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Taking a step back from golf


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My kids are now 20 and 16 1/2, so I've been there. I've played golf since I was around 13 years old, except for a few years during college. I was a 4 hcp when my first one was born and was playing both Saturdays and Sundays (first tee time). Gave up weekend golf and I would try to slip in 9 holes on occasion, go to the range (sometimes instead of lunch), and play in outings during the week. After the oldest turned 4 she got into dance, which allowed me to fairly regularly return to a Saturday morning game and I would trade time with my wife so she could have the afternoon free of kids. My youngest followed suit with dance, which completely freed up my Saturday mornings and I've been able to play regularly since. I've missed plenty of golf for recitals, competitions, practices, etc. and have struggled to get my handicap back down to single digit since, but I wouldn't change a thing.

And I also started both girls playing golf when they were 12 and 9 years old, and they both continued mid- way through high school (dance became too much of a priority), so I was able to take them to the range and to the course fairly regularly during that period (I also played or hit up a range when I could when we traveled for dance competitions). Also, my father in law was an avid golfer so my wife kind of understood my love for the game and need to play. Now, with my oldest in college and youngest driving, my wife now asks on Sundays if I am playing. The bottom line is you have to find a work/play/life balance that works for you and your family. There are lots of hours in the day you can fill when you are young - you just may need to be more flexible than you imagined before - but time flies :)

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I was blessed to raise my sons on my own and went about 7 years with only playing 1-2 times/year, if that. Coached them in most sports, went to every practice, recital, play, etc. Looking back, whil

Absolutely. Put the family first. When you’re an empty nester, you’ll have great memories of those years and won’t regret it.

Golf will always be there, but your kids will only be young for a little while.. I was playing my best golf (6 handicap) when my son was born, and while the wife was supportive of me playing, I didn'

My kids are 4&5. I wasn't playing when they were newborns but Ive been playing actively for the last 2 years. I squeeze in putting and short game practice when I can. I used to go to the range at 8:30pm after I put the kids down though I seldom practice at the range anymore. I play at 5:30-6am and am home by 10:30am to take the family for brunch. I also squeeze in more 9 holes for practice at 6am and home by 8:30am. It can be done but I just cant play with my single buddies that want a 10:30am tee time or golfing at noon.

I also play a very active roll with my kids. We are out every weekend somewhere or taking road trips. Playing at first light is the secret.

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> @marksquires said:

> > @MelloYello said:

> > > @marksquires said:

> > > on a side note, when I do come back and play, I really want to smoke the few guys I played with in the past that said "you're making a bad decision" and "you'll regret it" "and "I know lots of guys with kids that golf". These are same guys with no kids, no GF/wife's and have all the time in the world to play lol

> >

> > Well, I don't think anyone is justified in saying it's a "bad decision" to prioritize family over golf. That's pretty callous. And unless you're making money with your golf game, I don't see much to really "regret" about taking a couple years off. Odds are you'll sneak in a round or two anyhow. I just don't see how taking a couple years off would matter in the grand scheme of things.

> >

> > That said, most of my golf buddies have kids. Every one of them is constrained to a some degree because of that fact, but playing golf can still be on the table if the situation is right. If the wife understands that helps. If parents are around to help out every once in awhile, that goes a long way. If you love golf enough to push hard and make the time, that means a lot.

> >

> > Truth is there's probably always going to be a reason to give up golf from here on out. First, it's the baby and everything that comes with that. Then it's constantly having to do family stuff (i.e. weekend trips, relatives, vacations, etc.). Then it's the kids' activities taking priority. And when it's not that, it's work that gets in the way. Then one day you wake up and you're not young anymore. Truth is, you have to make time for any personal thing. Golf is not all that different.

> >

> > All I'm saying is, don't expect to wake up in 2-3 years and all of a sudden have a ton of time. It's probably not going to happen like that. You'd do better simply accepting a limited schedule, I think. There might be months where you don't get to think about touching a club. There might be months where to play 2-3 times. Based on seeing how it is for my friends, it varies.

> >

> > You're probably better off just rolling with it.

