For many families, Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy a large meal and sit on the couch watching the “big game” – the big football game. It makes sense. The first gridiron Thanksgiving football game was held in 1869, just six years after Thanksgiving became an official holiday. But what if we told you there was another sport worthy of enjoyment on turkey day? Golf. Yes, that’s right, golf. Leave the steady stream of four letter words and name calling behind at the stadium, and enjoy chirping birds at your local golf course instead.
Imagine you’ve just stuffed yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and more. After letting it settle and enjoying a slice of pumpkin pie, you’re ready for some exercise. Instead of that hokey game of flag football in the backyard that inevitably ends with Uncle Roger pulling a hamstring or Grandma taking a ball to the face, why not hit the links?
You don’t have to be a pro to play a round of golf. It welcomes all levels of physical ability and athletic prowess. Did you know that John Daly (one of the golf greats) won two majors on a diet that consisted of Coke and chocolate donuts? Seriously. If he can win the majors on that, imagine what you can do after Thanksgiving dinner! Unlike football, golf doesn’t require throwing tight spirals, so you don’t need to examine your muscles every time you walk by a mirror like football players. This is very helpful after a big meal. Even if some members of your family don’t want to play, walking the course is another great way to get some exercise and a beautiful one at that.
Golf courses are less crowded on Thanksgiving, so it’s a great time to get out there and give it a try. You don’t even have to play a full round. Play 9 holes and call it good. Chances are it will go quickly since you won’t be waiting for a group in front of you. It truly can be all-inclusive. If some members of your family are unable to walk the course, rent a golf cart. Many golfers prefer a cart to a caddy anyhow, because they can’t criticize, count, or laugh. At least your family will get outside for some fresh air and action instead of staying inside watching…football!
Suppose, that you’re not going to be able to leave the house on Thanksgiving. How do you get your golf fix? There are a number of options on TV. The LPGA CME Group Tour Championship will be aired on ABC Sports, along with The PGA RSM Classic on the Golf Channel. You don’t have to watch football!
It’s too late for this year, but if you’re an avid golfer, consider convincing your family to take a golf vacation next Thanksgiving. Many resorts offer special rates and packages for Thanksgiving weekend. Pinehurst in North Carolina offers activities for the whole family including a pops concert from the Carolina Philharmonic, ice-skating on the West Lawn and gingerbread house making. Plan ahead and get your children golf shoes this year for Christmas (chances are, they won’t get stolen)!
Doesn’t that sound immensely better than bundling up and sitting in the stands to watch your favorite football teams face off? It’s time to think outside the end zone and make golf part of your Thanksgiving tradition. You won’t regret it, we promise.