(This column appears in the Spring print issue of Flagstick Golf Magazine)
Dear Mom and Dad,
It’s hard to believe it has been 37 years since that hot summer day in the Saskatchewan. I tried golf, and I liked it. You encouraged me to keep at it, like everything else that grabbed my attention.
After I came home and told you that Tim, Stephane and I were tired of hitting balls on the parched field at Radar Hill Elementary School, you made the offer that changed my life.
You drove me a half hour down dusty roads to Bruno so I could play their nine-hole course with sand greens. Mom lent me her two wood because she knew I coveted it.
Being a young military family I realized you did not have a lot of extra money, but you gave me the chance to play Bruno, and later that summer handed me the $12 that got me on the Wakaw Golf Club so I could finally play grass greens. I was in awe at the beauty of the place.
You smiled afterward as I told you about every single shot I hit. I’m sure inside you were bored to tears but your interest, feigned or otherwise, made me one happy child.
As we moved on to Nova Scotia, you smiled as I took over the full length of our back yard with golf balls.
When we moved on to British Columbia, the magic really took place. One of your first purchases there was a family golf membership. It took a bit of a drive to get to the golf course from our house but you never hesitated when I asked for a ride. Many times, it was you asking. “Hey, do you want to go play nine after dinner?”
Your recognition and acceptance of what I liked to do meant the world to me.
We did endless loops of that course. It was there I really got to know you both. About your lives growing up in P.E.I. How you met; about the early days of balancing two kids and being apart as dad worked on remote bases.
Dad, you found out that the golf course was hiring a couple kids for the greens staff and you never let on that you probably secured the job for me. I was 15…I’m still working in golf at 47.
When I was 18 I told you that I wanted to be a golf professional and a golf journalist. You didn’t laugh. Just like you did when I was ten, you told me to go ahead and try. When I accomplished both, you could not have been prouder.
We’re all a little older now. You both don’t play anymore but we still talk about golf. It has been our bond. Our common ground. Our starting line to chat about anything and everything.
Most people think golf is about a scorecard. About birdies and bogies. You showed me that it was much more than that.
For that I will always be grateful.
Many people I get to meet through golf feel the same way about the game. I promise to work harder this year to share the exhilaration of golf with others. To spread the joy you provided me. I hope our readers will as well. They love the game too.
Thanks for the gift that keeps giving.
One Blessed Son