The Golfing Life: A Story Of Summer
Summer is special for families and can be special on a golf course. Whether it’s competition, a first-time experience or nine holes in the evening, a day at the golf course has the power to impact us in many ways. As the season comes to an end, I wanted to share a story about two families and a round of golf one perfect summer day.
The kids were best of friends and always played together in the Junior Golf program at the club. It was Fourth of July weekend and they were eager to play in the club’s annual Parent-Child match play competition. Trophies would be handed out, and the winning team would have their names inscribed on a plaque in the clubhouse. But no one really cared about that. They were content to compete against each other the way they did in the backyard or on the school field. As the temperature rose, the children cooled themselves by running through the sprinklers as they sprayed the lush fairways. The fathers did the same and soon the entire foursome was soaking wet, laughing with pleasure.
At the turn, they stopped to enjoy the famous hot dogs from the snack shop. They piled the dogs high with mustard and sauerkraut. The kids were especially messy with mustard streaks running across their cheeks and stains dripping down their shirts. The mothers joined to watch and even found the disgusting eating habits to be amusing.
The back nine went back and forth with each team gaining and then losing the upper hand. Parent and child began to plot strategy together. Rarely could a young boy feel like he could advise his father, but this day was different. There was a sense of oneness and they communicated and played as equals. On one hole, play was halted by a group of deer that stopped near the fairway to graze. The kids had rarely seen such animals so close and they watched in amazement until the deer were back on their way.
Rarely could a young boy feel like he could advise his father, but this day was different.
The final hole of the match was all square, until one of the boys sank a monster putt to win. The losing team fell to the ground in a comical depiction of defeat as the winning boy was hoisted onto his father’s shoulders. As he was lowered to the ground, the boys removed their caps and shook hands in respect for their friendship and recognition of a round well played. For the boys, swimming ensued, while the parents enjoyed live music and a pig roast put on by the club. As the fireworks lit the summer sky, they could not help but think of how it was such a special day.
Through the years the children grew and the families moved apart. If every kid could have it their way, the perfect life would be lived skateboarding in a cul-de-sac or playing catch in the backyard. However, the only constant in life is change and these moments and places are only temporary.
Years later, the families were drawn together to pay tribute to their pro who was retiring after a lifetime of service to the club. The conversation flowed effortlessly as ever and all were doubled up in laughter reliving stories from the past. Amid the laughter, one of the boys, who was now much older, paused as his eyes gazed to the floor in reflection. You could see his smile had become a touch smaller and more genuine. As he looked back to the group, a gentle tone accompanied his voice. “Do you remember that day?”, he asked. The others stopped to listen. They had spent hundreds of days together, but everyone knew he could only be speaking of the day they played golf and competed with their fathers.
They all smiled and began their remembrances of the big match. The group soaking wet from their run through the sprinklers, even the deer and the amazing hot dogs they had gobbled down at the turn. They all told stories of the day and were amazed at how much everyone had remembered in such detail. It was the perfect snapshot of childhood joy.
It’s an amazing thing, but just one round of golf can be filled with wonderful moments to live with you forever. It reminds us that golf is more than a game. It challenges our minds, lifts our spirits, fills our hearts and connects us with all that is good in the world.