From Field to Fairway

My neighborhood is a former cow pasture. A few homes have backyards with trees and shade. We do not. Instead we have a near-acre lot and not a single tree, save for those lining the back of the property.

And because I swing toward the ungrateful end of the spectrum, I have long lamented the treeless field known as my backyard.

How will we ever afford to properly landscape? What in the world are we going to do with all this? It takes forever to mow. I wish we had a lot like _______.

I envisioned clusters of oaks and hydrangeas, surrounding a grandiose swing-set-tree-house thing. Maybe a DIY water-feature outlined with flag-stone. An in-ground pool…because it is hot here for so long and a girl can dream. I have long been discontent with the field, too much resembling its former cow-pasture existence.

Southern Living will mess you up like this.

But something happened over the summer that shook the discontent right out of me.

Five-year-old Brownie took up golf.

And by “took up” I mean hours-a-day of driving, chipping, and putting, even in the 100-degree Southern heat and humidity. Last week I rolled out of bed only to find him out there in the field, club in hand, ankles slathered with the wet grass his sneakers had christened before 7:30. He forgets to eat, forgets to drink, forgets time itself out there in that field.

Conversations are now peppered with words like rough, par, 7-iron, eagle, and chipping wedge. He talks about Tiger, Phil, and Lucas as if they’re the neighbor kids. He dreams of being great like them.


Daddy, how many years has Tiger Woods been practicing?

Buddy, you need to go to sleep.

But how many years?

Oh, about 25. (just throwing out a number)


Then I’m gonna practice 26.


His technique and skill are intuitive, so I’ve been told.

And so, the field has become a par 3. The Man mowed a fairway and green, topping off the design with a regulation cup and flag that cost $20, pretty cheap by landscaping standards.

It’s not what I’d envisioned for my lot. But my vision is rarely in keeping with His, the One who created a little boy with brown, curly hair and a passion for golf. A boy who could sure use a wide-open space for hours every day to hone his skills.

Too often, my vision is impaired. My narrowly-focused eyes don’t see the gift I’m smack in the middle of.

I watch the boy all day long through the back-of-the-house windows, his resolve inspiring…

And I’m more grateful than ever for a God who saves me from what I think I want.*


Linked up with Melissa at The Inspired Room (A Beautiful Life Friday.)

Also linked up (later) with Emily at Chatting at the Sky (Tuesdays Unwrapped.)


*Last sentence paraphrased from an article by Kathryn Donovan Wiegand, “Childrearing Interlude” in Finding God at Harvard. “Thank God, who saves us from what we think we want” are Wiegand’s words…they have become an oft-used mantra for me.


  1. says

    I love the way you put it – a God who saves me from what I think I want. And your son is nothing short of inspiring! This is a terrific story. :)

  2. says

    Wow! that is awesome. Way to go Brownie! you are one tenacious young guy.

    I’m sure you will nurture him through this.
    What a great mom you are, Scooper.

  3. says

    Cool! None of my kids have ever pursued an interest so passionately… although my Abbie is very creative and always working on projects and drawings. My husband was in the golf industry when I met him, so I have hoped one of my kids would follow in his footsteps… hasn’t happened yet.

    To encourage you regarding your treeless state… I have a friend here who has the most gorgeous treed property. She took me on a tour of her “park” with all the beautiful sitting areas, tall trees and lush foliage. Then she showed me photos of when they moved in 7 years ago: not one tree! She also gives away cuttings and tiny trees she has rescued from her beautiful yard, sharing the love. So if you can find a kindly local gardener, you can also start realizing your beautiful vision, one small step at a time. Or come visit me, and I’ll take you to Carol’s!!! Blessings!

  4. Angie B. says

    The things we give up for our children but well worth it. You never know Marian, Max might outshine Tiger one day and he’ll have you and the man to thank for it. I think supporting a child’s dream is so very important. At 4 yrs old, Grayson’s dream is to sing on-stage with “The Jonas Brothers” & “Miley Cyrus”. I don’t know how I’m going to swing that one…lol

  5. Anonymous says

    Totally off topic, but I had just peeked in with Nester and who do I see smack dab in the middle of the Swap photo but a very familiar face! I just wanted to say “Hey!” (That’s what we say up north in Cincinnati) and to ask how Miss Blondie’s sewing is going. Would she like a bundle of pre-cut quilt squares? Kiss my kidlets for me when you see them – Victoria, Matt’s Mom


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