I began golfing last year, and I love it. Because I love it, I have four words to share with all the wives out there: Let your husbands golf.
This might not be a popular thing to say to golf widows, but it’s about equity, feminism, and developing trust over the fullness of time.
Now that I am a golfer, sort of, I can speak to some of the benefits.
Today women rule the roost in most homes, making many of the most important family decisions. Seventy to 80 percent of all consumer purchasing is driven by women, according to Forbes. Just call it an emerging “momarchy” — or what feminism really looks like.
Too often, however, the modern expression of feminism sets its sights not on important issues like equal pay and equal rights, but instead on the woman wearing the pants in the family and setting the tone, schedule, and activities for the entire family — including her husband.
“It’s my way or the highway,” as the saying goes. And husbands are often partially to blame.
“Increasingly, many men are becoming passive in the home,” said Dennis Rainey in Family Life. “They’ve decided that the easiest thing to do is nothing. The simplest thing — with the smallest risk — is to stay on the fence with both feet firmly planted in mid-air and let the wife do it. When a man is married to a strong wife who will take over, he often lets her do just that.”
Look at popular culture. In commercials that hawk everything from dish soap to cars to yogurt, men are dunces. In TV shows, there are challenges to be overcome — not life partners to be cherished. In a rush to prove that women can have it all, do it all, and be it all — the man has become the “token male” in the family dynamic.
A Facebook page called “The Golf Widow” is a meeting place where women can vent about their husbands’ passion for golf. They share funny cartoons and sayings, and healthy doses of commiseration.
Or is it healthy?
“Once while shopping, I picked up a pair of pink and orange plaid knickers for my hubby,” one commenter posted. “I noticed other shoppers staring at me as I marched to the register, and figured they were impressed by the amazing gift I was buying for my guy … until I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror as I walked by the dressing room and saw the crazed, maniacal, borderline EVIL look on my face. I guess my motivation for this particular gift wasn’t entirely pure. Embarrassed, I discreetly ditched the duds and went for the old standbys: golf balls. After all, I wouldn’t intentionally make my husband look ridiculous? Would I?”
“Cherish everything you have — health, love, and children — and know there will be your time in the future to pursue what you want to,” my mother told me.
The same women who would deny their partner golf may be spending hours at the spa, gym, mall, or on online shopping sites or social media. It’s easy to not notice all that we do, sometimes. It’s easier to see what another wants — and rain buckets all over it.
Now that I am a golfer, sort of, I can speak to some of the benefits. It clears your mind, exercises your body, and gives players extended outdoor time. It is competition meets old-world etiquette at its very best — with the all-important 19th hole providing opportunities for socialization and relaxation.
When I was a young wife, my husband often caught heck for his efforts to hit the links. Besides his family, golf is his passion. I was at home with little ones all day — wasn’t I the one who needed the break? He got to have lunch and talk to adults and earn money. And I was pretty sure he wasn’t spit up on as much as I was.
This was an immature view from a young and immature person. Of course he got to do all those things — while I, “stuck” at home, got to watch each baby’s first steps, have picnics on a blanket in the backyard, and sing lullabies to drooping little heads covered with precious baby curls.
Along with lunches and co-worker small talk, he was also commuting, working out problems, and sometimes facing setbacks and disappointments. But he always came home ready to pitch in.
Like many, I wasn’t seeing life as an arc — I wasn’t employing a “fullness of time” mentality to my experience.
Then my mother wisely said to me, “Things are challenging now, but you will so wish for these problems someday. Cherish everything you have — health, love, and children — and know that there will be your time in the future, to pursue what you want to. When a husband works as hard as he does, maybe a little golf is good for everyone — you included.”
Smart lady! And now, more and more, I am doing what I want to do with free time.
Ironically — it’s golf.
“When was the last time you gave up something for your wife — something you genuinely valued, like your golf game, a fishing trip, or your hobby?” one writer asked.
A true feminist is empowered with common sense, and knows that to rule the roost may give her short-term gains — but create long-term failure to communicate between loved ones. Feminism isn’t just power, but grace, and the ability to put on your “big girl pants” and do the hard but challenging work you are blessed to do.
Advice doesn’t live in a vacuum, of course, and there are always exceptions to it. Rainey also wrote in Family Life, “When was the last time you gave up something for your wife — something you genuinely valued, like your golf game, a fishing trip, or your hobby? Sometimes you need to give up something you enjoy so your wife can have a break and see your love for her.”
Golfer Sam Snead once said, “To be consistently effective, you must put a certain distance between yourself and what happens to you on the golf course. This is not indifference, it’s detachment.” Great words about golf — and sometimes, about life. About learning to wait for the “fullness of time” to happen.
Here Are Some Benefits of Golf
1.) It provides exposure to the outdoors. Exposure to green areas relaxes the body, reduces stress, and can help alleviate anxiety, according to the website Health Fitness Revolution. Exposure to sunlight allows the body to soak up vitamin D from the sun, promoting bone growth in youth and reducing the risk of depression, heart disease, and certain cancers.
It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends, provide opportunities to meet new people, and help connect a community.
2.) It fosters relationships. Golf is a social sport. It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends, provide opportunities to meet new people, and help connect a community.
3.) It burns calories. Covering 30 to 200 acres means a lot of walking! Skipping out on the golf cart and walking the average course can cover a distance between 5 to 7 kilometers.
4.) It keeps up your heart rate. As is the case with burning calories, the walking, carrying, and swinging will increase your heart rate, keeping it pumping and increasing blood flow. Naturally, this will lower your risks for heart diseases and decrease levels of “bad” cholesterol.
5.) It’s good for your brain. As your heart rate increases, so will blood flow to the brain, which can stimulate and improve nerve cell connections. This can delay mental illnesses such as dementia.
6.) It’s a low-risk injury sport. Golf is leisurely, and compared to other sports, the overall risk of injury is low because it is not a contact sport.
7.) It promotes better sleep. Your tired body will thank you at night when it’s time for some long-deserved rest. Golfers will fall asleep faster and sleep more profoundly, and are able to remain in a deep sleep for longer periods of time due to the amount of energy expended.
8.) It reduces stress. The pleasure of walking in an open and natural environment and spending time with friends puts golfers in a good mood.