I started golfing a year before I met my husband. I had spent time on the golf course for fundraisers and always wished I was one of the golfers. My grandma lives on a course in Arizona and until recently golfed nearly every day of her life out there. Most of my guy friends golf and most of the guys with whom I went on dates golfed regularly. It seemed like a good idea to learn so I bought clubs, bought the outfits, took lessons, and I fell in love with it.
It’s so peaceful to spend an early morning, or an afternoon, or an early evening outside on the golf course. It’s a time when time has to slow down. You can’t really rush through it. You can’t really multi-task. You’re forced to be present, take your time, and focus on only two things. The game and the company you’re keeping.
About a year ago, as my husband and I were realizing that we might be able to stay married after all, we made a decision to try to golf once a week. No matter what. It would allow us to be together, outside, with no distractions. As soon as it got warm enough we started having our weekly golf dates. We didn’t talk about anything important, we just played nine holes and zoomed around the course in our cart and enjoyed being alone. We found a few courses that were a little less expensive and became regulars.
As the summer turned to fall, and the weather got chillier, we found ourselves in a better place than we’d ever been. We last played on a blustery day, with the temp barely over 50 degrees, and ended up skipping the last two holes. We were so sad to be putting our clubs away for the season.
Looking back at last year, I know that golfing was one of the things that saved our marriage. We put so much effort into spending good quality time together whether at the gym, or going out to dinner, or golfing, that by the end of the summer we were completely back on track.
Over the winter my husband began watching golf on TV. Learning about new clubs that might help his game. Many of his Christmas gifts were golf related. And as spring came and the weather got warmer we started talking about golfing again. It was clear that both of us wanted to resume our weekly dates.
But it’s been a rough spring. We’re so busy, we take-on so much, and the time just doesn’t seem readily available anymore. My husband is incredibly busy with work, in school, and still managing a small business part-time. I have been busy with work, looking at a new professional opportunity, and I now have a daily writing gig (thanks to all of you!). It hasn’t felt easy to fit golf in this year.
In fact, it hasn’t felt easy to spend time together alone. We’re always running like crazy and on the evenings and weekends that we don’t have the little girls there is so much to fit in. Often we divide and concur and when we each get home it’s late and we have very little time or energy to do anything but watch a show on DVR and fall into bed. I admit that I’ve done a horrible job of keeping our date nights, or our alone time, as a top priority.
Tonight we had our second golf date of the season. It was 90 degrees and windy today. The hottest day of the season thus far. The clouds took over the sky just as we were getting to the course. They kept the sun at bay, and the heat down, for the duration of our game. It was quiet, and breezy, and warm, and peaceful, and I had possibly the best game of my life. My husband, on the other hand, had a horrible game. But even though I KICKED HIS A-S it was the most lovely time. Quiet alone time. For us to just relax and not worry about one single thing. It was perfect.
It was also the perfect reminder that we can’t let our weekly golf dates go by the wayside. They are far too important to our feeling in synch. And without them it becomes too easy for us to turn into passing ships in the night which won’t do us, or the little girls, any good. Golf…it does a relationship good…who knew?
TODAY: What if I do everything in my power to keep our summer golf dates? What if the quiet/alone/outside time we spend together is integral to keeping our marriage healthy?
PS – I just re-read this post and wanted to make it perfectly clear that I am a HORRIBLE golfer. The only reason I beat my husband tonight is because a) he allows me to subtract 1.25 strokes per hole, b) I was wearing my brand new hot pink, white, and black Nike golf shoes which I’m positive helped me golf better, and c) my husband had a horrible game and it snowballed. The good news is…I don’t care that I suck too much…and only every once and awhile do I allow a bad game to affect my ability to enjoy the time with my husband.
PPS – At the end of the summer last year we took the little girls golfing twice and they loved it. We put them into lessons this past February/March and they start lessons and league play in June. We’re so excited to start having family golf dates on our weekends with all four of us.