>

> Thanks - and I really appreciate the feedback. It's great to hear from people in a similar situation, and to provide some insight. Most of the guys I've golfed with in the past, are in a total different space in life, and they really don't understand the time constraints with a young family - that being said, I wouldn't change it for the world

 

anybody that said "you will regret it" was either talking about you giving up on the idea of swinging the club for a couple years(i couldn't take it, im an addict), or they need to STFU and get humbled. you need to play/beat these guys like you need a hole in your head. you have already won

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>

> anybody that said "you will regret it" was either talking about you giving up on the idea of swinging the club for a couple years(i couldn't take it, im an addict), or they need to STFU and get humbled. you need to play/beat these guys like you need a hole in your head. you have already won

 

Thanks again - I'll still go out and hit the range with the irons I kept. I'll be back on this thread, asking for advice in the future on where to score some good deals on some clubs to re-fit the bag!!!

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My boys are now 22, 26, and 28. I started playing when I was 5, played on my HS golf team, had the 'cap down to a 7.4, but I gave up the game except for the occasional charity scramble while they were growing up. I coached them in football and baseball for 15 years. I have absolutely no regrets about it whatsoever. Because I took the time to be around and take an interest and get involved in what they were doing, I have a great relationship with them as adults.

 

I pretty much lost interest in the game until my brother talked me into going out for a round a few years ago, and the bug bit me again. Now I've got the time, and I play 6-7 days a week. My two older boys have started playing, which gives us yet another thing to do together. I haven't gotten back to the level I was playing at 25 years ago, but I'm closer than ever (12.7 and trending down after the last revision), and I'm confident I'll get there again.

 

Bottom line, the kids are only young once, but the game will always be there waiting for you. If/when you get back to golf, the game will be like your best friend from your old neighborhood, and gladly welcome you with open arms as if you had just played yesterday.

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There's a season for every thing. Family comes first period. I would play just nine holes at a muny, to keep the game going while they were young, usually after work. I would also walk as well. Your buds will cry there hearts out when your kids show their love for your sacrifice. Stay on your path. Plus with children, your youth is eternal.

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Hey OP Late to the party.... but sharing my $0.02

2 year old Boy and 4 year old Girl here. Living in Hawaii Cost of Living sucks. Day care is no better.... what makes it worse is the daycare is essentially the same $dollar per hour as what my wife earns, But gotta drop the kids off half hour before and pick up half our after so we actually lose money /per hour, that is to send them to a baby sitter. Crazy......

 

Anyways. I am blessed though to make the excuse to play during the WEEK and my business allows me this (This was the deal with the wife that since its work hours it doesnt cut into family time so it was the trade off). After the kids were born Golf on the Weekends have been non existent. I try to make the range between dinner and bath time. (when I have the chance to go) I have accepted that I dont get 2+hours pounding 200+ balls, just less then an hour to hit 60+.

 

Money surely is an issue but time is also a factor. So here is the thing, if you can get crafty to sneak in practice or a round. To keep golf still on the burner rather than dumping it completely. I say where there is a will there is a way. Golf has been a real struggle and (blanking) me off but I accept the lack of play and practice. I Finally also broke down and built a small indoor net just to keep the swing up and work on "fundamentals" Its a 1" PVC pipe, 4ft by 3ft with a cheap Ebay net that was $19. I use Foam Practice balls and a cheap mat. ( total Cost was less then $50, less then a round of golf)

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It aint beautiful it just works, I get some swings in when the kids are taking a bath or if we are all done and they are watching youtube- Babybus LOL

 

 

Again if there is a will there is a way! Hang in there OP!

 

 

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My girls are 19 and 21 now

I still managed 30 rounds per year when they were babies and toddlers, if you are a golf nut you find a way

You take the kids for four hours from your spouse so you can fit in your 18 holes one day a week

They loved coming to the range and the course when the were little, such happy and fond memories for me

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OP, you'll be fine. I was actually the kid, oldest of 2 and my dad had to to stop to raise us. Mother was a nightd shift nurse so crazy schedule. Point being when I was around 12 I became interested in golf and it was a great segway for him to start up again. We both took some lessons together. End of the story is I'm 30 now and still fly from FL to MA every summer for a few rounds together.

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I am in a very similar situation - golf in Hong Kong is expensive, and we live an hours drive away from the one public course. The little one is due in 7 days, so I can't see me playing very often from now on. I've taken up Brazilian jiu jitsu and can fit in training 2-3 times a week during lunch, which keeps my mind and body occupied, but keeps me in the good books with the wife. The plan is to leave Asia when my son turns 5 (either move back to the UK, or maybe Australia) and live somewhere a bit more accessible for all sorts of sports and activities, and get him into golf at an early age.

