Golf is a silly little game I’ve been playing on and off for most of my life, but my love of the sport has gone to a new level now that Lailan has taken up the golf bag. Lailan started playing a couple of years ago and is now more obsessed about hitting the course than anyone I know. It’s something we have fun doing together and it serves as a great physical and mental challenge – both very good things in the empty nest life. So, if you currently play or might be thinking about this as a couple’s activity, here are few thoughts and ideas we’ve picked up along the way:
- Just a Walk in the Park – while the game of golf may not be a walk in the park, the activity itself certainly is. The minute we start getting too serious or find ourselves hitting too many bad shots (often), we remind ourselves that what we are really doing is just enjoying a really nice walk in park. Golf courses are almost always incredibly beautiful, so reminding ourselves to simply enjoy our surroundings is a good thing. Enjoy the walk. Stop everyone once in a while to hit a little white ball. And carry on.
- Southwest Airlines Loves Golf Bags – playing golf away from home is also a great way to see the local flora and fauna and to meet fellow travelers/golfers. We’ve had great success finding courses and booking tee times with golfnow.com When traveling with bulky golf clubs, we always try to book on Southwest. With their two-bags allowed for free policy, they make traveling with clubs pretty easy. Of course you can always rent clubs at your destination, but having your own clubs seems to breed just a bit more confidence. Plus you get to strut around the airport clearly communicating, “yup, I’m on a golf trip!”
- Lava Hot – we love playing with empty nest friends. These guys support us and make us feel better about our game than is often warranted. We have one particular friend when after any of us hits two good shots in a row (rare), starts shouting, “you are lava hot, I mean lava hot.” I feed on the positive energy!
- The Fairway Dance – it’s hard enough for one of us to hit a drive in the fairway, but when your twosome, or better yet, your foursome hits every ball in the fairway, our rules of golf demand a fairway dance. This dance isn’t real pretty. It has no rhythm. It actually has no music. But it does have an amazing amount of joy and camaraderie. Hint: no photos or videos are allowed. Thanks to my Uncle Chuck Lyon for teaching us this important rule of golf!
- Always Remember Where You Came From – the credit for this rule also goes to my Uncle Chuck, a lifetime scratch golfer, club champion, well you get the idea, he knows a thing or two about golf. He loves the game. He respects it. And he teaches others to do the same. After putting out, take a second, turn around, and look back at the hole you just played. What a great perspective on golf…and life.
- Loosen Up/Soft Hands – speaking of life, we all need to relax. Take a deep breath. I’m still working on this one, but having soft hands and a loose grip really does result in a better golf shot. When things start to get a little testy or stressful, remember to just loosen the grip and swing freely.
Just like the USGA, the rules of golf continue to change and adapt. We may introduce some additional “rules of golf” in the future, but for now, stay “lava hot” and get ready for some fairway dances!