Health And Family

How Webb Simpson balances family life and golf

REAL SPORTS SCENE - Anthony Suntay - The Philippine Star
How Webb Simpson balances family life and golf
Family comes first: Webb Simpson and wife Dowd with their kids

All budding athletes dream of making it big in their chosen sport, but very few also envision having a balanced family life, while staying on top of their game.

Webb Simpson, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, including this year‘s Waste Management Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage, is one of those rare players.

Read on as he shares his story.

“We knew all along that we wanted to have a big family.’’ says Webb. My wife, Dowd, is the oldest of five children and I am second to the youngest of six. We didn‘t know exactly how many children we wanted, but we knew we both had great experiences growing up and wanted to create something similar to that in our life together. We have five children now, ages nine, seven, six, four and 18 months.

“Our life is constant, busy and fun. We feel like we fail every day at what we want to be as parents, but we‘re thankful our kids give us grace and they forgive us when we mess up. We are constantly learning. We ask parents who are five, 10 years ahead of us: What did they do that worked well? And when it comes to teaching our kids or disciplining our kids, I feel like parenting is one of those fluid processes unlike anything else. You learn as you go. You learn from your mistakes. It‘s simultaneously the most joyful and challenging thing that I‘ve ever done. Some days you feel like you want to have 20 kids, and some days you feel like you just want to run into your closet and hide for a little while. But we are having fun. I mean, our kids bring so much joy to us.

“Dowd and I truly are partners in this journey. Most of the things I‘ve implemented as a father have come from her and from watching her be a mom. I think communication is so big when it comes to any marriage — any relationship, really— and especially one like ours where we‘re apart so much. You’ve got to know how to talk to each other. Sometimes, I play golf more than I want to because of the schedule that time of the year, but Dowd has been great about it.

“In fact, a few years ago she told me when I‘m on the road, I should be fully on the road and trust that she‘s got everything taken care of at home. And then when I‘m at home, be fully home. So, if I have an off week, I don‘t need to be spending two hours a night watching Golf Channel — be fully with the kids, present- minded, that kind of thing. Obviously, I miss them when I’m on the road and think about them a lot, but Dowd just said, ‘Hey, listen, if you‘re going to be gone from us, why don‘t you make it count? Go work hard and have a great week of golf, then come home and deal with us.’ So that really changed my mindset and it‘s really helping.

‘‘Leaving home is never easy. I remember when Jack was probably six years old and I told him I was going to be gone for eight days to go play in the Open Championship. He started crying in the driveway and then I started crying. I literally kissed everyone, told them I loved them and told Dowd, with tears in my eyes, that I’ve got to go. Then I sat there and cried in the back of the car that was taking me to the airport. As the kids have gotten older, the dynamics change a little. They can tell you they don’t want you to go in a very clear way like Jack did that day. But they also understand my job better and how it takes me away from them.

“When I’m on the road, we stay in touch on FaceTime. I try not to call during dinner or disrupt the bedtime routine because sometimes the kids get a little hyper after talking to me. Our youngest, Eden, she cries immediately when she hears my voice on the phone. But we talk several times a week and we try to talk individually so I can hear about their day. I don’t know if it helps them, but it definitely helps me.’’

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You can watch the current FedExCup No. 2 player, and the PGA Tour on GolfTV powered by PGA Tour.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @anthonysuntay.


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