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Same boat here, my son is 3.5 years old. Before my son was born I was playing multiple times per week over the summers, and worked my handicap down from 20+ to 13 over a few seasons. I still played when he was a little infant but once he started walking, it became much more work to watch him. It didn't feel very fair to leave my wife on her own for hours and hours every weekend. I never made the conscious decision to "quit" playing, but it basically fizzled out.

 

Just this week I played my first round in over 2 years. My wedge game was rusty and it took me about 9 holes to find my putting stroke, but it's like riding a bike. My swing is still in there somewhere! I'm sure once he gets a little older I'll start playing more frequently again.

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> @mikes919 said:

> Same boat here, my son is 3.5 years old. Before my son was born I was playing multiple times per week over the summers, and worked my handicap down from 20+ to 13 over a few seasons. I still played when he was a little infant but once he started walking, it became much more work to watch him. It didn't feel very fair to leave my wife on her own for hours and hours every weekend. I never made the conscious decision to "quit" playing, but it basically fizzled out.

>

> Just this week I played my first round in over 2 years. My wedge game was rusty and it took me about 9 holes to find my putting stroke, but it's like riding a bike. My swing is still in there somewhere! I'm sure once he gets a little older I'll start playing more frequently again.

 

Thanks for the words - and very similar situation. When I was playing more, I kinda worked myself down to a decent HCP. I know my swing is still in there somewhere.....just may take a bit longer to find it again :)

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@marksquires

I've taken a step back from golf many times. Knowing know what I didn't know then. I wouldn't do it like that. I really like the idea from Tai Chi that a moving rock gathers no moss. What I'd do is SOMETHING golf related in whatever time I could spare for it. Obviously your family comes first. Some ideas of things you may be able to do in your scant free time are.

 

Swing a heavy club for form.

Yoga or stretching

Nick Faldo mentioned cutting a 9 iron down so you could swing it inside that makes a lot of sense to me.

Swing superspeed sticks

Practice short putting.

Any and all of these things can be done in small segments of time and will help you kick your friends azz's and enjoy the game in the future. All the best.

 

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> @JAMH03 said:

> @marksquires

> I've taken a step back from golf many times. Knowing know what I didn't know then. I wouldn't do it like that. I really like the idea from Tai Chi that a moving rock gathers no moss. What I'd do is SOMETHING golf related in whatever time I could spare for it. Obviously your family comes first. Some ideas of things you may be able to do in your scant free time are.

>

> Swing a heavy club for form.

> Yoga or stretching

> Nick Faldo mentioned cutting a 9 iron down so you could swing it inside that makes a lot of sense to me.

> Swing superspeed sticks

> **Practice short putting. **

> Any and all of these things can be done in small segments of time and will help you kick your friends azz's and enjoy the game in the future. All the best.

>

This is a great suggestion and something I need to do for 10 minutes a day instead of playing candy crush!

 

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Having children will naturally take away a lot of your “me” time, but you can still find a way to not totally quit. It all comes down to priorities, and if you make golf a “me” priority then you can find some time for it (assuming your spouse is understanding). Your amount of playing will naturally lessen with this life change, and should, but again you don’t have to totally give it up.

 

I found ways to get out every now and then when my kids were infants / toddlers. It wasn’t once a week nor regular, but a handful of rounds and range sessions over the course of a year wasn’t too hard to find. The wife and kids always took priority, but “I” had to take priority occasionally too. Now, as my kids have gotten older, I can play a lot more though I’m starting to realize that I don’t have that much time left with them and so I want to enjoy it as much as possible.

 

Point being, depending on your “me” priorities, you can make time for golf or working out or whatever it is you like to do as long as you balance it properly with marriage, kids, work, etc.

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  • 2 months later...

I think it is critical for adults to carve out some time for things other than the kids. Also, that time needs to be fairly distributed. My wife and I trade off weekend days. Friday evening she does happy hour with her coworkers, Saturday morning I play golf. If we get a babysitter and go out to dinner or a movie as a couple, it's usually Saturday night. Then Sunday is family time. Kids are 12 and 14 now so it is much easier, but even when they were in diapers I would literally push my wife out of the house.

