Dads Night Out: It’s Not About the Golfing

When Marc Weissberg of Springfield headed out to Anchor Golf Center in Whippany for the Friendship Circle’s annual Dads Night Out event, he left his golf clubs at home. Why? It’s not about the golf, he explained. He’s golfed before, even hit a few balls that evening and surprised himself with his shots. But he wasn’t there for the golf; he went for the company.

At Friendship Circle events, he said, “People get you and you can be yourself. You don’t need to spend an hour explaining your situation. Everyone already understands. And just getting out of the house and talking to people – it’s good for my mental health.” 

Weissberg was one of about 20 dads who came for the evening at the range. They golfed, had sandwiches and drinks, and enjoyed the cool clear evening. Mostly, they spent time together, catching up with old friends, making new ones, exchanging tips and information, all with the clacking of irons hitting balls in the background.

While some focused on their everyday lives; others sought advice on critical issues specific to people with special needs children, from managing family dynamics to setting up wills to fighting with insurance companies, and managing school issues.

Having a common bond with the other dads “makes it easy to open up more,” said Weissberg, who came for the first time this year, though he’s been involved with Friendship Circle and LifeTown since before the pandemic. “And just having a chance to get out of the house, away from home and the worries and challenges there, and feeling like I don’t have to hide, clears my mind so I can focus better on kids or work. It makes me a better person and a better dad!” he said.

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