On The Heart Beat
U. S. Open Week Fills Dad Hearts
The United States Golf Association annually identifies its champion by conducting the sternest of golf tests—in the U.S. anyway—culminating on the third Sunday afternoon in June.
Frequently I have wondered if the USGA is in cahoots with Hallmark or American Greetings or whoever it was that invented Fathers Day.
My favorite American golf weekend is when The U. S. Open is held since coming to realize that all the rationales that I could concoct about the event being the purest and staged on the finest of golfing grounds and non-discriminatory are just bunk.
I love the U. S. Open because it crowns its champion on Fathers Day. Always, now.
Having, being, and begetting dads, the characters in the chronology are Bill, Peter, and Pat, Matt, and Doug. With Pat, a career caddie, we continue our rivalry on touchstone golfing grounds like Maidstone, Bandon Dunes, and on North Carolina Donald Ross gems.
Though filling out a golfing dad’s foursome, Doug and Matt are scratch musicians and twice-over dads themselves. Doug gave us Cameron and Preston. Matt gifted Jakob, and Eli. I wonder which 21st century U. S. Open one of them will win?
Inevitably, the U. S. Open weekend opens golfing memory banks and swelling hearts for many of us who learned the game as a family hand-me-down.
It is a delicious morsel for a dad to give to a son or a daughter. Thankfully, we do. Promotion notwithstanding it is a game for and of a lifetime. It is a character builder and a pastoral pastime. I remember:
- Getting grounded for lofting 9 irons from our backyard, over the neighboring school, and into oncoming traffic on Main Street. I think Bill winked at Mom during sentencing.
- Learning to catch Bill’s soft wedge shots with a baseball glove.
- Our last golf round.
- Sending him off with his favorite putter stashed alongside.
- Sunday golf afternoons with my personal foursome.
- Matt’s first birdie.
- Doug’s skateboard in the golfcart.
- Pat in the tree on the 18th at Baltusrol watching Jack Nicklaus win The US Open.
Happy Father’s day, dads!