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When it comes to our family activities, we love to find opportunities that bring us outside with uninterrupted time together. Having conversations, learning something new and simply enjoying each other is the goal. It’s no secret I married the modern-day Clark Griswald, who has naturally rubbed off on my outdoor-loving kids, so its important as a mom that I support my adventure-loving family.

Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, located in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe, has a rich history that some may not be aware of. Fairbanks Ranch hosted the 1984 Olympic Games Equestrian Events. A bronze sculpture named Victory’s Gate commemorates the event and stands at the pristine entrance gate. The club is also known for its 30 + years of history where generation after generation refer to it as their “home” club. Fairbanks Ranch is nestled on the San Dieguito River bed, which makes a beautiful habitat for migrating birds. One of their members even wrote a book about the birds. Our children loved seeing the abundance of their furry residents like rabbit, deer, coyote, fox and other animals. It’s the perfect natural setting with no homes on the course. With their recent partnership with Bay Clubs, their amenities are not only expanding, but enhancing.

Golf is the only sport where our family can play on the same field together with different ability levels. Families can grow together within the sport and parents can teach important life values through golf. According to Andree Martin, one of the most friendly directors of golf instruction who took on the Schaffer Six for a day of golf at Fairbanks Ranch, “its a game of honesty, integrity, creativity, leadership, respect, resilience, dedication, patience, confidence, composure, preparation, competition, volunteering, open-minded, optimism… have I left any out?”

Fairbanks Ranch Country Club customizes the family experience. It is not just about showing up for a lesson that teaches the ABC’s, it is the experience of many possibilities where all win and have fun. At first, Roman said he couldn’t do it and within a few tries, he was thriving and left the experience a very happy camper.

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One aspect I enjoyed was focusing on the children first. Our instructor did this strategically because if the kids mess up, their resilience shines on and they just try again, as opposed to some parents who would get stressed out. (like me)

The kids loved it when it was our turn. It was my first time golfing so I did have swing envy with my Bobby. He was such a natural, Me? Not so much. Andree, had such patience and kept at me until I got my form right. The kids thoroughly enjoyed seeing their mom give it her best, so it was a win all around.

Some of the goals our instructor had included us bonding as a family, cheering each other on and time for Bobby and I to catch up while she took center stage with our kids. One of the first things I asked about was the language. I wanted to know the right terms for new golfers.

Language & Tips For Families & New Golfers

  1. Aces a Hole: When someone Aces a hole, they got a hole-in-one, the elusive hole-in-one.
  2. Never belittle one in the middle: golfers tend to complain about hitting a shot right in the middle of the fairway because they hit it short.
  3. The hardest putt in golf…the third one!
  4. Fairway: its the green grass pathway that leads the golfer from point A to point B.
  5. Bunker: the shallow pit filled with sand
  6. Tee: is where you start


  1. Grip: hot dog on the bun (how to hold the club)
  2. Posture/Setup: powder feet a must
  3. Alignment: powder arrow on the lawn to a target helps with direction
  4. Balance: What is good balance? The goal is to start and finish in balance

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Top 4 things to do as new golfer

  1. Find a qualified LPGA or PGA professional to teach your family
  2. Ask in your interview if they like kids or work with families together
  3. Be sure to ask club protocol. Public courses are not as picky as private clubs
  4. Fun first, success and airborne is a bonus!

Golf Swag

Having an innate love of fashion, I couldn’t wait to see what was appropriate and trending on the fairway. Jackson and Roman were styled by my favorite, Travis Mathew, while baby Brody was wearing Janie & Jack, compliments of the Westfield UTC Center. For the girls, Dylan was wearing her favorite, Ivivva, and Lululemon at the Forum happily styled mom to make up for my lack of golf skills. However, if you are going to give golf a go, here is what you need to know about proper golf fashion.

  1. Shirts shall have collars (no cotton T-shirts or sweat(y) shirts) and shall be tucked in (except flat-cut Hawaiian style shirts).
  2. Denim jeans are NOT allowed on the golf course/practice areas or tennis courts, and golf shoes and clothes shall be changed in the locker room only. If you don’t yet have any golf attire check out Jack Grace to buy some.
  3. Workout & exercise attire shall be worn in the fitness center ONLY and not on the golf course or practice areas at any time.
  4. Excessively baggy cargo-style pants or shorts are not allowed on the premises.

Operation 36

Operation 36 is a new program at Rancho Santa Fe Country Club that will be fully launched in 2017 and its for junior golfer’s age 4-18. This three-week program will do a test run that starts December 7th. Andree Martin, whose credentials go way beyond director of instruction: LPGA Class A Professional, Nationally Recognized Top 50 Teacher and Expert, Maine Golf Hall of Fame. Certified Golf Coach, Certified Bio Swing Dynamics says, “Golf is not only a life-long sport, but a channel to learn life lessons and develop a junior’s character. We choose a theme each week to cover in the academy classes and call attention to how golf is always teaching us much more than we think!” These are just a few “Words of the Week” that they will cover: INTEGRITY, RESPECT, HONESTY, SPORTSMANSHIP, LEADERSHIP.

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When you arrive to play, organizing the kids should come first. Fairbanks Ranch recommends arriving at least 30 minutes ahead of your tee time. When Andree sized the kids up for their equipment needs, we learned Dylan was a lefty, so make sure you allow ample time before you start.

The Big Outside

Getting outside and enjoying a game of golf with my family really gave us a chance to celebrate each others efforts. We cheered each other on and bonded. It’s within these fun moments where we get to take breaks and enjoy family fun. Perhaps most importantly, this experience gave Bobby and I a chance to be role models, to show the kids our family time comes first and our love of the great outdoors. The best way to show our children this is by setting a good example for them.

Golf can be something we all play for a lifetime. And whats better than family time? Rather than Dad going out and coming home to tell us about his day on the course, we can all experience it together. It also sounds like this sport can also be the perfect date. Hopefully one day, I will improve my swing and get some bragging rights like the children and hopefully not need a posture restoration system!

Have you played golf? I would love to hear from you! For more information about Fairbanks Ranch Country Club and what they have to offer, click here. You can also go to Andree Martin’s website to inquire about how to get started. To inquire about member ship with the Bay Club and Fairbanks Ranch, click here.


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