Golf Widows And Orphans

I love to travel for golf.  Some of my best vacations are had when going to play at destination sites.  But when you’re on a family vacation, do you golf if other members of your party don’t?  This can be a tricky dilemma and I’m staring it straight in the face next week, as the family and I head off to Treasure Island, Florida for some time in the sun.

Sneaking out to play and practice at Bear Trap Dunes in Bethany Beach, DE

Sneaking out to play and practice at Bear Trap Dunes in Bethany Beach, DE

The downside of turning your family into golf widows and orphans is just too great, so I err on the side of not playing.  That doesn’t mean golf is totally ruled out.  I’ll always bring my clubs on family trips to the Delaware eastern shore and often get a round in very early while everyone is still sleeping.  No harm there.  Or sometimes, like on our last trip to Florida, I’ll make my way to a professional venue just to check it out.  As it happened my son and I ran into Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill completely by accident.  What a thrill!

With Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill Club. April 2010

With Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill Club. April 2010

Next week, the PGA Tour is playing Valspar at Innisbrook in Palm Harbour, which is 45 minutes from our hotel.  Maybe we’ll pop in on Thursday or Friday, or for a practice round???  So even if you’re not playing, you can still engage.  Bottom line:  family is too important and they shouldn’t be abandoned even if golf is your passion.

Some fellow bloggers play with their family members.  Jim, at The Grateful Golfer is starting to play more with his wife, which is awesome.  Josh and Beth at Golf is Mental, regularly travel, play together, and document their trips beautifully in posts and pictures.  More power to you folks!

My next golf trip is to Myrtle Beach over Memorial Day week.  Here’s the line-up:

The Legends – Heathland

Grand Dunes – Resort Course

Myrtle Beach National – Kings North

TPC of Myrtle Beach

Wild Wing – Avocet

Willbrook Plantation

Having played a fair amount of golf in Myrtle Beach, I still try to get on at least one course I’ve never played per trip.  This year that will be Wild Wing – Avocet.  Anyone ever played there?  Got some playing tips for me?  New reviews are coming for the courses in red.

So next week, as much as I would like to be ripping drives down lush Bermuda fairways for seven straight days, I’ll happily settle for kayaking in the mangroves, Baltimore Orioles spring training games, riding roller coasters at Busch Gardens, and just hanging with family by the pool and on the beach.  Remember, on a family vacation, always put family first!  Safe travels and play well.

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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8 Responses to Golf Widows And Orphans

  1. TinaGayle says:

    I understand about getting everyone involved in golf. Many vacations my husband and I have played golf with our boys. We also balance it out with other activities too. Have fun on your vacation.

    • Brian Penn says:

      Hi Tina, I saw my grandfather turn my grandma into a golf widow. Lots of downsides to that and I am aiming not to repeat.

      Thanks and hope you are doing well!

      Brian

  2. Brian

    I completely agree with you about the challenges of not turning our wives into golfing widows. As I enter into retirement, I really want to play golf, kayak, walk and other outdoor activities with my best friend and wive, Teri. Time with her on the course is always time well spent.

    When you go on a family vacation, it is just that, a family vacation. If everyone golfs, then get out there. However, if not, spending quality time with them opens up other opportunities like you will experience on your upcoming golfing vacation.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this article. And thanks for the mention! I am looking forward to hearing about your golfing adventures!

    Cheers
    Jim

    • Brian Penn says:

      Thanks Jim. Right now I’m just looking forward to some together time since both my kids are away at college. This may be the last family vacation in a while.

      Brian

  3. Great post. I treasure the times I get to play with my wife. Even when she doesn’t play she tries to tag along on as many of my Top 100 jaunts as possible.

    I played Avocet back in high school so I don’t remember a ton about it, but I did like it. Doesn’t help much, but hopefully your review will jog some memories.

    I’ve played my fair share in on the SC Coast including Barefoot-Love, Burning Ridge, Bay Tree, Caledonia, Charleston National, Harbour Town, Litchfield, Patriots Point, River Hills, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Ocean Course at Kiawah, TPC Myrtle Beach, True Blue, and Wicked Stick!

    • Brian Penn says:

      Jimmy, you are very fortunate to have your wife participate even when she’s not playing. At least she’s out enjoying a bogey-free round! 🙂

      Thanks,

      Brian

  4. Brian,

    Great perspective here. I feel very fortunate that Beth likes to play golf as well, and although golf isn’t the only thing we have in common or the only thing we like to do on vacations, it’s pretty awesome to have the option. Thanks for the mention buddy, sounds like you are going to have a great family vacation with or without golf. You’ll make up the golf part on your upcoming trip to Myrtle.

    Cheers
    Josh

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