It’s a Family Tradition
With National Parents Day commemorated every fourth Sunday in July, it’s fitting to recognize some of the ways that golf can bring a family together. It may be the talent that a young man teaches his father or it can be the bond that forms between a new dad and his son. However the connection may come about, golf is a sport that stands the test of time and has the ability to bring parent and child together.
The Pinckney Family
When his son was just a toddler, Doug Pinckney encouraged him to bang a wiffle ball around his backyard with a plastic club. Doug Jr. fell in love with the game and went on to play for his high school golf team with a handicap that dropped as low as 1. Doug Jr.’s son, Doug Pinckney III (even the family has trouble keeping the “Dougs” straight), was likewise encouraged to play the game. The family had found its tradition and all three generations made sure it remained an important part of their lives.
This year to celebrate Doug Jr.’s 50th birthday and Doug III’s high school graduation, the pair traveled to Scotland to play in the the St Andrews Links Father & Son Tournament sponsored by the Old Course Experience. Doug Sr. also joined in on the adventure so he could follow his boys during their final rounds in St. Andrews.
The weather was windy, cold and occasionally drizzly. “It definitely added a different dimension to the game,” said Doug III. “My Dad and I hammed and egged it well together. On the 15th hole of Kingsbarns, while I was down searching for my ball in the North Sea, Dad ripped a 9 iron over the water to just a couple feet short of the hole and tapped it in for a birdie.”
After playing against 25 international teams, the Pinckney duo won by five strokes, making them the first American team to win in more than eight years. “I don’t know if I can ever top this: to be up in that setting with my Dad and Grandfather is unbeatable.”
The Jones-Nelson Family
When he was a mere four years old, another budding golfer fell in love with the sport. Ahmatik, now 15, said, “I started hitting a ball around in my grandfather’s backyard with a broken baseball bat. I was just hitting it into a hole in the ground. Then when I was six, my grandfather (Tony Nelson) gave me some real golf clubs.” Nelson continued to promote Ahmatik’s love of the game by teaching his grandson golf etiquette and often taking him to the practice range.
By the time he was eight, Ahmatik was hitting his drives longer than the length of a football field. Now, seven years after hitting his 100 yard drives, he plays on his golf team in Amenia, N.Y., typically scoring in the low 80s and playing on courses like Green Ridge, West Point and Highlands Country Club. “I just got my Dad into golf this year,” he says. His grandfather passed it onto him and he is proud to be passing it back up to his father. And the hole in his grandfather’s back yard? It’s still there.
So, on this National Parents Day, we hope you find yourself on a course. Golf is a sport that can offer loved ones a chance to spend time together and learn new things. It can teach patience, honesty and respect. And, most importantly, it allows parents to spend time with their children.
Featured image courtesy of chrismalacarne.com.