When I was 10-years-old, there weren’t as many young girls playing golf as there are today. To me, golf was pretty much just a thing my parents dragged me along to. Without programs like Girls Golf that made golf fun, learning the game was not exactly my ideal way to spend an afternoon. So here’s my advice to 10-year-old me, who had a hard time early on seeing why she should stick with it when golf just didn’t always seem like the “cool” or fun thing to do.
Dear 10-year-old Abbey,
So, as an older golfer, I thought it’d be kind of cool to clue you into this whole golf thing. I was once a girl golfer too, and I have to say that I didn’t always love it. Golf was in the same category as piano—frustrating and boring. I never saw how it’d get any better. But I did. In the process, I actually started to like it. In addition, I made some great friends out there on the course; the best ones being my parents and brother who taught me lessons about golf and life.
But, now, when you’re starting out, you may not believe anything I’m saying because I’m an adult, and adults know nothing. It’s okay. My feelings aren’t hurt. Please listen, though, because, remember, this isn’t just any dumb adult. I’ve been there. No worries here about a heavy message. I’m simply going to address some complaints you may have about this golf business.
Okay, so your parents are probably on you to learn golf, taking you to golf lessons all the time. This might feel like another one of the million things you’ve got going on, and you probably want to quit so you have more time to hang out with your friends. Geez, your parents may even be taking you out to the driving range too! The nerve of them, forcing golf on you like this!
To this, I’ve got a message for you. You are so lucky! Your parents are investing in a lifelong sport that I promise you will want to play when you’re older. A tip for you—take advantage of these lessons. They are not cheap and to have the privilege to learn golf as a kid instead of having to pay for lessons as an adult is A REALLY GOOD DEAL! Plus, you may not have time for golf lessons when you get older. If you don’t believe me, just look how busy your parents are and picture adding golf lessons on top of that!
Golf Dates with Your Parents
Okay, I also get that at your age, you may not always want to spend free time with your parents. You also may think that they’re actually using golf as a way to get to spend time with you. (For the record, they are). They keep saying things like, “You need to practice” and “We need to spend quality time together as a family.” I get that this talk can wear on you. After all, you’ve got friends to hang out with, boys to text, and basically a million things you’d rather do than spend hours with your parents. But please, do me a favor. Take advantage of this time. I promise you with every ounce of knowledge in my body that you won’t regret this time. Yes, you will be annoyed when your dad tells you over and over to slow down your backswing or keep your head down. But, because he does that, you will eventually slow down your backswing and keep your head down . . . and you’ll play a recording of his voice telling you to do so each and every time you golf. And, even though you can’t fathom it now, you will appreciate the time your parents spent with you.
All of my Friends are in cool sports like swimming or volleyball. True, they probably are, but here’s what I have to say about that . . . good for them. For the record, in all my years of employment and all of my years of dating, I’ve NEVER been asked to participate in an important company volleyball outing or been asked out on a hot date to swim laps. Don’t get me wrong—other sports are GREAT, and they all have their merits. All I’m saying is if you can use these years to learn to golf, you are going to end up ahead of the game. I promise you.
I’m Really Bad at Golf (No, I Mean, Really, Really Bad)
Yeah, I get that too. I was TERRIBLE BEYOND BELIEF when I started golfing. It was downright embarrassing. I once got a 26 on ONE HOLE during a golf meet in high school. I whiffed more shots than probably anyone in the history of golf. I blew my shoulder out and took and eight-inch divot at the same time. But, after a lot a lot, a lot, and a lot of practice my game started coming together, and I was out-driving everyone. I could make 15-foot putts. I learned how to chip and know what club to use in almost any situation. It will all come together, and, eventually, you will see that your parents were right when they told you to stick with it.
So please, for the love of everything—listen to me, and hang in there as you go through the challenging, early years of golf. It’s all going to pay off in the long run. In addition, do me a favor and thank your parents and your coaches for this great opportunity. Take it a step further and really listen to what they’re saying. They actually do know their stuff, and all they want for you is to do well in golf and life. Just hang in there, keep your eye on the ball, and believe it’s all going to end up okay. And, remember, that by the time you get to my age (in 30 years or so) . . . I’ll be playing, because you can do that with golf. Call me up, and we can play a round and compare notes.
Wiser, Older Abbey