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Are Golfers the Worst Fathers?

OK, OK, so that’s a loaded headline … apologies all you duffers.

But I found this article by former Rebel Dad Brian Reid — three cheers for Brian’s return to parenting writing! — so enjoyable and fascinating, considering how we all try to balance our hobbies, jobs and family life. And golf, as anyone who has tried it knows, is a monster time suck of monumental proportions.

Here’s the gist of Brian’s story from Forbes: Basically, the number of rounds people play has been in decline for the past five years, and dads trying to be more present in their family lives is seen as one of the major reasons.

Brian posits that it takes 10 hours a week to stay current or improve those golfing skills, but that’s a lot of time to take away from family life, especially when the norms of involved fathers have changed — evolved — so much.

Says Brian:

“At a time where dads are already stretched to the limit at the office and increasingly doing more at home, 10 hours a week is an enormous commitment. And the social norms that used to make it acceptable to make that kind of investment in the game of golf are dissolving. I don’t have those 10 hours to give, and — increasingly — my peers don’t either. My employer gets some of those 10 hours, to be sure, but the rest go to my family: to eating together, to shuttling to soccer practice, to attending elementary school band concerts. Being an engaged father doesn’t leave a lot of room for wasted time.”

I enjoy golf but I just don’t have the time to get in more than one round a year, if that. If it was my hobby passion, I would definitely feel some nagging guilt about trying to spend so much time on the links.

I’m participating in my first triathlon this year, and I’m definitely spending more than 10 hours a week training for it. But I can run before the family wakes or swim and bike while the kid is in school. Golf seems to eat up an entire chunk of day, largely on weekends. I wish I could play it more, but I can see why the number of rounds played is shrinking. But that said, it’s important for dads — for anyone — to get some me-time as well.

So how do you find the time to balance your hobbies with your family life or work commitments, especially if one of those hobbies is golf? Do you find yourself on the links less and less?

Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out!

Photo: Getty

 

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