Today, my dad bought me my first driver and he would not be denied his first opportunity to take me golfing to test this new club out. The rain was hard. The wind was fierce. We even saw lightning strike a power line on our way to the course.
This was golf in Oregon. This was golf with dad. This was for the love of the game.
A father and son… A new club…
We arrived at the small 9 hole golf course located out in the country. The parking lot was empty. We had the whole course to ourselves as the stormy weather had kept other golfers away.
The first hole was a short par 4 and straight as an arrow.
A metal framed barn sat in the near distance, just past the green about 150 yards… to the left, a country road. We made our way to the green, the rain washing us clean as the wind howled past us on every side.
There we were… just me and dad.
As I stood over my ball preparing to putt, dad was shuffling through his clubs to find his putter.
The metal framed barn across the way just got hit with lightning! Too shocked to be scared, I scrambled to throw my putter in my bag. No sooner than I could do that, I turned to see what all the commotion was behind me.
In a flash, several clubs had fallen out of dad’s bag. He quickly picked them up and proceeded to run faster then I have ever seen him run in my life!
Normal protocol for a kid my age was to be overwhelmed with fear. However, thanks to dad’s sprint to the club house, I found myself laughing out loud as I tried to keep up with a sprint of my own.
As we arrived at the clubhouse, my dad, slightly irritated at my laughing as well as my lack of urgency, sought out a “rain-check” for another day.
We did play another course that day. We just waited for the lightning to stop. (Of course that course was flooded, which made for some interesting strategy. But, i’ll save that story for another day.)
And so it was growing up with dad.
We golfed for the love of the game. And now I know that we golfed for much more than just the love of the game… but for the love of the memory.
Thankfully, those memories are many. (By the way, my dad was a great player too. He had a short game that was untouchable.)
I lost my dad in 2003.
What I would give to have one more time on the course with dad. I wish I appreciated then what I so miss now.
Time with dad walking the course.
As he grew older and weaker, he was no longer able to get out and play. Yet still, I would find myself on many occasions sitting with him and swapping stories about this course or that course.
Golf is one of those sports that gets personal for me. I can never play without feeling as if dad is at my side or a certain memory of our times playing a round or two.
Today, I wish I could get out more and play. When I do, I carry that club in my bag and look forward to that point during each and every game, where I pull it out and tee it up.
This one’s for you dad!
Watching the U.S. Open is fun for me. But, to relive one of those memories with dad… priceless.
Without knowing it, dad was making his moments make a difference. In this, he was planting memories for me to unpack years later with a smile.
I wonder now how I am at making my moments make a difference?
I wish I could tell him thank you. But instead, I’ll just pull out that club and tee it up.
Thank you dad!