Fathers’ Day “Plan B”: A Round of Golf and the U.S. Open
This is a tale of two friends, neighbors, fathers, and avid golfers who just happened to be home without their wives and children on Fathers’ Day. Before you get the wrong impression, let me clarify the situation! My friend Jeff Masten, a fellow GolfShadow blogger, came home Saturday from a week in Gulf Shores with his family. His wife and children were staying longer to visit his wife’s parents, but Jeff had to be home and get ready for a business trip first thing Monday am.
My wife and kids always go to FL with my wife’s parents around this time every year. They have a Marriott Timeshare and therefore the dates are not always flexible during peak season in Fort Lauderdale. This year just so happened to fall over Fathers’ Day and I could not get away due to business commitments.
So there were Jeff and I without our families on Sunday, so what do you think we did? We came up with a plan B, and started the day off with a round of golf early Sunday morning at Greystone Golf Club in Dickson, TN. This course is our favorite, always in immaculate shape and very scenic. We planned to get lunch afterwards, and then head back to my house to watch 6 hours of the U.S.Open. Yes, all 6 hours.
The wager was lunch on the loser, and it was a close battle all day long. Jeff and I’s golf games are very similar, both in handicap, scores, and our shot types. We are both very competitive, so even a small wager of lunch was enough to fuel our desire to beat each other from hole to hole. I started out the first 4 holes pretty solid at even par and led Jeff by a few shots. Then I fell into a mental divot and had 3 double-bogeys finishing the front nine with a sluggish and sloppy 43. I watched Jeff take a 2 shot lead with 41 by avoiding the dreaded double-bogeys I had so eloquently displayed. Wow, what a way to finish the front nine strong Stanko! I was frustrated, and knew I needed to shoot even par on the back nine just to stay in the 70′s. For Jeff and I, a bad round is 80, anything in the 70′s is “satisfactory”, 75 and under is a solid round, and the goal is always Even Par. I had a tough task ahead of me to to finish in “Satisfactory!
To make a long story short, We battled it out on the back punch by punch and elevated each others’ games. Jeff is a tough player to catch from behind, since he’s a conservative course manager with a solid, fundamental swing that produces consistent shots. With his recent Driver and 3-Wood upgrade he blogged about with glee a few weeks ago, (Is There Ever A Right Time To Buy A New Club) his confidence has increased and my previous 25 yard distance advantage off the tee has been diminished. I thought about employing some mental gamesmanship to try and get in his head and run around, but it’s Fathers’ Day!
I managed to gain focus, turn things around, and played even par 36 on the back for a ”satisfactory” 79. I had gained some ground on Jeff and was only down 1 heading into 17. Jeff turned it up a notch and birdies 18 for an impressive one under par 35 on the back for a 76 total. He earned it!! It was an extremely enjoyable round of golf, and though I was on the hook for lunch, I was proud we finished strong despite the outcome. We even called the clubhouse from 17 tee to get a replay time to consider heading right back out for another 18. We had Dvr’d the Open so we did not have to worry about getting back in time. Ahhhh, don’t you love it when a plan comes together? After mulling it over, we decided to head back to the house and forgo the second round. We ended up getting home just in time for Justin Rose and the other contenders started to tee off. What a finish at Merion Golf Club on Fathers’ Day with Justin Rose pointing to the sky in remembrance of his late father.
Despite missing our families on Fathers’ Day, we made the most of it with everything golf:Sometimes you have to come up with a Plan B.
I hope all of you made the most of Fathers’ Day, no matter the circumstances! Justin Rose sure did.
Send me your Fathers’ Day golf experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to share them with our followers!