Yes, the below was written by Barry, himself!
He was paired with kids who were playing practice rounds for this week’s tournament at Flintrock.
I am handing the (virtual) microphone over…
Cole, Jack and Lauren
One of my home courses is hosting a youth tournament for a few days this week. I received a phone call from the pro shop a few days ago asking if a few of the kids could join me for my second round of the day, because the course was booked solid and they were trying to get a practice round in before the tournament. Naturally, I agreed, and had the opportunity to play with a couple of nice young men – Cole and Jack, who were accompanied by Cole’s mother Lauren. These kids are 14 years old, and they absolutely bomb the ball – made me feel like a first rate hacker, even if I wasn’t playing with an injured hand. Let’s just say that I got to hit first a lot, and that’s not because I had the honor!
Naturally, I had a lot of questions for the boys and for Lauren. I think I get my curiosity from my father! After speaking with Lauren about the tournament schedule, which consists of about 25 tournaments a year, it dawned on me what a huge commitment her family was making so that Cole could pursue his golf dreams. Considering the clothing, equipment, coaching, tournament entry fees, greens fees, travel, lodging, food, etc., I couldn’t help but start to do the math on the investment that these parents making in their children. More importantly, the time that Lauren spends supporting Cole, which over the three days for this tournament alone is probably 20 hours. We only get so much time, and that’s a lot to gift to your child. She walks the course to get some exercise and follow the boys, keeping her distance and letting them play their games.
Following our round, I couldn’t help but reflect on whether the typical 14 year old could really appreciate how much parents do for them. I’m certain that they “think” they do, but when they get a bit older, much wiser, and are earning a living for themselves, they will probably realize just how much they underestimated the commitment their parents were making for them.
Now, the parents do this for their kids because they love them, and they aren’t looking to get “paid back”, and it will be a long time before the kids would be in a position to do so anyway. But there is a way to pay it back now, in a currency that is far more valuable to parents than a cash payment. There is nothing more valuable to a parent than the expression of heartfelt gratitude, sincere appreciation, courtesy, and respect. So Cole and Jack, I have to ask you not what your score is today, but rather whether you invested more in “the bank” than you withdrew today? Did you hug your parents, tell them how much you appreciate the support, tell them that you love them, and ask them what you can do for them now that your round of golf is over for the day. I think you’ll find that you feel very good about yourselves if you do so, and it will lead to better balance in your lives…which means better golf.
Good luck in the tournament boys, but even more luck in making a commitment to give back to your parents more than you get!