Ashley Kettmann is a former Foothill High School in Pleasanton and San Jose State golfer. After college she competed professionally, including competing in two seasons of the Big Break on the Golf Channel, finishing runner-up in Big Break VII: Reunion at Reunion. She currently lives in Livermore with her husband Jeff and their four children. She teaches lessons at the Pleasanton Golf Center as well as privately and counts Golden State Warrior Andre Iguodala as a client. Kettmann is the founder of Queen of the Green and can followed on Instagram under that title. Kettmann is writing a blog for ACES about golf from a woman’s perspective.

I was vacuuming my house the other day… (you read that right) and it had been a particularly long day with my kids…. it suddenly dawned on me. All my years of golf trained me to be a mom. Sounds crazy I know, but it’s so so true.

Practicing golf isn’t what anyone would call thrilling. It’s arduous, it’s repetitive, and it takes hours of hard work every day to become good. Find me a toddler that cannot be described the exact same way that I just described practicing golf, and I will give you a million dollars!

When I was playing golf in college, there was no worse feeling than waking up the day of a tournament knowing that you had to walk 36 holes that day. The day would start at 5:30 a.m. (I didn’t start drinking coffee until after college, so I would pop open a Diet Coke to wake myself up) the team would tee off at 8:00 a.m. (at that time push carts were not cool, so we all carried our bags while we played and walked).

Our first round was finished at 1:00 PM and there was no break. No stopping, no resting, no sitting down to give your tired feet a break, we just kept going (oh and lunch was a brown bag lunch that was always eaten on the 20th hole of the day while walking down the fairway). The final putt of the day would drop at 6:00 p.m. where the team would pack our bags in the van and head to dinner. We would all get back to the hotel around 8:00 p.m., which would give us just enough time to take a shower, make a few phone calls, and iron our golf clothes for the next day of golf. If we were lucky, we would be in bed at 9:30 p.m. from pure exhaustion of being up all day along with walking over 10 miles with a golf bag strapped to our backs, only to wake up the next morning and repeat it all over again.

Those 36-hole days sadly sound so fun to me some days but they also taught me so much about being a mom. I learned that no matter how tired you are from the day before, you get your ass out of bed and your try to your best to be even better. I learned that it’s totally normal to never sit down for a meal. And I learned that Advil is the answer to any and all body pain. But the most important thing I learned is that nobody wants to hear you complain. When I was playing golf and was overwhelmingly tired, so were all of my teammates. And when I’ve had an exhausting day of being a mom, so has every other mom that you talk to. Nobody wants to hear you complain about it. You just keep going!

Golf is hard, it takes patience, and it takes years to master. I could describe being a mom the exact same way. You obviously don’t have to play any sports to be an amazing parent, but I definitely think it helped me. Golf is about trying to be the best you can be and being a parent should be viewed the same way. Wake up every day and try to be the best for your kids. Teach them something new, show them all aspects and cultures in life, and show them that you are giving them the happiest life that you can give them.  There is no greater love, than the love of a child – unless you play golf!