It was only a matter of time that this would happen as he had the chance of playing for the Philippine flag in the Junior World Golf Championships, not just once but twice (2008 and 2009) in the 6-years-old and under division. What startled me was that I never thought it would come this soon.
I knew that children's growth is more noticeable and measurable when they are golfers. A parent has to contend with the changes in height which directly relates to changes in clubs. We've seen the movement from US Kids Golf Red series to Ping PAL, then Ping Moxie, then to the Maroon and Gold of US Kids. And yet, no matter how we get to observe the growth, I never thought the day would come earlier when all the junior clubs had to be ditched and put up for sale in OLX.
Unlike other parents who are so hot on getting their kids to use adult clubs, no thanks to the pros at the driving range who say, "Kaya nya na mag adult clubs", I have stuck to the advise of my Manong Joemarie Limjap (dad to former DLSU Captain, Justin Limjap) to make sure that the kids are using the right length of clubs so that their swings are not awkwardly distorted while coping with the length and weight of adult clubs.
But then here we are. The day has finally arrived when I can no longer play as their dad but as another competitor. Having golfers as kids is a wonderful experience because I can now measure myself against them rather than them measuring themselves against their dad. The playing field is literally leveled. Not to mention our physical height.
Having said these, here are my resolutions for 2016:
1. Play more golf! This past year, work became the center of my attention. Whereas it is important to concentrate on business, or my artistic (or journalistic) pursuits, it is important to do just that - golf.
2. Help new golfers get involved and stay in the game through this little blog. I heard that the Philippine golf industry is struggling to meet the numbers for its existence despite the influx of Korean nationals coming over to play. I'm not an expert in assessing that but one thing I can notice is that as a Junior Golf parent, I can see the numbers dwindling in junior golf events. The current status of the revered icon in the early 2000s for junior golf, Tiger Woods, has not helped either. There was a time when every junior golf parent wanted his/her jungolf child to be the next Tiger Woods. Now, being the next Tiger obviously could have negative connotations. It is with this simple blog, http://thegolfcourse.ph that I hope more can see the "user-friendliness" of golf as a sport. We're always learning anyway.
3. Practice, practice, practice! Even though I could not play as much golf as I would have liked, I should have made a more eager attempt to get to the driving range.
4. Play golf on at least one new course every two months. The six on my list this year are : Anvaya in Subic, Luisita in Tarlac, Calatagan in Batangas, Caliraya, Apo Golf in Davao, and Pueblo de Oro in CDO.
5. Must work on the mental game! The mental game of golf is not only played on the course. By nature as an artist and as an advertising professional, the ideas keep on coming. Yet, I have to stop thinking of the next startup idea or business innovation while playing. As they say, don't mix business with pleasure.
6. Go through my golf bag...out with the old, in with the new! I'm sure I'm not the only golfer who stuffs way too many golf balls, tees, markers, accessories, etc. into my golf bag. Need to check what's needed and what's not.
Will I succeed? Only time will tell. Then again, there are my two kids to keep an eye on me.
Happy New Year to all my golf friends!