There Goes All My Golf Stuff

Making room for a new baby on Father's Day.

It’s Sunday morning. Per usual, I’m sipping my coffee and thinking about golf. My wife is making me some pancakes to celebrate Father’s Day and the rain that so often dominates a Florida Summer is falling outside. Many golf dads are likely getting their clubs and gear together for a round of golf, but even though the clouds should clear soon I’m out for today. My son will be here in seven weeks and the nursery needs a fresh coat of paint. Up until today, said nursery was actually my golf office. For the last few days I’ve been taking down one chapter of my life and preparing for another.

A few weeks back, my wife gave me the to-do list containing all the items I needed to complete before the birth of our second child. The first bullet was cleaning out my office so it could become a beautiful space for our incoming young lad. Not an easy task when you’ve spent four years curating a lifetime’s worth of golf memorabilia.

Since she handed me the list, I’ve spend hours painstakingly taking my favorite room apart. My wife has noted the anguish so clearly visible on my face. Gone are the hickory clubs my grandfather gave me, the photos from golf trips gone by, and dozens of balls with sharpie written notes about personal bests and other achievements. Flags, badges, trophies, and trinkets are all now neatly tucked away in boxes. The process felt like a funeral for my misspent youth.

It’s not really that sad, but it has triggered a lot of reflection. I couldn’t be more excited about the arrival of our second child and lord knows I can’t wait to have a little boy, but it’s also hard to pack up all my golf memories and stuff them in the garage. It’s not that I’m unhappy about it, It’s just that I don’t know what do with all my favorite stuff and the smiles it often brings me. There is also a worry that with a second child my golf collecting days(both the physical items and memories that come with them) may become fewer and fewer soon.

Yesterday, I went and got the paint and other supplies needed to cover all the nail holes that my personal golf museum once hung on. Dove White sounds like a nice color. The new crib came in too. The room is going to look awesome because my wife has great taste. However, as all those wonderfully warm items come marching in, I can’t help but sigh a bit as I long for all my golf toys.

My wife doesn’t have much sympathy for all the “junk” that now sits in storage. Women don’t seem to hold on to relics the same way men do. Guys like me love to hold on to little symbols of our past. Most of it looks destined for Goodwill, but I can’t help but hold on to these little items that mean so much to me. Golf makes that pack rat habit even worse it seems.

I’m not sure what it is about this bewildering game that makes men cling to such talismans, but every die-hard golfer I know has a room, office, wall, or garage corner dedicated to their experiences in the sport. They are like little shrines to good shots and grand weekends. The only thing missing are little candles. I can imagine me lighting a small flame in honor of the one time I managed not to embarrass myself in a member-guest shootout. Saying reminiscent prayers to honor the 68 I once shot on a beer soaked Saturday. “Ommmmmmmm” is the sound I make when praising my ball collection. What a weird game.

As odd as my wife surely thinks this is, the room I put together for my memories did mean a great deal to me. There were an awful lot of smiles baked into those displays. Despite the glory that once covered those walls, this coat of paint, crib, and dangling animal mobile for my son will undoubtedly bring me much more happiness soon. I can’t wait to collect new smiles while talking to my little boy about his mom, the Florida State Seminoles, and of course, golf.

Being a dad has been the best gift of my life and to have another crack at that is a blessing beyond comparison. Yet, I still will miss my trinkets. Clearing them out will lend room for new memories though. As my son grows up, he will collect his own items to swoon over. Perhaps, if I can do my job as a dad to a decent degree, he will even have a few golf trinkets of his own to hang on those walls I’m about to paint.

My stuff will be just fine sitting in the boxes I taped it all up in. They are stacked up next to all my old clubs, some lawn equipment and the water heater. If I get a few minutes between changing diapers, having princess tea parties, and doing yard work, I may sneak back to that corner and open up a box for good measure. I just hope my wife, daughter, and son don’t catch me lighting candles over the boxes in the garage. That would be a terrible way to set the smoke alarm off.

I’m going to miss my golf office. I had a lot of fun collecting all that crap and it truly brought me joy to sit in there, write some stories, and read a few good ones too. However, like all good things, time and other constants mean change keeps coming. I’ll spend my Father’s Day covering all those recollections up with new colors and nicer stuff. Turning the page on my story once again. If you need me today, I’ll be in my son’s room. Those walls aren’t going to paint themselves.