|If Jeff Maggert could remove one thing from this picture, would it be his kids or beautiful and prestigious Augusta National? (Getty Images/Stephen Munday)|
I suppose it's only natural to start thinking about family when you're a single man nearing the age of 30.
It's my duty as a warm-blooded mammal and all, and I'm not against it by any means. But I've been crunching the numbers, calculating just how much money having a kid or two would cost me, and the figures are pretty mind-boggling. I'm starting to wonder if my plan to join one of my area's best private golf clubs would be able to happen should I add a dependent or two on my salary.
You see, I completely understand that fathering children is a beautiful thing, something we as humans are instinctively drawn to by Mother Nature.
But on the other hand, I've been slumming it out on cheap, municipal and low-grade public golf courses my entire life. At one point, aren't I entitled as a lifelong golfer to finally enjoy the fruits of my suffering on a well conditioned, thoughtfully designed private golf course from one of the game's premier course architects such as Jack Nicklaus or Tom Fazio?
Maybe that sounds superficial compared to the first time I see my child take its first steps, speak its first words and play its first piano recital. I'm sure they will all be experiences I cherish and take warmly to my grave.
Then again, if I never threaten playing golf to a scratch level, which I currently blame on poorly conditioned public driving ranges that lack in realistic short game areas that let me drill all my shots, I'll never be able to live with myself before reaching said grave.
Look, I know golf is a family game, and I'll bet getting the chance to spend four hours with my child on the golf course would be precious time indeed. Some of my best childhood memories come from rounds of golf played with family.
But on the other hand, I've got this gut feeling my offspring will be girls, and they'll surely be far too prissy to ever become genuinely interested in golf. My golf budget will be forked over into her addictions to text messaging and Forever 21.
I think it would be wonderful to be a coach, teacher and mentor to my children as my parents were to me. It must be a real trip seeing your children have tendencies and habits that mirror you and the mother. And is there anything more rewarding than seeing your kid accept their high school diploma as their first step into adulthood?
Having said that, college tuition is increasing by 10 percent a year. Considering golf memberships have actually gone down in cost in the last decade, wouldn't it be smarter to invest in membership to a well-regarded private club over money-grubbing universities who are only out to upgrade what will earn them higher, yet arbitrary, national rankings?
I assume at one point my parents will start nagging me for grandchildren, and I think they'd make wonderful, loving grandparents. While my wife and I would surely have to be hard-nosed with some aspects of our child's upbringing, they would bring warmth, wisdom and undying love to them.
Then again, am I supposed to spend all my vacation time shuttling kids to all my relative's houses when I could be taking advantage of my club's reciprocal play opportunities in Monterey?
It's a tough read. I think for the time being, I'll buy a turtle.
December 11, 2009
Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Channel Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours.
I've been slumming it out on cheap public courses my entire life. At one point, aren't I entitled as a lifelong golfer to finally enjoy the fruits of my suffering on a well conditioned, thoughtfully designed private course from one of the game's premier architects?
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