Golf and my Dad are inexorably linked. I have no memories in my life that predate the bond we had as father and son and golf's involvement in that bond. Earl Woods and his son Tiger had nothing on us (except the skill thing). I am certain my Dad could have taken Earl....any course, anytime. Dad was an outstanding striker of the ball and at 77 still has a knack for hitting the ball straight.
He was also a sports writer, career US Navy, and spent 14 years in the front office of two major league baseball teams. He served in Korea AND Viet Nam. He raised four children and completed his college degree at age thirty eight. He is currently completing his memoirs.
To say I was blessed to be his oldest son is a colossal understatement.
Back to golf : He started teaching me the game as soon as diapers were no longer an issue. Though he taught me the nuances of the swing, ball control, and course strategy, he spent as much time on the integrity, honesty, and sportsmanship that makes the game great. Those golf lessons have carried me through life.
Dad phoned me Sunday and said, "the weather is looking good for Tuesday, can you play." I told him that I didn't think I could. "My right arm doesn't always do what I tell it to do. I think my golfing days are over." The statement was met with silence. I had not thought through the impact of the decision. To never play golf again with my father.
Something died in both of us.