(Editor’s Note: Throughout the year we are giving our passionate readers a chance to voice their feelings about golf through a guest blog. They are not professional writers, just passionate about the game. This is the first in the series.)
by Cathy Goodfellow
The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been, and the memories we’ve made along the way.”…unknown. This quote sums up how I feel about the game of golf. To say that I had a difficult time picking just one thing to write about how I feel about this sport, would be a gross understatement.
I have spent countless hours with friends and family that I love making memories on a golf course. I have even, the odd time, golfed with someone I barely knew. To call golf a sport or a game, in my opinion, is a great injustice. Golf is so much more. This revelation didn’t come to me thirty-eight years ago when I started playing. It took years of playing with my friends, my parents, my husband and most importantly, my children.
Probably my favourite attribute of golf is that it is multi-generational. I don’t know of any other sport where a ninety year old can play with a ten year old, a 16 year old and a 60 year old. Not only can they spend four hours on a golf course together, they will spend days after that talking about that game. A common language spread across generations. Amazing!!!
As soon as my sons were old enough to be on the golf course, my parents bought them their golf membership as a combined Christmas and birthday present. As it is with most siblings, my sons were as different as the day was long in all aspects of their worlds. My oldest son, Joe was very tall, a goalie, played softball and struggled at golf. My youngest son, Edward was average height, played left wing, played softball and lived and breathed golf.
We usually golfed together as a family in the evening because it was always quieter on the course. At this time, we didn’t have to worry about holding other golfers up. I never took a score card but my husband and sons always did. To me it was never about how well I hit the ball. I just loved the fact that we were doing something together. If I didn’t hit my ball far, I did the unforgivable in the eyes of ‘real’ golfers. I picked up my ball and put it where ever I wanted.
One of the many memories I will cherish from the golf course was when the four of us were golfing and Joe was having a heck of a time getting his ball to go straight, while the ball of his little brother, never strayed from the fairway. You can imagine how that would go over. After playing four holes, we arrived at the fifth tee – the hardest hole on our home course – Edward says to Joe “would you like me to give you a tip.” I immediately, thought oh no this is not going to end well. What happened next is what warms my heart even to this day. Joe said sure and Edward showed him where to stand and how to tee up his ball. Joe’s ball went long and straight!!!! He turned around and said ‘thanks bud’!
This would be the last time the four of us would play together. Joe was killed in a car accident that same summer, changing our lives forever.
My point in all of this is that golf doesn’t have to be the golf we see on television. It can be so much more. It can be four couples getting together every Friday night for nine holes and dinner in the clubhouse after. It can be four girlfriends walking and talking through nine holes discussing their children, their fears, and laughing uncontrollably over something that had happened and where the number one rule is there are no rules; so involved in being out enjoying each other’s company that they might have even forgotten whose turn it was to hit off the tee. It can be two best friends feeling so passionate about golf that they walk and golf for twenty-four hours to raise over a million dollars in three years for the local cancer clinic as Edward and his friend Andrew did a few years back.
All of these reasons are why I got involved in promoting golf for children, for ladies and for families. I am passionate about golf. I am passionate about the Golf For Kids/Golf In Schools program that helps introduce elementary school aged children to the game. I am passionate about courses offering specials that allow juniors to play for free when accompanied by an adult. I am passionate about helping to find a solution to getting families on the course.
So if our paths happen to cross at a golf course, on social media, or in the grocery store, and the topic of golf comes up, beware you could be occupied for a couple of hours.
Cathy Goodfellow has worked in the education field for 24 years. In season she has also patrolled the pro shop at the Rivendell Golf Course in Verona, Ontario for 16 years.
An advocate for the sport, she has also worked for the GAO promoting the Golf For Kids Program and delivering the good news of the benefits of the GAO programs to the Ottawa Valley.
“I am a golfer but not in the ‘Golf Channel’ kind of way. I am passionate about all that golf has to offer and on any given Friday night you will find my husband and I with our friends golfing, dining and solving the problems of the world.”
If you want to chat with her (golf is usually the topic du jour) she can often be found on Twitter @goodfellowc29