 

I was in the same boat 10 years ago about having a wife & kids when my golf group were all single guys. There are some awkward moments where we'd make a plan on Tuesday to play on Saturday, and I'd have to change or ditch the plan on Friday afternoon. Being an adult sucks, and sometimes being the sucky adult is part of having responsibilities. Now my kids are old enough that I can play every weekend, but 2 of my golf buddies got married in the last 2 years (1 with a new baby boy), and one just retired and moved last month. As I told the retiree... part of having good friends that are good people is that other people will eventually like them as much as I do and need them more than I do. So we get to see our golf group grow and change into a family of friends over time.

 

My wife and I had lives and interests before kids (and even before each other). Kids don't mean that all of a sudden we aren't the same humans that we were, it just means that we can't do it as much as we used to. The person I married had friends, hobbies, interests, and energy. It would suck to have kids and lose all of that (or have the kids become her only hobby, interest, and friends).

 

Also, after I've had some "me" time, I'm much more focused and attentive during family time because I've gotten some things off my plate. Parenting is a job, and there is no job that you can do 24/7 for 20 years without getting burnt out.

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> @MountainKing said:

> The only thing I can really offer up is that both you and your wife need some "me" time. You take the kids a few hours a week so she can get out and just be her and not Mom/wife and you should get the same in return. Even if it's only 9 holes you should be able to get out once a week to recharge the brain.

>

> Can't help much on the money thing, it's easy to say you can make it work if you budget but I know plenty of families right now that are just scraping by even being financially responsible. Kids aren't cheap, especially when they start getting into activities. 9 hole rounds might help and once in a while you can find those awesome golfnow hot deals.

 

I agree... I had a buddy who knew time and money were tight when my kids were small. He would invite me out to practice and have chipping/putting contests at the course practice area just so I could scratch that competitive itch without playing. It doesn't always have to be expensive.

 

Even if it isn't golf, find something to occupy your time/mind outside of home/work. Kids are wonderful, but they'll drive you and your wife crazy eventually without an outlet.

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> @jvincent said:

> When my kids were still pretty young I would make a habit of taking them out once a week for dinner and I would go to the driving range. They would sit behind me in their folding chairs and eat and I would hit balls. This was a win, win, win situation because it gave Mom a break and I got to go hit some balls. The kids enjoyed it because they got to have Wendy's for dinner. I was lucky that there is a range near me that wasn't too busy at that time and I could grab a spot away from other golfers. Many dad's would walk by me and say "What a great idea."

>

> **I don't want to say time with the kids isn't important, but so it time to yourself. Find a way to play one day a week. Again, I was fortunate with my work situation that I could play first thing on a weekday and get in to the office without any issues.

> **

> Good luck, it gets better. Both of mine are out of the house now and I can play whenever I want.

>

 

BINGO

 

Money is one thing, we all have diff situations.

 

However golf is my ONE AND ONLY hobby. I rarely go out with friends at night for drinks or whatever, if I'm going to a sports game 9/10 its with my wife and kid. I cant say I'll ever stop unless it becomes a financial burden.

 

I take my 2.5 year old son to the range with me, since the weather is cooler i'm thinking about taking him along for 9 holes as he loves golf as much as me...maybe more. If 9 holes goes smoothly he might join me more often, will def. make my case to go a lot easier.

 

My wife also knows this is my only hobby, she is usually cool with me playing 1x a week. I try and schedule it around my sons naps which last 2-3 hours in the afternoon.

 

Long story short I believe everyone needs a hobby and time to themselves or you will lose your mind. My bro and sis in law dont do any of the above, they sit at home, never do anything with friends or one of them go out while the other stays home with the kid. Their life seems miserable, they are always in bad moods it seems, fighting over something.

 

My wife understands that anytime she wants an afternoon away, or night out she is more than entitled to it. She doesn't golf but she will do a movie every once in a while, girls night with her moms club, etc.

 

 

 

 

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> @cardoustie said:

> My girls are 19 and 21 now

> I still managed 30 rounds per year when they were babies and toddlers, if you are a golf nut you find a way

> **You take the kids for four hours from your spouse so you can fit in your 18 holes one day a week**

> They loved coming to the range and the course when the were little, such happy and fond memories for me

 

That's my thing, I mean I wasn't playing more than once a week even if I didnt have kids cuz 1. I have a 9-5 job unless it was a work outing and/or round with clients and 2. being married I couldn't be gone all weekend long.

