Golf is a marathon

As you may have noticed, I am defining what I believe to be the key principles underlying the Daddy Caddy philosophy. If you are familiar with The First Tee, there are nine core values. These are honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment. I accept these as integral to the game of golf (our facility is a First Tee affiliate). However, my philosophy goes beyond these and defines what it means to be a Daddy Caddy.

The first “Daddy Caddy” principle is “keep it fun.” The Second “Daddy Caddy” principle is “think long term.” Golf is a marathon – not a sprint. Marathon runners pace themselves and are prepared for the long haul. Golf is the same – especially junior golf. I can’t put into words how difficult it is to watch by the sidelines and observe the slow, steady progress my son makes. It is excrutiatingly painful. And, I can’t say how hard it is to keep a long-term perspective, especially when I want him to do well now. But the truth is that nothing that happens now, when he is so young, really matters!

I know that his experiences now will be valuable, and all of his tournament play will provide a solid foundation for the future. But it is that future that really matters, and as a Daddy Caddy, I can only take actions now that help ensure that his future includes golf.

So, the second principle of being a Daddy Caddy is to take a long-term perspective and keep a focus on the future. Keep your child interested now, while he or she is young, by keeping it fun (see the first DC principle), and aim to have your child love golf as a teenager and beyond.

It is fantastic if he or she plays well now. It is great to win at a young age and build confidence. However, I can think of so many instances where a young superstar won everything, only to burn out early and watch kids who started golf at age 12 or older push them aside. I want my child to have that fire and motivation when he is a teenager. I wish he had it now, but he is too young to understand and to focus on only one sport.

So hear this Daddy Caddies: think long term. Enjoy the early successes, but don’t sweat the tough times. Keep it fun, and pace yourselves. Golf is forever.

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