Confession time. For the last three days, instead of slaving over a hot potty, I have been up in Scotland visiting family and getting my golf on at The 147th Open Championship. And while I’ve missed my wife and the Bubster like crazy, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with my dad’s latest news, recharge my batteries and work out that parenting and playing golf are pretty much the same thing.
Hold on. Did that sentence say that parenting and playing golf are pretty much the same thing? It did and, while I appreciate that this theory sounds preposterous on first hearing, I believe that when you get to the end of this week’s better-late-than-never Father-Hood.co.uk Midweek List you will 100% agree with me.
Got that? Great, then let’s stop beating around the bush and get down to business. Here are my nine reasons why parenting is the same as playing golf.
1. Stay patient and you can recover from a bad start
Superstar professional golfer Brooks Koepka probably doesn’t view himself as a parenting icon. But the way the 28-year-old American fought back from an atrocious start to win this year’s US Open is a lesson for all parents who let a bad beginning to a day, activity, holiday or new routine propel them into a negative spiral that only serves to make things worse.
“You can’t get frustrated. You have just got to keep plugging away,” said Koepka on his way to successfully toilet training his child.
Sorry, I meant on his way to winning his second major.
2. Disaster lurks at every turn
This year’s Open is being played over a golf course that’s so fierce it’s nicknamed Car-Nasty. What does this mean? It means that if the players switch off for a second they run the risk of losing a ball, incurring the wrath of their partner or finding themselves in a difficult position behind a bush.
And do you know who else runs the risk of losing a ball, incurring the wrath of their partner or finding themselves in a difficult position behind a bush if they switch off for a second? Parents, that’s who.
3. Both parenting and playing golf involve a lot chat about birdies and bogeys
Now that’s funny.
4. All your hard work can be undone by factors that are outwith your control
As a parent who is trying to get a baby to sleep, hours of preparation, concentration and swinging back and forth can be completely ruined by a rogue car alarm, unwanted doorbell ring or poorly timed phone call. As a golfer who is trying to win a tournament, hours of preparation, concentration and swinging back and forth can be obliterated by a rogue bounce, unwanted storm or poorly timed camera click.
5. When parenting or playing golf, a quick chat can make everything better
Three-time major championship-winning golfer Padraig Harrington believes that talking to his caddie was an essential part of recovering from a set back and getting his head in the place it needed to be to win The Open at Carnoustie in 2007.
Two-time award-winning writer Father-Hood knows that talking to his friends, his partner or other mums and dads going through the same stuff as him is an essential part of recovering from set backs and getting his head in the place it needs to be to win at parenting.
6. Onlookers are quick to criticise
During my day at The Open, I was astounded by the number of onlookers who believed they possessed the knowledge and expertise to criticise the planning, ideas and performances of the world’s top golfers. During my two-and-a-half years as a dad, I’ve been shocked at the number of onlookers who believe they possess the knowledge and expertise to criticise the planning, ideas and performances of parents.
P.S. Yes, dear stranger – I have tried that. And that, and that, and that, and… …please jog on and bother someone else.
7. You live or die by the contents of your bag
When playing golf, packing your bag is all about making sure you have enough clothing, food, tees and balls to cope with every eventuality.
When parenting, packing your bag is all about making sure you have enough clothing, food, nappies and wipes to cope with every eventuality.
Wait, that’s almost exactly the same list. I know. I KNOW!
8. When parenting and playing golf, there is more than one way to get the job done
Go to a golf tournament, and you’ll quickly realise that none of the world’s top professionals swing the club the same way. Why is this important? It’s important, because parents often make the mistake of trying to copy a bedtime routine, weaning programme or feeding plan from another set of parents. Sure, on some occasions this can help. But on others it can most definitely hinder. Why? 1. All kids and parents are different. 2. As I wrote in this post, there is an ‘I’ in routine and it’s really important.
9. It’s all about getting to the weekend
If a golfer makes it to the weekend, they have survived the cut and can relax safe in the knowledge that they are going to get paid – whoop, whoop!
If a parent makes it to the weekend, they have survived the working week and can relax safe in the knowledge that they get to spend the next two days having fun with their kid(s) – whoop, whoop!
And that it’s. Midweek List over. Argument made. Theory that parenting and playing golf are the same unequivocally proven. I’ve been Father-Hood and this has been the slightly delayed 18/7 Midweek List. If you enjoyed it, share, like and comment. If you didn’t, try this, this or this.
Until next time…