Tag Archives: golf etiquette

My Three-Year Old Son, Golfing School, and the Courtesy Incident

31 May

Last week the word for the day was perseverance.

“Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM!”

“What!”

“Watch this swing.”

“Dude. I’m totally looking at you.”

Ball does not go in the hole.

“Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM!”

He knew perseverance. It really didn’t have to be explained to him when we were on the course. He had the concept. It’s the competitive side in him. 

This week however the word of the day was courtesy. Something that all three-year olds and hostile moms who drive Exagerators that steal your parking spaces should know. This is the key to a peaceful existence everywhere not just on the golf course. It’s too bad not too many people go to golf school with their kids. We’d have better parking lot situations if they did.

Courtesy. Coach Jeff tried to explain the basics on that one. You are polite. You are nice to other golfers on the course while you play. You wait your turn and you don’t talk when someone is swinging.

Pretty simple. We thought everyone got the concept. So we went right to it.

He hit a bucket of balls on the driving range and played the first hole on the course. It was his first time playing any course. The coach’s original plan was to play the first two holes, but three and four-year olds do not necessarily put the ball in the hole after three tries. More like ten.

It took about an hour for six kids to play one hole. Let me tell you, sunscreen rocks at that point.

The First Tee.

Most of the parents were courteous and encouraging. We all knew our kids, so it was fine. There was no rolling of the eyes or sighs of exasperation. But we did have a one or two kids and dads just putting away and swinging while other kids were trying to tee off. Coach Jeff continued his “courtesy” reminders. But getting hit with a golf ball … that’ll work. No reminders needed. Hey, live and learn. Live and learn the hard way on the golf course.

Anyhow after the hour was done and we got a nice tan, we headed back to the clubhouse. Coach Jeff was pleased that all the kids tried their best and busted out the rewards. The Tootsie Roll Lollipop. The chewy chocolate candy that usually comes out of pinatas was right there within reach.

My son was excited of course and decided to rush Coach Jeff.

“You have to be courteous, remember. That little boy was in front of you. Wait your turn. Courtesy.”

“Right!” He repeated as he lined up behind the little boy. “Courtesy. Mom. I’m being courtesy.” 

My son waited and it was finally his turn. As he reached for the orange lollipop, another kid walked in from outside approached Coach Jeff and tried to take the same one. My son looked up at me then at Coach Jeff with this hey-hey-hey-what’s-the-hell-is-going-on-here look.

Coach Jeff removed the Tootsie Pops away from reach and reminded the other little boy about the word of the day. The kid didn’t take it well. His mom was the lady in that drove the Exagerator. It didn’t surprise me. The kid went to the back of the line, upset.

Coach Jeff took out the Tootsie Roll Pops again and my son smiled. He grabbed the orange one and walked toward me.

“Look mom. Here is my reward. Coach Jeff said I was great golfing today. I am courtesy too.” 

Then he turns to look at the boys still waiting for their Tootsie Roll pops and then looks back at me, points, and whispers.

“He was not courtesy, mom.  He tried to take my lollipop. No lollipop for him, only a timeout.”

My Three-Year Old’s Definition of Respect and Golf School

3 May

You’re talking and you wonder do they get it? They hear me, but are they listening? That happens often in my family.

But then I think about my son and smile. Sometimes he gets it, he hears me and listens …

My son continues his preschool sabbatical and is currently enjoying the teachings of Coach Jeff at golf school. Last week’s word of the day was sportsmanship. He seemed to learn that one quickly as he gave Coach Jeff a high-five and said: “Good game, Coach Jeff.”

This week’s word of the day was respect. He got the ten minute speech at the beginning of class. Coach Jeff  defined the word and explained that you should treat others as you would like to be treated.

Then my son whispers to me: “Mom, what’s treated?”

“It’s your behavior with other people. How you act. Your attitude. Remember good attitude. Good behavior to other people and people will have good behavior to you. Be nice to other people and they will be nice to you. Listen to other people and they will listen to you. Good attitude to Coach Jeff and your teammates, and they will show you good attitude.”

“Oh. Yes. Good attitude. Good behavior. Listen. I treat people, and they will treat me. I behave good, they behave good to me too. Respect.”

“Yes. Always show respect.” 

