So… My apologies for the long time between blogs. I will try get doing them on a more regular basis again, because I do so enjoy sharing…
For the past few months, Jake has been asking relentlessly to go miniature golfing. Apparently, in his 1st grade gym class, the kids were driving golf balls, and he thought it was really fun. Also, he had seen some putt putt golf places which looked really exciting, and he couldn’t wait to try out this mini golf idea. So, when Ryan and I had a weekend free of derby and disc golf, and the weather cooperated, we had decided to surprise the boys and take them to Badger Sports Park for a quick round of mini golf.
To be honest, I am not a huge fan of putt putt. As it turns out, I am also not a fan of mini golf… though until that day, I had no idea that there was even a difference. For those of you like myself who were not well informed, a “putt putt” course is filled with crazy obstacles, whereas a “miniature” golf course is filled with more realistic obstacles which mimic actual golf courses. (Um yeah… I know. The difference is not distinct, to say the least.) Suffice it to say, after conferring with my husband, it turns out that the particular course that we were playing was in fact a mini course, with more life like obstacles than silly stuff. (Though the course does offer silliness.)
At any rate… I find the game of putt putt, and real golf, for that matter, rather dry and boring. I’ve never been much for individual sports, and this seems to be no exception. [I can kind of dig disc golf, because I love walking through the forest, I get to throw things at other things (letting out aggression) and because discs come in so many varieties. Disc selection is as close as I get to accessorizing and outfit.] Though ultimately, after a hole or two, I tend to get rather bored when golfing. Ryan, on the other hand, is a fantastic golfer, and a natural disc golfer. I have a theory that these abilities, or lack there of, may live in our genetics somewhere, judging on our children’s reaction to our day.
Initially, both boys were super excited to see that we were at Badger Sports Park. This place is about as much excitement as any one person can handle. Before you even enter the building, you can see Go-Karts, a mini golf course, batting cages and soccer fields. When you get inside the building, you’ll see tons of arcade type games, mini bowling, laser tag, large inflatables and several vending machine type things all for play. Once I could settle the boys down enough that I could wrangle them up to the counter, Ryan paid for a round for each of us, and the actual excitement began. The boys got to pick their very own color golf ball!! HOW COOL! I chose pink. Ryan selected green. Ben took his favorite color ever (light blue, not dark blue, apparently). Jake took an orange colored ball, because it was his favorite color next to black, and they didn’t actually have a black golf ball. With colored golf balls and putters in hand, we took to the course.
As soon as we stepped up, Ryan and Jake instinctively put their golf balls down on the putting surface and practiced putting around. Meanwhile, Ben took off to look at everything going on every where, and I had to pull him back. I let his curiosity distract me from the sweltering heat, until it was our turn to step up to the first tee. As in disc golf, we decided that the youngest person on the card should take the first turn. Ben had that honor. Ben sat his light blue ball down on the putting green, and swung with all his might. Then, he quickly darted to where the ball was about to stop, and hit it again and again and again until he had it near the hole. Then, he picked up his ball and literally threw it into the hole. Watching Ben play miniature golf was actually more like watching that person who sweeps the ice while curling. This technique pretty much suited him until he encountered a more interesting obstacle (like flowing water, which carried his ball away and allowed him to play to retrieve it), or until he lost interest in playing a game of his own. At that point, he began spending his time curling my golf ball into the hole, balancing on the decorative landscaping and singing random songs to anyone who would listen. Though normally I would’ve liked to have encouraged Ben to stick with it, I was bored too, so I decided to let his antics become my own amusement.
Next up to the tee was Jacob. Jake carefully and thoughtfully put his orange golf ball down on the putting green, assumed a very impressive stance, took a few practice swings, and then hit his ball nicely down the fairway. He carefully walked up to the hole, took out the flag (like a pro) and began putting his ball into the hole. Initially his putts were somewhat too powerful and jumped over the hole, but Jake quickly realized his strength and started to finesse the ball gently rather than smacking it. At each hole, Jake considered obstacles, debated paths to hit the balls along and carefully put his strategy into play. When his ball did not go the way that he intended, he was upset, but only slightly. When things went as planned, he rejoiced and reminded me of Tiger Woods in the way that he waived victory fists into the air. He was somewhat annoyed with Ben, extremely interested in staying competitive with Ryan and overall really impressive at such a mental game for someone so young. Also, he was equally as good whether he was putting left or right handed, and I don’t know if he realized he was interchanging the two…
I’ll save you the run down on Ryan’s and my own golf game. Let’s just say that the highlight of my game was certainly watching Ben “rescue” my golf ball and guide it to it’s home… and listening to Jake’s words of encouragement. Such a little gentleman, Jake would say things like, “wow, Mom, that was a great shot!” or, “Don’t worry, Ben. You’re getting better at this!” I was just as impressed with Jake’s sportsmanship as I was with his ambidextrous golf swing. It seems that Jake, like his father, maybe a natural born golfer. His mental attitude, amazing attention span and willingness to keep learning helped him end the round very impressively.
After we finished our game, Ryan decided to treat us also to a round of Go-Karts. Jake was a little bummed that he wasn’t big enough to drive his own car, but he was soon over that. It turned out that the car that he shared with Ryan was MUCH faster than the car that Ben and I drove, so it wasn’t much of a race at all. Luckily, Ben was just content as could be to be in a car with me, and we and watched other cars zoom by. Just as I had been, Benjamin was much more enamored with the idea of fast pace moving and being playful, while Jake and Ryan were more interested in winning (or more precisely, they were much more interested in playing the game well.)
All in all, this day at Badger Sports Park was really fun. It was yet another interesting look into the difference between my boys… both so sweet but as different as the sun and the moon.