Celebrating Grandparents Day
Ask a golfer how they got started playing the game and there will most likely be a story that includes how either their parent or grandparent took them out and showed them how. Golf is full of special bonds, and National Grandparents Day gives us the perfect opportunity to celebrate them.
The first clubs I ever had came from my grandfather. I still remember the persimmon woods and irons that had a sweet spot barely the size of a dime. My grandfather’s playing days were behind him, but I remember the joy he had in handing down his clubs and the stories he told – where he got them, who he played with, he even remembered some of his best shots. It was a simple thing, but the memories made and the bond we shared because of golf still runs deep.
In June, junior golfer Isabella DiLisio experienced a similar bonding moment thanks to the game. DiLisio’s great-grandfather, Nick Ciocca, caddied for Ben Hogan when he hit his famous 1-iron approach to the 18th green at the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in 1950. While DiLisio never met her great-grandfather, 52 years later she got the chance to play at Merion after winning the Pamela Emory Fox Merion Junior Invitational in 2012, walking in her great-grandfather’s footsteps as she walked the course.
“It was a little bit eerie knowing he was there in 1950 caddying for Ben Hogan,” DiLisio told Golfweek. “Me and the other kids hit a couple of shots right next to the plaque. I was like, ‘Oh, my great-grandfather was probably right there.’”
Web.com Tour player Sam Saunders has a living legend in the family he can turn to for advice, as he is the grandson of “the King,” Arnold Palmer. The two have a great bond as family and professional golfers.
Saunders made his PGA TOUR debut as an amateur at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2006 and they have continued to play together on occasion in Pro-Ams, including this year at the BWM Charity Pro-Am.
Palmer has spoken about the joy he has had while guiding his grandson and the pride he feels as the young golfer is now out on his own in search of what Palmer calls, “his own style.”
So, here’s to grandparents and all they mean to us. May your day be filled with laughter, golf memories and fun stories that will last a lifetime. How will you celebrate Grandparents Day today?