Of all of the rounds of golf I've played, I have two experiences that are beyond compare. In my younger days, I found summertime life with my non-golf playing girlfriend was a whole lot easier if I got out onto the course at first light. I could play by myself, 18 holes in two and half hours, and be ready for whatever a full day of activities, whatever they might be. For me, there is nothing like the walk through the dew in solitude, communing with nature, watching ospreys fishing for breakfast and deer ambling along through the rough looking for wild blueberries. Very peaceful and fulfilling.
Fast forward to this summer - I took my nine year old son out on the course for the first time. He is a typical kid, interest flitting from one idea and activity to another. While I want a buddy to play with, I have never forced the game upon him - His interest in the game waxes and wanes but the constant is that he has a very good, innate sense of how to swing the golf club. he transfers weight really well and makes very nice contact with the ball.
It is 4 PM and the local muni allows kids to play with an adult for free. I asked my son if he'd like to play and he surprised me with "yes"! Off we go, to play the back nine at the local course. We had a good time and reaching the 6th hole, he had a 150 yard shot to the green. I hit my ball onto the surface hole high and left by roughly 20 feet. For me, a very good shot. My son stepped up to his ball, swung nicely and hit a high arcing shot on a line with the flag that landed 10 yards shot and rolled to within 10 feet of the hole! As we putted out, my son turned to me and said, " that was fun but can we go now?" I chuckled inwardly, asked if he was sure he'd had enough, and when he nodded yes, began the walk back in to the clubhouse. I told him how great a shot had had hit on his approach to #6 and while he didn't say anything, I could see the turn of a smile and the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment he felt having hit a good golf shot.
I hope this will lead to further golf adventures with my son, but more importantly, I hope experiencing the sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction of doing something well will continue to build his self confidence and a person. I will never forget that little smile even if he doesn't find the game as alluring and fun as I so passionately do!