These days, spending quality time together as a family and participating in an activity that everyone can enjoy is a tall order. My family and I were lucky enough to discover a sport that everyone can play and have fun while doing it – for us, that sport is golf.
With the new age of kids turning to electronics like iPads, PlayStations and Xboxes to entertain themselves it was important for me to find an outdoor activity that my family could do together. So I started on a journey of searching for a sport where my girls could be challenged and have the chance to put their mental skills to the test. I looked into all the “typical” kids’ sports that most everyone plays in their childhood. That’s when my oldest daughter, Isabella, who is 8-years-old, saw a golf commercial on TV one day; she told me “Dad, I can do that. It looks like fun!”
I had never played golf in my life and no one in my family did either. We were an athletic family, we played basketball and other team sports, however, I found golf intriguing as my daughter was very process oriented and analytical, and so I thought this might be the perfect sport for her.
I started researching junior golf in the Houston area and two programs that seemed to be a perfect fit for beginning kid golfers were LPGA-USGA Girls Golf (Girls Golf) and The First Tee. Both programs set the tone of having fun while learning basics, rules and etiquette of the game. Isabella went to her very first Girls Golf event at the Houston site and immediately made friends that showed the same enthusiasm for the game that she had.
My wife and I didn't know what to expect at our first visit but we were greeted by the instructors and other parents in the program with smiles and information that was valuable for our girls to succeed. We felt instantly connected to the Girls Golf community. The atmosphere for the girls at Girls Golf was just so positive – they were all just having a great time together. The LPGA teaching professionals at the program, Aurora Kirchner-McClain and Lori Tatum did an outstanding job teaching and supporting the girls. They truly showed that they cared about my daughter and enjoyment of the game. Right then we decided that this was the game for our family and we would work “together” on learning and improving.
My wife, Corina, was excited that we could learn and play together and that our valuable family time together would increase. We decided to include within our goals for the year that we would play golf together as a family at least once a week, and have fun while doing it.
Our youngest daughter, Mia who is 5-years -old, is picking up the game now too. Watching our daughters practice and have fun together is a great feeling. We have since joined the Kingwood Golf Advantage School so that Aurora and Lori can help our girls continue improving their skills. We are now seeing them develop in a sport that we knew nothing about – we had never played before and had no idea about the rules or where to even start with the equipment. Both girls are growing their bond together each day as well as their competitive spirit. Golf is teaching them valuable life skills that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
Golf has changed how we interact as a family and as the girls golf motto says “Changing Lives one Swing at a Time,” and for us it really has. We have since improved our communication with our girls. Isabella is excited to go to Girls Golf events and practice improving her game, and most of all meet new girls. She is making relationships with other girls that I know will last her a lifetime.
My family is enjoying being outside together, playing fantastic golf courses together, learning to have a positive attitude and learning the value of sportsmanship. Our adventure playing the game together as a family is just beginning, and golf is making it easier for us to instill the competitive spirit that we want our girls to learn. We want to show them that they can achieve any of the goals they set and golf is the perfect mental and physical sport to prepare them for doing just that.
This wonderful game of golf and LPGA-USGA Girls Golf has become a stepping stone to help make our daughters future leaders through the “Five E’s” of Girls Golf. There’s no better game for us to grow as a family and play together for a lifetime!