at other peoples' preferences!
With that being said, pick and option that fits your family's needs and wants. I have many friends and family who have work-centered golf outings and family reunions set up at their local club for an afternoon, and they work seamlessly for all participants (experienced or not). The wonderful thing about the golf community, is that I've found it to be filled to the brim with warm, welcoming teachers who want to help. If you're feeling intimidated, you can start small or opt for anything outside of traditional golfing. You could even rotate different variations of the game for different experiences: a virtual golf bar for a bachelor party, a golf outing at a course for a family reunion, mini golfing for your child's birthday, the list goes on... Find what works for you! Just remember to bring some sunscreen and dress your little kiddos up in sun protected infant clothes.
It can be as competitive as you want it to be
Usually, in these settings, it’s just you and the ball. Competition with yourself! However, we fully support a friendly (or not so friendly) family competition. Some of my favorite memories growing up were competing with my older brothers on the course, baseball field, and football field with their friends. Just a little sister against her three older brothers and their friends. Talk about an unfair game....