My family will celebrate our one year FlingGolf anniversary on May 2. It is wild to consider something so recent to us becoming such a frequent part of our family recreation and outdoor time. This time last year, we were looking for a new outdoor activity to try; living in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley offers many incredible options: hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, among others. There are also some beautiful golf courses, but we had not visited any of them, as none of us played golf.
That was, until we found out about FlingGolf. We had not visited Bryce Resort in Bayse, Virginia, about 45 minutes from our home, so I browsed their website for ideas. Tucked away was a reference to FlingGolf and after a bit of online research, I booked a round for me, my wife Cathy, our 9-year old Latham, and our 6-year old Gwendolyn.
From those first nine holes at Bryce, we were hooked. Though the golf carts topped the kids’ favorite thing about that first round, it was fun learning something new at the same time together. We watched the technique videos and added different swings to our arsenal. I settled on the lacrosse-style swing; Cathy favored the baseball swing; Latham liked the golf swing; and Gwendolyn goes with whatever she wants, usually with a spin or two. With a bit of time at driving ranges and different courses, we began to see improvement and some consistency to our games.
At the end of May, we excitedly watched FlingGolf featured on Shark Tank, which became an easy addition to the conversations we had on the golf courses about what we were doing. For Father’s Day, my wife bought a FlingStick for each of us so we could play at the other local courses which didn’t rent them out.
We soon began playing regularly at Heritage Oaks, the city course in Harrisonburg. While they did not offer special rates for FlingGolf, it is the closest course to us. It’s also a very walkable course, adding another favorable element to our being outside together. Through the excellent golf pro at Heritage Oaks, I was introduced to a few other FlingGolfers in town – and we are working on putting together a FlingGolf league for summer.
After a year of playing, we are still finding fun and challenges with FlingGolf. Cathy and Latham currently fling about the same distance while Gwendolyn can send it up to 30 yards. We adapted our time on the course in a couple of ways to add some competitiveness too: I throw from the tee and everybody else’s first shot is from where my first fling landed. This works well on most Par 4 and Par 5 holes, though sometimes it’s my second shot on Par 5s; they use the closest tees on Par 3s. This also helps with our overall pace of play, which keeps things moving.
Like I mentioned before, it has been special to learn something together at the same time. I played a bit of golf with friends in high school, but a good day would max out at two good shots across 18 holes. Cathy played golf with her grandpa, siblings, and cousins when she was growing up, so she brought a great sense of the game to this, as well as the best putting ability in our family.
For the kids, it was their first time on any golf course, so they have learned a lot — trying something new, learning from it, and trying again; perseverance to keep at it; golf etiquette (well, kind of – mostly when it’s appropriate to shout and cheer and when to be a bit quieter); how to encourage each other; who’s away and who flings next; not to run across the greens; but mostly how much fun this game can be, regardless of how we get that little white ball (or pink or yellow or teal) into that little hole.