He smiled and we were off to the driving range. Each kid went to their stall and began swinging away.  They were reminded how to properly hold the club and how to follow through on their swing. My son improved his grip  … well at least for a second, and then he went back to a hockey-style swing, and then back to his golf grip again. It’s a learning process and he enjoys class. He’s smacking them pretty good and I was pretty proud of him.

Then after he finished half the bucket of balls he took a quick two-minute-Goldfish-crackers-and-Gatorade break. As he stood there checking out his classmates swing away. He noticed a couple of boys weren’t really into the driving range thing. They are off jumping like frogs, checking out the grass, or rolling around in their stalls. 

Then one of the kids who was hanging out in the grassy knoll, pretending he was a butterfly picked up a ball and threw it at one of the kids attempting to put Coach Jeff’s teachings in effect. Poor Jay. He had the right grip and the right posture, just as he turned his little three-year old body to begin his swing, in came a flying golf ball and hit him on the cheek.

Coach Jeff was on the other side helping out other kids so he didn’t witness the incident. But butterfly boy’s dad was there, and so was Jay’s.  The dad’s had a little pow-wow about the incident and Jay sat out a little bit until the pain subsided.

“That was not nice, mom. He did not treat Jay. That was not respect. I think he will be in timeout.”

I don’t have to wonder whether my son”gets it”. He hears me and listens. Perhaps when he’s in middle school I’ll begin to worry, but for now he continues to learn lessons.

My Three-Year Old’s Definition of Integrity and Golf School

19 Apr

Considering that I was a golf widow, I wasn’t going to do it. I thought, why lose another one. But this one would be different. This is my son. He’s awesome.

If you don’t know what a golf widow is, you should check out my post The Golf Widow’s Revenge. If your dude, husband, or partner plays golf, or is even thinking of playing golf, you should definitely read it. An enlightening nice perspective.

Anyhow, since my son’s been on hiatus from preschool, I decided to find some sort of program where he could engage in conversation with other three-year olds. Hang out with his peeps. One friend suggested some Mommy & Me group and I sort of hesitated.

I told her I didn’t have anything against this Mommy & Me group, or her, seeing how she’s the guru of all things Mommy & Me, but when we tried to hang with these chicks when my son was younger we didn’t quite fit in. I think I had the wrong diaper bag, the wrong set of snacks  and the wrong set of shoes.

Heels to a park? C’mon now. 

As for the diaper bag, apparently you can own designer diaper bags. The three-hundred dollar kind. They exist. Id’ rather take that three-hundred and go to Legoland four times. As for the snacks, well, pretzels, cheese sticks, Cutie Oranges, and Gatorade were frowned upon. I don’t know why, seemed pretty good to me. I never understood. 

Whatever. I wasn’t going to go through that situation again, so I decided to stick with my kind of people … sports.

A golf ball directly before the hole

A golf ball directly before the hole (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After searching community bulletins and the parks department services, I found a golf academy that catered to kids his age. I was pretty excited because he didn’t meet the age requirement for The First Tee program, but this program started with three-year olds. Sweet. 

As I geared him up to go to golfing school, he was hesitant at first. Didn’t want to go because he thought I would just drop him off. But after explaining how it worked, he was very excited.

When we got there, he grabbed his clubs, raced out of the car, and ran up the ramp.

He was introduced to Coach Jeff and learned some golf etiquette, well at least tried to learn it.

Integrity. That was the word of the day. He was told what it meant and how he always needed to do the right thing and be honest, especially on the course.

Apparently if you lose a ball into the bushes and can’t find it, you can hit another ball, but you have to call out provisional. Sort of a second chance, but you’re penalized and given another stroke.

I didn’t think he would understand the concept, but he kept repeating the word integrity, the phrase ‘do the right thing’, and the word provisional.

In their little stalls each kid got six golf balls. Six. They were supposed to hit them onto the green, aiming for the circles drawn out near the hole. Once they finished chipping the ball over to the green, they were supposed to run and collect their six golf balls and repeat the exercise.

Scrambling for golf balls.

During one of their scrambles to get their six balls, one kid had seven and my son says:

“Mommy I tell the boy only six balls and he didn’t listen. He did not do the right thing. I tell him. I tell him. He lose his yellow ball and take two white balls … he did not say provisional. He did not do integrity. He did not.”

I smiled. He was awesome and I couldn’t have been prouder.