 

I dont think getting out for 9 or even 18 holes once a week or once every two weeks is some egregious request lol but everyone is married to different people. Like I said I feel like every husband/wife should support their partner to get some free time to themselves once a week, however they choose to use it.

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Also OP are there any simulators around you? We have this bar 10 mins from our house with 3 high quality simulators in it. Buddy and I go, $30/hour and we can almost squeeze in 2+ 18-hole rounds. Sure the putting is weird lol but every other shot is just like being on the course and its a 2-hour (could even be 1 if you choose) event instead of 5.

 

Hell the wife and kids can come, its just a bar with tvs, food, drink, some video games etc.

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  • 3 months later...

I’ve stepped away a couple of times. You can scroll to the end of the post for the “wrap up”. If you want to TL; DR me I won’t be offended. I just started writing. Something I’ve tried to do more often lately.

First was during college. I walked on at a smaller school because I thought golf was what I wanted to do. No real concern for classes or a major. When I got there, it became like a job. And being a walk-on, I was already behind the 8 ball. So after the fall season, I made the decision to leave the team and returned home after the school year. I continued to play a bit after but eventually was down to maybe a handful of rounds a year after playing nearly everyday for several years. My grandpa (introduced me to the game) was diagnosed with cancer and I got really depressed. After he passed, I felt so sorry for myself and came to the realization that he would be upset with the way I was carrying myself and NOT playing golf. So I slowly started playing again.

i got a new job which allowed me to play basically wherever I wanted (public). I got fitted and bought a whole new setup. I found an area amateur series in the city I was working and started competing again. Won an event. Qualified for the national championship. And I got transferred. A few weeks later, I was informed the company was in bad shape and started downsizing. 2 weeks before Christmas. I took the winter off to reassess. I was in a rather new relationship and she was totally supportive of me taking a shot at being a club/teaching pro. Had aspirations of being a college coach. Got a great job with a mentor and was on my way. Spent two seasons as the 2nd assistant. Had an amazing time. Two of the best summers of my life. But...I wasn’t making enough money to join the program let alone pay my bills. I fell in love during this time. The woman I was dating became my best friend. And I had to decide if being a struggling assistant pro was worth losing her. So I walked away from golf. I tried to stay competitive but the fire just wasn’t there.

Fast forward a few years...We are now married and we have a family. We bought a house and a dog and my life has substantial meaning outside of, what for most of my life, I thought I wanted. In this time I’ve found an appreciation for golf. I really discovered what it meant to me by NOT playing. I’m always going to be attracted to competitive golf but I don’t need it. I’ve got my daughters involved and my youngest is already asking to go when the weather breaks. I’m also currently in the brainstorm/info gathering step of a golf project that i am doing on my own. I’ve gotten into collecting and club building and want to build a set that my grandpa played when he used to take me as a kid. He was a lefty so I can’t play his. But he played a full bag of Hogans (even into the early 2000s he was money with those persimmons) so I get to do some seriously cool club shopping.

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Been there done that years ago as for now does it count if you have a German Shepherd as that is what I'm now going thru. I just hate leaving him when he was a puppy as he now is 3 years old and does real well when left alone in the house. Going to get back into it as I had an injury also but I just don't want to feel guilty when he gives me those puppy dog look like why don't I get to go with you. Lol! There's just never enough hours in the day to fully enjoy the summer

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My pleasure, bro. Congrats on everything. Just keep in mind what I said: (1) there is always time if you're willing to make time and (2) there is never time unless you make time.

 

I'm 34 so basically everyone I know is now having kids. Some of the kids are already 4 or 5 years old. My golf group is probably 10-deep and I see all sorts of cases with guys who do and don't play.

 

Some of those young dads still play on the regular and some don't. Their golf patterns really didn't change much with kids though. That's the funny thing. The guys who utterly love golf have made time for it almost every week. This is usually a 7:30-am tee time on a Friday. The ones who saw golf as fun but not critical have found time for 1-2 rounds a month during the prime seasons (summer/fall). Again, most of these rounds are strategically timed for early morning.

