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Golf is a Family Affair

  I was in Ireland this February visiting The Island Golf Club, my home club. The temperature was 48 degrees with a light rain, so given the perfect Irish weather the parking lot was full of players. I noticed one gentleman open his trunk (or the boot as the Irish call it). From his trunk he removed his trolley, a bag of clubs, a duffle and an electric battery (for the trolley). This guy had to be the same guy who packs the clown car at the circus. At that moment I also realized how much I was looking forward to our article in this Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine on “Trunk Tales.” And how much I wish the author had seen my son Michael’s trunk. His car’s receptacle would make a hoarder blush.  Speaking of children, I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve travelled a long road with my five kids. From the diapers stage to the “must have toy” stage to the current “tolerate the Old Man” stage. My kids’ interaction with me vacillates between embarrassment (you aren’t really wearing that, are you?) to annoyance (please stop with the interrogation about what I’m doing at work). My kids, like most young adults, have crazy schedules raising young families and starting careers. Finding time for the Old Man is fairly low on their priority list. It’s for that exact reason why I look forward to every spring.

  While I may not be able to get my kids to discuss their work, getting them together to go to Huntingdon Valley Country Club in early April is a pretty easy ask. When the course opens, the weather turns mild and the fairways receive their first cuts, my kids need little encouragement for a round with Dear Old Dad. We have some pretty shaky April rounds buoyed by optimism that we’ll be better in June and August. We dust off the prior year’s zingers and delight in winning a massive $2 wager. It is this time of blooming and growing that reminds me how wonderful the game of golf is.  Not many games or sports so easily bring fathers and mothers and sons and daughters together. We can celebrate the rite of spring with an avocation that allows us to enjoy our time together on fresh fields of grass even though decades separate us in age. We have hours together to talk about any topic, although we almost always just talk about the game.  Our Immediate Past President, Bob Morey, started a terrific movement called the 1 MORE campaign. Its purpose: to encourage greater participation in golf and dining at your club.

  We’d like to thank Callaway Golf for joining the movement this year. In that vein, I’d like to suggest that one more round a year with the family would be a good addition to the initiative.  Encouraging our kids to play golf is not simply a good way to introduce them to a game that will last them a lifetime, but, more selfishly, it’s a way to infiltrate their calendars so that they have more time for the Old Man or Old Lady. So, to my kids I commit that we will play 1 MORE round together this year BUT, you’re old enough now to pay your own caddie or cart fees.  Have a great spring. See you on the course.