My Favorite Golf Round

December 1, 2008
By Adam Smith, McDonough, GA

One trip that I have taken with a parent that sticks out in my mind is one of the many recent trips to the golf course that I have taken with my dad. This particular trip was one of the most fun that I can recall. My dad and I both played well but in the end I won the match and I shot the best round that I had ever played. What I thought was going to be just another average trip to the golf course to practice with my dad turned out to be one of the best times I ever had playing our favorite sport.

It was a Saturday morning and my dad and I were bored, so we decided to go to a small, run down course that wasn’t extremely far away from our house. The course was nothing special at all. The grass was beginning to turn a lighter shade of green due to the heat of the day and the lack of water. The fairways were beaten up and covered with holes from previous golfers and the greens were becoming bear and withered. But nonetheless it was the first time I had ever played on the course, but my dad had played it several times. So I was constantly asking him where to aim and where to make sure not to aim. We both started off playing decent but not out of the ordinary. I was just practicing and I didn’t really think much about trying to shoot a really good score at first, but as we got farther into the round I realized that not only was I beating my dad, I was shooting one of the best scores that I had ever shot at that point. Even though I secretly wanted my dad to play badly so I could finally beat him, he was not playing bad either. As we finished the first half of the round and headed toward the club house were we took a short break. It was just a time to jokingly talk badly about the others abilities and reminisce about the few holes we had already played. After we were done we headed toward the back nine. On our way I added up both of our scores and I discovered that I was winning, but my lead was only by a very small two shots. My dad and I are both very competitive people and we are constantly competing at almost everything we get a chance to. So the fact that I was winning was not something my dad was very happy about. We both knew that even though we were not competing before that point, we definitely were now.

Luckily for me I know my dad well, I knew he would try anything to mess me up and cause me to give up my small lead to him. So I tried my absolute best to keep my composer and not let him affect my game. We went on and on in our round and I continued to keep my small lead over my dad, but every hole became more and more of a struggle to pass without a costly mistake. I tried my very best to not think about the score card and just play my best game, but the desire to finally beat my dad at his own game was more intense than words can describe. We finally reached the final hole after what seemed like an eternity of drives, chips and putts. My dad and I both knew it was very close but neither of us knew the scores or exactly how close it was. We finally both made our putts on the final green and shook each others hand. We waited until we got back to the car to officially add up the scores, so the entire ride in the golf cart back to our old, green truck seemed like forever. We threw our clubs in the back of the truck and I handed the card to my dad to add up. I was far too anxious to do it myself.
I looked at my fathers face to try to find some sort of conformation of who was the victor. I saw a smile slowly turn into a look that I only see from my dad when he knows he has lost. It is not a look of anger or jealousy or anything of that nature. It is more of a look of pride. He knows I have beaten him and he doesn’t like it by any account, but he knows his son is growing and becoming better and better at several things in life, not just sports. I love that look.
He didn’t say much. He just looked at me and said “congratulations son. You finally beat me.” I am not completely sure that I knew it then, but looking back I must have had a smile on my face that stretched from ear to ear. I shook his hand and we both laughed. He told me that not only had I beaten him for the first time I had shot the best round of my life at the time, a solid score of 84. I was very proud of myself. But looking back I think my dad, even though he lost, was even more proud of me.
There have been several trips to the golf course with my dad since then; a few good, and many, many not so good. That was the first time I beat my dad at golf and, not to my fathers liking, it wasn’t the last. But I will always remember that trip for some reason. I don’t think I remember it as much because of my first victory over my dad as because of that crazy look he gave me that I only see very rarely. It was truly my favorite time playing golf with my dad so far.

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