It wouldn't be surprising to see Greg and Erin Stalsberg teeing off on hole no. 7 at North Oaks Golf Club this summer after enjoying dinner with their three children — McKenna, 8, Brynn, 4, and Callan, 2. After all, the hole is across the street from their house.
Golfing became more of a family hobby for the Stalsbergs a little more than a year ago, when they first joined North Oaks Golf Club. Now that they are members, it's become their neighborhood oasis for all sorts of family fun.
Getting into Golf
In high school, many of Greg's friends were on the golf team, so he frequently tagged along to play a few holes while they practiced. Soon, he found himself hitting the tee box more and more regularly, working on his stroke and learning to love the game.
Erin didn't start dabbling in golf until college. She and her friend, who was a talented golfer, would hit balls at the driving range or play a round for fun. Then, when she met Greg and before they started a family, they went golfing together on dates.
Joining the Club
Greg's idea of joining North Oaks Golf Club also began as a kid. "Ever since I was a caddie at North Oaks way back in the day, when I could barely lift a set of clubs, I always thought it would be fun to be a member," Greg says.
After living right across from the golf course for six years, the Stalsbergs decided to join. Neither Greg nor Erin had belonged to a golf club before, but many of their neighbors and friends already belonged to the club. They were excited to see what a membership provided for their family.
"Greg loves to golf," Erin says. "It's one of his passions. We wanted something we could do as a family that was convenient, something our family can grow to love together."
"It's also an ideal venue for entertaining clients and a great way to meet others in the community," Greg adds.
Something for the Whole Family
Soon after joining, Erin began taking lessons at the course and signed up for the Thursday night women's clinics. It was the first time she took formal lessons. She's still an amateur golfer but looks forward to improving her skills each season. "I really appreciated the women's golf lessons," she says. "I participated in both spring and summer. It's fun, low pressure, and there's a good teacher-to-student ratio."
Greg participates in the men's league. During golf season, he can be found on the course at least once a week. "I love to have a little friendly competition, and meet some new guys each week," he says.
His favorite hole to play is no. 10, a 352-yard par 4. "The views of the lake are amazing, and I can come close to driving the green occasionally," he says. And although the Stalsbergs play hole no. 7, a 441-yard par 4, most frequently, it's the most challenging for Greg. "I've played that hole a million times, since we live right by it, and I still can't figure it out for some reason," he says.
When couples golf events arise, Greg and Erin take advantage and hit the course together, as well. They also enjoy date nights at the course or meet with another couple for drinks on the patio.
Their eldest daughter, McKenna, took both golf and tennis lessons last year and loved both sports for different reasons. In fact, she's already decided she wants to participate in both sports this year, too. The Stalsberg's other two children are too young to participate in the programming, but chances are they'll be swinging a club in no time.
The club also offers fun events for the kids such as Nerf Night, Messy Olympics, and gingerbread house making. "They have different nights throughout the summer where kids work with staff and participate in themed events while the parents can do whatever they please," Erin says.
Aside from the activities, the Stalsbergs frequent the club's restaurant, too. "You can't beat the views from the patio," Greg says.
"There's a lot to like about our North Oaks membership, but I think my favorite thing is being able to play a few holes as the sun is setting after getting the kids to bed," he says. "It's a great way to unwind and enjoy God's creation."
When the Stalsbergs aren't at the golf club, they enjoy time outdoors. Greg and Erin like downhill skiing in the winter, and they all spend various weekends at the family cabin in the summer water skiing, tubing, and swimming. At home, they enjoy walking, biking, and playing in the yard.
A Change in Perspective
Before joining North Oaks Golf Club, the Stalsbergs, like many others, thought it was a guy's place to go and golf, that you had to be a good golfer or be conducting business on the course to join. And they definitely didn't see it as family-oriented entertainment.
Now that they've been members for more than a year, that's all changed.
"I've been pleasantly surprised that they want to cater to families and provide for kids of all ages and abilities," Erin says. "We look forward to enjoying the club with our kids as they grow up."
She also says the staff is phenomenal. "The staff is really intentional about building relationships with members," she says. "They get to know you personally and authentically care about you. They're also really open to hearing feedback and trying new things."