How to Make a Baby-Buddy Golf Group
Golf is no easy sport to excel at while raising a young family. It’s hard to find the time, energy, and money that golf requires. Time-wise one can expect to spend roughly 2-4 hours on the course to play 9 or 18 holes and that doesn’t include practice time. Energy-wise golf has the benefit of not being overly demanding physically. However, it is extremely draining mentally and emotionally and requires total commitment. The amount of focus needed for golf is taxing at the least and can be all-consuming. Of course, there are also the money issues. Equipment and clothing costs can be exorbitant and that’s before you even step onto the course. That doesn’t include childcare either. (I once paid a babysitter $80 per day 2-3 times per week for an entire summer just so that I could get in an extra 27 holes). Add to that the financial adjustment that every family must make when it adds a new member and it all adds up to a big fat recipe for not being able to play very much.
Well I can’t fix the fact that the game is difficult, requires immense focus, and takes a lot of time. I can suggest ways to address the money aspects of it. Who wants to spend $140 (child care + greens fees + travel costs) a day to play golf? Even that assumes you bring your lunch and walk instead of taking a cart. Some of the ways to save are fairly straight forward. Make your clothes and shoes last a bit longer with gentle care and waterproofing, get newer but still used clubs at a discount, play cheap balls except for tournaments, walk don’t ride, and bring PB&J instead of paying too much for greasy golf course food.
Mommy-hood changes everything and requires us to change our expectations at the same time. But that doesn’t mean you have to quit! Nobody is happy if mommy is not happy and if golf makes mommy happy…. The entire household will be better off if you get out there at least somewhat.
Therefore, another way to save is to make a BABY-BUDDY group. Do you know several other women who play golf and also have children? I bet, if they are like you, that they are dying to get out more but don’t have the resources. Many even quit. QUITTING IS NOT THE ANSWER!
Make a four-some with 3 other women who have children. There are tons of young women who play golf some maybe out there for social reasons and others could have professional ambitions. Whatever the motivation and skill level you all still have the common bond and want to get out there.
Let’s say your group is Amy, Vanessa, Tina, and Tiffany. All four of you have one child under the age of 4 except for Tina who has 2 children; a 2 year-old and a 3 and ½ year-old. All of you play golf and want to keep going while you’re children are young.
Pick a weekly PLACE and TIME and COMMIT to playing then every week. Even if it is just for 9 holes. Sundays at 3? Fridays at noon? Don’t miss a day! Sure there will be times when Aunt Suzy comes for her yearly visit and you’re required to have dinner with her but that should be very rare.
Let’s say you and the other moms like the idea and Sundays at noon work well for all of you. Hubby can’t always be home at that time to watch kiddo and you really want to play. The four of you commit to playing just 9 holes per week to start out.
Figure out a rotation that has each of you playing 3 out of 4 times every month. The one who does not play is the baby sitter for that week and the four of you take turns in alphabetical order.
Week 1– Amy watches her child, plus the four others. It’s only for 3 hours so Amy enlists the help of her own little one to serve lunch and then to play her favorite movie for everyone in her room.
Week 2– Tiffany decides to have everyone meet at the course and lets the kids enjoy the time on the practice range playing putt-putt.
Week 3– Tina has both her children and the 3 others. McDonald’s always works for her kids, especially the ones with the play areas, so she packs everyone into the car and makes a trip there.
Week 4– Vanessa isn’t great with kids but can handle once a month. They head to the local park where the swings and slides can provide a lot of entertainment and then go to get ice cream before heading back.
Relax and have fun. Some people find it easier to drop their kids off for childcare than others. The first month is likely to involve one or two nervous phone calls and issues around eating habits, but, for the most part, YOUR JOB is to enjoy this time that you now have to work on your game.
A couple of caveats:
- You can do this with 2 moms or 10 moms. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve got, just that all of you are committed. With 2 or 3 moms you could each play alone or as a two-some and the other only has one extra kid to watch. For 10 moms there could be 2 of you that took the week off making two four-somes that can head to the course on ladies’ day.
- I suggested a once monthly arrangement , however, if the other moms are game and you all live relatively close to one another you could make a rotation where you each played 3 out of 4 times every week.
- I do not recommend this if one of you has a newborn. They tend to be very fragile, need to eat quite often and are completely unable to care for themselves. The time spent with the newborn would take away from the 3 or 4 other children who need to be watched. Similarly, an older child might work well as a helper, depending on the personality of the child, but may also be so advanced relative to the other children that it’s more of a hindrance. Once children hit school age they may be too old to do well in such a situation but that’s up to you moms. The tradeoff, however, is that now you can now play during the time they are in school. I suggest this solution for children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years old.
You may be adore children but may not feel like watching 4 at a time even if it’s only once a month. My suggestion here is to take everyone out for a trip to the bouncy house, or the library, or the park (if all moms are okay with that). By the time you get everyone ready and out the door the time will whiz by!♣
Photo: alenkasm / 123RF Stock Photo