When the wife and I fight, which really isn't that often, it is almost inevitably about golf and how much time I am spending on it. After spending quite a bit of time on golf forums I know that I am not alone. I often see guys hiding their new golf purchases by shipping their new clubs to the office, or rushing home at the end of the day to get the UPS box that has Callaway written on it before the wife sees it. Sadly even if the logo was not on the box, the shape and size of box holding a golf club is unmistakeable, especially to the eagle eyes of wives. My wife, when reaching her point of most upset, will without fail say "Why didn't you just marry golf?"
Golf is certainly a time-consuming sport. Consider the average round of golf is four hours plus driving time to and from can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, then add in lunch and a beer after the round and you are now at the six to seven hour mark from garage down to garage up. If there's a tournament, well then all the schedules are thrown out the window, as some could take most of or even all of the day. Some guys at my club try to cheat time a little by teeing off around at dawn and finishing in a little over three hours be home before 9:00. One of the guys told me he is home before his wife even wakes up. This is clearly one way to manage it, but it is still is a great deal of time essentially wasted.
The thing about golf is that if all I ever had to do was play it once a week and I would continue to get progressively better then this would be great. But golf, like most any athletic endeavor takes practice, and practice is even more time dedicated either during the week or on the weekends. Then if you are like me you spend a ridiculous amount of time scouring golf forums and reading articles trying to find a tip or some instruction that will help you improve faster. If I calculated the amount of time I have spend researching golf on the Internet I am sure I would be embarrassed by the total. The thing is, after doing all that research I am getting better, which only makes the cycle worse, because I have seen some improvement from spending this time doing the research I think I need to do even more of it. It is a vicious cycle. Am I addicted? I guess a psychologist would have to tell me that, but if my wife is the judge then the answer is for sure!
Then there is the aspect that golf is not a cheap hobby. A new driver with a hefty price tag of three hundred to four hundred dollars is nothing to shake a stick (or a new putter) at. Walk into any golf store and the average price of new irons can easily approach a thousand dollars. Now you need to buy golf balls and pay an average of over hundred bucks to get on the course. We have not even started to talk about lessons, training aids, gloves, a bag to put the clubs in and of course range balls. The only thing I can do for free at the golf course is chip and putt.
Once my wife utters her "marry golf" comment I usually laugh, which definitely does me no favors, because one cannot be married to golf. I will typically spend Saturday afternoons and Sundays with my wife and my young daughter so they are far from being neglected. But if it is a really nice day, the sun is shining and it is approaching 80 degrees, I cannot help but wonder what it is like out on the course at that time. I am sure my wife can see it. In some ways many of you who live in colder climates where golf shuts down do have some time to hang out with the family more. In some ways that might be better. Although it would make me want to play even more when the weather is good.
I am sure to some of you guys my writings here sound like they're from a foreign land, especially the young guys who are not yet married. Many times some young guy will inevitably post that his girlfriend is so understanding blah blah, and the older guys in the crowd will just attempt to tell him to wait until they are married. I used to be one of those young guys. Just wait, young guys, just wait. There are some of you very lucky guys who have a very understanding wife who have heard stories of struggles from the rest of us, you are in the minority from what I can tell.
Golf in my opinion is the greatest game ever invented. Certainly some will argue otherwise and this is only an opinion but one can never ever conquer golf. Even Tiger has struggled from time to time. It is passion unlike any other which demands you to continue to work at it to not only get better but to even maintain your level of competence. This is something I cannot explain to my wife. I can't expect her to understand this part of it. Still I would argue you cannot marry it because in the end it is only a game.