This week is Father’s Day which means it is US Open week. Understanding the meaning of this week can only be described through my father, obviously. My dad was born and raised in Picher, Oklahoma. His father, my grandad, owned one of the two clothing stores in this small mining town. My dad is the middle of three. His older brother was born early during the beginning of the war, and then my grandparents waited until after the war to have my dad. My dad’s sister is less than two years younger than he is.
My grandad was involved in many things in their small town – helping run things, giving advice to many, knowing all people. He was active in his local Methodist church, a long standing leader in the lions civic group and helped out informing people of the mining in our nation, even presenting to the US Congress on this at one point, I believe. Among all these things, grandad also loved to play golf. A good athlete, he played quarterback through high school growing up, grandad was quite the golfer.
The legend goes that grandad would go out and play golf until dark, with the caddy lighting a match above his ball to see it well enough to make contact. “We were playing enough golf back then that we could tell generally where the ball went by the feel of the shot.” Grandad loved golf. So naturally, my dad played growing up and the love of the game was passed on to my dad. My dad played some growing up and loved it. He continued on when we were born. He would take us all out to the course and my brothers and I would hit a few balls then spend most of the time foraging in the woods for lost balls.
Our exposure to golf was more than just some outings to the course. My dad routinely watched golf tournaments on tv on weekends. Golf books littered our book shelves and my dad was victim to more than a few golf tools. All this to say, I grew up around the game. I never played organized golf, but I started young enough that I know how to behave on the course and my swing (with decent practice) is pretty solid. Now with all that background, I will add that my entire immediate family plays golf and most aunts and uncles and some cousins as well. My mom’s dad was a great golfer. So, most of the family is into golf.
In addition, the US Open is always played on Father’s Day. And most men are taught to play golf by their father. So, the tournament usually culminates with somebody winning and hugging their dad on the 18th hole or thanking their dad who has passed away. There are always touching video tributes of victors saying their dad taught them to grip the club or swing in the backyard or was always their swing coach. I don’t have it that intense, but my dad and I certainly share a love of the game.
So that is the setting for this week. Thankfulness for fathers and golf and all intertwined. I invite you to enjoy the week, with whatever it is you and your dad share. Even if it is not golf, I hope you remeber and celebrate the wonderful times together you have enjoyed with your dad, and if you’re lucky, enjoy some more this weekend!
Here’s to the US Open, and here’s to fathers, and here’s to my dad and all the others in my family that love golf and made this Father’s Day possible!