 

And the guys who only played sparingly (some being low handicappers!) have simply stopped playing or don't go out more than a few times a year. Honestly, the pattern I see is not about time. It's more that certain guys, once they have a wife and kids, simply do not engage with the outside world anymore. It's sort of sad from my perspective because we in the social group can't help but feel a little bit abandoned. While I know it's nothing personal, I'm also smart enough to recognize that it's not really about time either. Some of these guys with young families just don't participate anymore.

 

So if you ask me, this whole thing is really about whether you're still going to have "guy friends" once you're a dad. A lot of guys straight up walk away. It's a real thing. It's common enough that it must make sense for some of these guys but standing on the outside, it definitely looks a little weird. But hey, I grew up with awesome parents who supported me and my sister quite a lot so I'm not criticizing it per se, just pointing out that having friends and having a family are not mutually exclusive.

 

I would (obviously) advise you to do what you feel will make you the better parent. Just know the ball is in your court as far as all the external stuff goes.

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If golf is something you love to do then find a way to do it. The reason I tell you this is I have experienced both sides of the spectrum. I too have kids (4) and to say that they will take up all your mental thought and free time is true BUT to a certain point. You must reserve time for you and the things you love to do. When I had two kids I kept my golf habits pretty high with weekends rounds and usually 1 round a week. Always relying on my wife or other family to watch the kids while I was away. As soon as I had my other two kids, things began to change for me. My perspective began to move towards being more involved especially in school activities. On a side note, no top notch school nor top rated school district can beat an interested parent who gives a damn about their kids education. My wife and I are both volunteers at my kids school and active in the PTA and to tell you it’s a difference maker in kids today is so true. Anyhoo, with all the activity, I began to give up on the golf game as well. Rounds took about 6 hours from leaving the house to getting home. Equipment being so darn expensive especially when you have new stuff coming out every year. I can see so many reasons to give it up. Fast forward a little bit and after giving up the game for about 6 months, my wife saw a change in me that I couldn’t hide. There was a resentment there against any family activity or extra things we did. I didn’t want to show it but it was enough that I began to show it. That’s when I knew I gave up on something that was me. So I started playing again with much more reasonable expectations. Gone are the multiple rounds a week, now I play once a week and have it laid out in our calendar. I usually aim for early rounds, I sometimes play 9 holes. I hit the range and most of the time chip or putt. All this to say that you can keep the game as part of your life. Make some changes and keep a better perspective on playing versus an all or none view. You can do it. I did and I’m living the best of both worlds. Goodluck

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The good thing about taking a break is that it makes the passion that much greater when you return. That's if you're okay with not being completely up to par when you return. Why stick aroundwhen it begins to feel more like work than relaxation. The hard part is deciding whether to hold on to your clubs or not. You may find yourself looking for some of those old clubs when you return.

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the problem with golf..it is always there... and there also means, you don't get better simply by playing more lol So focus on your kids, enjoy the unique experience of watching them grow.. and putting all you in there.

i will still say you need a little me time.. maybe work out a once a month round late in the day. My son who is 16 now would wake up at 4am when he was a toddler and demand to play. Golf was an after thought.

 

grip the clubs often.

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I have to admit that I fell victim to the “no guy friends “ thing. I’ve since read that it is the #1 health risk for my generation of males, and I totally believe it. It’s a real thing. I was having a conversation with my Dad several years back about my “lifestyle” as a husband and father today and his mouth was agape the entire time. He couldn’t believe how much male roles had changed in just one generation.

It happened to me for a whole lot of reasons. I’m not particularly social. My priorities are family, money, career, etc. I moved away from “home” many years ago, and so I’ve had to build any male friendships from scratch. My wife, in her younger years, didn’t exactly encourage me to leave the house for my own pursuits. I have always more than pulled my weight at home and with the kids, because I wanted to. All of that basically leaves very little time for “me”, and I choose golf as my thing. This could be social, but many of my friends went through the same choices, and few of them chose golf. So I play alone more than I play with others.

I don’t necessarily mind it, but I’m sure I should make “guy friends “ a priority. I’m a member of a very nice club and have several friends there that I play with when we can make it work. But we are all career minded, reasonably successful middle aged men who have to manage our calendars. My wife has become way more encouraging of my “me” time. But I still have very little time left over for “guy friend” things. At this point I’m not sure I have time to change it.

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