‘You have to give and take’: Jodi Munn-Barrow mastering golf and balancing family life

Jodi Munn-Barrow and husband Jason.

Jodi Munn-Barrow confirmed that she is Jamaica’s top female golfer by capturing the Alliance Buccaneer Memorial Golf tournament over the weekend. But her continued success does not come easy being a married woman with two kids.

“It’s difficult. I think any female athlete will tell you the same thing where it is difficult to try to be on top of the sport that you are in as well as maintain the marriage, the children and the home life as well,” Jodi Munn-Barrow told BUZZ in an exclusive interview.

“I think as a woman versus a man, there is more sacrifice on the side of a woman. For example, if I need to practise I will go out to the golf course really early in the morning on a weekend and get in my practice, then home to the family for the rest of the day. So you have to do things like that,” she explained.

Jodi tied the knot with Jason Barrow 16 years ago. That union has brought about two children a daughter, Taylor, and Brandon their son.

“You have a lot of responsibilities at home, so you have to be able to find a good balance. Recently I had a tournament in Florida where I represented Jamaica and after being abroad I would come home and then the focus is on the family and golf would take a back seat for a while. Then I would start training again. You have to give and take,” she reiterated.

Over the weekend, Jodi Munn-Barrow scored 76 on both days (152) to take the Ladies category ahead of Michelle Gabay who scored 88 and 81 for the two days (169) for second spot at the 2019 Alliance Buccaneer Memorial Tournament at the Caymanas Golf Course in St Catherine. This was the fifth time Jodi was winning this tournament but this time was a bit emotional and special.

“For me, this particular tournament means a lot because the Buccaneer to me is like family. In addition, as a part of this tournament, they recognised my niece who is deceased. She was also a golfer. They paid tribute to her by giving the best overall Junior a trophy in her name — Victoria Marley.”

Young Marley who died in 2010 was arguably the best female junior golfer in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.

“In addition, one of the original Buccaneers was my Godfather, Milton Joseph. So there is an emotional connect with their tournament. So for me, it was very pleasing to come out the top overall female,” said Jodi.

But while she basked in the glory of yet another golf title, she also laments the decrease in the number of females in the sport, in Jamaica and the Caribbean, which is worrying.

Taylor with her brother Brandon

“When I was a Junior I thought there were a lot more females. My mother was the one who introduced me to the game so when I grew up there were a lot of women playing and I have noticed that there has been a decline through the years. I think a lot of that has to do where you have a lot of single women and golf is expensive as you now. If you are a single mother you may not necessarily take up golfing because it is expensive,” she theorised.

“Then I think you also need to have maybe some more support for the women through whether a reduced membership rate or more access to the golf course and things like that. It is harder being a female to play a sport than the male. Even in the Junior division, quite a lot of the Juniors are male. We have some very good young girls coming up, but the majority of the Junior programme is male. So we have to try to figure out how we can make it more attractive to them,” said Jodi Munn-Barrow.