Family Fun On Par

Family Fun On Par

by Susan Neuhalfen

Between extra-curricular activities and electronics, spending quality time as a family becomes more challenging. Have you ever thought
about taking up golf – as a family? The Lantana Golf Club has come up with several great solutions for families to spend quality time together while getting exercise and much-needed sunshine.

“I love watching my daughter play volleyball, but when I’m there, I’m a spectator,” said Scott McClinton, PGA Head Golf Professional at Lantana Golf Club. “When we golf together we can spend upwards of four hours talking while we get some exercise.”

Golf is one of the few low impact sports that McClinton refers to as a “lifetime sport.” In other words, golf knows no age limits. Parents, grandparents, and even young children may play at certain levels. Also, because of the handicap system, it’s easy to play against other players who are at different ability levels.  That makes playing with family, friends, and co-workers easy and less stressful.

The social aspect is probably the biggest reason that most people take up golf in the first place. Many business deals are brokered on a golf course because the action is not constant.  You can play and talk all the while taking in the beautiful scenery and fresh air.

The most overlooked part of golf, however, is the aspect of spending family time. It started as a man’s sport, then a businessman’s sport, and now it’s breached the gap between the sexes and taken on a more social aspect, with many couples playing. What we’re missing though, is that this is a great way to get your whole family together without phones, without distractions – and it’s OUTSIDE.  Someplace we don’t see often enough these days.

McClinton said that golf clubs like Lantana host many events on all levels to accommodate families and individuals. For example, at Lantana Golf Club there are events for juniors, couples, and families from a par 3 competition to a couples’ date night on Fridays that includes nine holes of golf and dinner at the club.  One of McClinton’s favorite events is the nighttime glow tournament where they use golf balls that glow, which is fun for kids and adults alike. For the more experienced crowd, they have a club championship every year, and they also host the PGA Tour qualifying school. They have events that run year round, accommodating every kind of golfer at every kind of skill level.

Ready to get started? With or without the family, McClinton suggests that taking a few lessons is a great way to start.  “Your first stop, if you’ve never played, is to get lessons,” said McClinton. “The instructor can give you general etiquette tips and take away the intimidation factor.” McClinton said that there are instructors that specialize for women, juniors, older golfers, first-time golfers, and more.  Plus, once the instructors have seen you play, they can suggest events as well as other golfers to play at your skill level.

McClinton said he loves playing one on one with his kids, his wife, or with the whole family. It can be a lot of fun and makes for great memories. “Everyone looks back on their life and wishes they’d spent more time with their family,” said McClinton.  “Golf is a great way to do that.”

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