The PGA Tour wives have a unique lifestyle that few experience. Particularly when it comes to raising kids, there are uncommon demands placed on the families.
"A different town every week. A different temporary home every week. In the end, the important thing is that we do this as a family... Being a professional golfer is not what defines Bubba, it's just what he does to provide for our family and he loves to do it," says Angie Watson.
PGA Tour wife, Sybi Kuchar emphasizes that their family tries to make every trip a socially and educationally rewarding experience. "We have a unique opportunity to teach the boys to travel and be exposed to all kinds of different people and cultures," she says.
Beyond the Fairways and Greens: A Look Inside the Lives of PGA Tour Families is The PGA Tour Wives Association 25th anniversary commemorative book, which offers a great way to pull back the curtain and get a sense for these families' experiences.
I had my own opportunity to pull back the curtain in a Q&A with three of the PGA Tour wives:
Sybi Kuchar is a former tennis pro and the mom of 5 and 6-year-old boys, Carson and Cameron. She is married to Matt Kuchar who is known as one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour and finished as the leading money winner for 2010. He has won seven tournaments and has Top 10 finishes at all four majors. The couple live in St. Simons Island, GA.
Kate Rose is the mom of 5-year-old Leo and 2-year-old Charlotte. She is married to Justin Rose, an English golfer, who won the U.S. Open in 2013 and finished in the Top 5 at each of the four majors. Kate was in sports management and currently runs the Kate and Justin Rose Foundation, is on the national board of directors for a nationwide charity, Blessings in a Backpack, and has designed their new home in the Bahamas. The couple also maintain a residence in Orlando, FL.
Angie Watson is the mom of 2-year-old Caleb, who they adopted when he was one month old. She was a professional basketball player, and is currently a teacher and college basketball coach. Her husband, Bubba Watson, is a two-time major champion, having won the Masters tournament in 2012 and again this year. The couple live in Windermere, FL.
What is the best parenting advice you have received?
Kuchar: Having two awesome, rambunctious boys, right now my advice comes from Trace Adkins: 'You're going to miss this. You're gonna want this back. You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast.'
I hear this song and it makes me take a deep breath and my head clears. Love your kids. Make them your priority. Spend time with them. Don't get bogged down by the little stuff. We are raising the next generation, take pride in that.
Rose: My granny wrote me a card when I had our first baby: 'Don't let this little person scare you.' It confused me at the time, but actually made more and more sense as I got to know our very strong-willed son!
The other advice I hold close is to remain consistent... no matter what country my children woke up in, they ate and napped at the same times, and bath and bedtime routines maintained the same rhythm.
Watson: The best instruction manual for parenting is the Bible... We instill a kind and encouraging daily attitude exactly the way Jesus told us he wants us to.
Do your kids play golf?
Rose: Zero interest in golf from our son. Sadly! He is only five, and I think resents golf as it takes daddy away. I am sure that will mellow over time, especially if some of his friends take it up.
Our daughter is always desperate to watch Daddy play, which is nerve wracking for me as there's no guaranteeing a quiet and still 2-year-old. Just ask Rory (McIlroy) ... She squawked loudly on his back swing on the 18th at TPC when a bee landed on her... Luckily he still made birdie but of course loved ribbing me about it after!
Watson: He loves anything to do with sports, especially golf. He loves doing whatever daddy does. We will always tell him to have fun. We will allow him to play many sports or try many new things in his childhood.
What is your parenting style? Do you and your husband have the same or different parenting styles?
Kucher: We have the same styles. Luckily, we are on the same page. It is really pretty simple. We love our kids openly. We let them know this. We are laid back. We try to teach them respect, love, honesty, integrity. Give them opportunities to experience new things. But, no means no.
Watson: I would say we are slightly different. I would also say that our expectations of our son are quite high. I believe modern day parenting has become pretty lax. We have demanded respect and obedience from the day we feel Caleb was old enough to understand the difference between yes and no.
Angie Watson, describe the ups and downs of the adoption process and how you plan on talking with your son about it.
Watson: I have always said that if every person that gives birth to a baby had to go through the rigorous home study and adoption process, the world would be a better place. If I had to choose one word to describe it, I would choose emotional.
There were times when we thought we had been placed with a baby and it fell through. I know now that it was God's perfect plan because Caleb is absolutely perfect. At the time, however, it was absolutely devastating. There were times when I thought, 'Why does this birth mother not think I'm capable?'
We will tell Caleb that God perfectly knitted him in someone else's womb in our likeness.