What is your perfect day of golf? That is one of many questions that golf geeks pose in casual conversation, and it does indeed elicit thought provoking answers, especially when one’s buddies are well traveled. There’s the obvious: “Getting the magic invite to experience Cypress / Pine Valley” or “Attending Sunday at The Masters”. There’s the creative: “Playing out to the turn at National, hopping the fence to play Shinnecock, and then playing home on National.” There’s the masochistic: “All four of the main courses at Bandon on the Summer Solstice.” There’s the sacred: “A stop by the graves of Old and Young Tom Morris, prior to a twilight round on The Old Course.” And then there’s the Dad: “Golfing it around my community course with my kids on a lazy afternoon.”
Before my sons became golf crazed, I felt that the Dad answer was a bit poseurish. The guy doesn’t really mean that he would rather play with his kids than see Cypress, I would think. He’s just trying to make a point.
I get it now.
My guys have helped me feel and understand where that answer comes from, and I can attest to its authenticity. There is joy to be found in many places in this great game, but nothing mainlines it for me quite like enjoying golf time with my kids. It brings me back to happy days, learning the game with my dad and grandpa, while simultaneously pulling me intensely into the present moment the way that few things can.
It is in that spirit that I kick off what will hopefully be a new series – the Geek Dad Diary – in which I will share some of these perfect days. My hope is that the entries will connect you with the joy of the game, give you a little inspiration, and prompt you to share stories of your own.
THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT
In considering what I wanted for my birthday this year, I couldn’t think of anything more valuable than time with the people I love most. The boys and I pulled a Ferris Bueller. I sprung them from school for the day, we fueled up on carbs at Walker Brothers, and headed south to begin a golfy adventure.
Jack has been saving birthday and Christmas money up for a new putter, and what better place to blow a wad on a flatstick than at Chicago’s very own Bettinardi putter studio?
Not only do they make beautiful putters, they also know how to provide an incredible experience for golf geeks. After watching Jack putt with several different models, our guy Brad took him into the lab and they buckled down. First, the stroke was analyzed in high def super slow-mo. Then the putter was tweaked and adjusted until it worked perfectly with Jack’s stroke. And finally, a grip and cover were selected to add the finishing touches. Jack is ready to drop bombs this season, and I have a severe case of putter envy.
For icing on the birthday cake, we took a stroll through The Hive to admire the high-end custom putters – unique designs, finishes, inserts, all drool-worthy.
Our original plan was to grab lunch and high tech whackage at TopGolf, but Mother Nature did not cooperate. We called an audible, and after a fat burger with our buddy PGKorbs, we headed to the White Pines Golf Dome.
Another buddy, Andrew Fleming from KemperSports has been encouraging me to check the dome out, and now I know why. The temperature is perfect, and the balls are unlimited. The dome is 100 yards long, which gives the player a much better sense of ball flight than hitting into a net. We were hooked.
And then it got better. The Manager Lane stopped by and invited us to try out the simulator – another first for us. We played the first 5 holes of The Old Course, and easily could have stayed for several more hours if evening plans weren’t on the books.
The day certainly gave me my fill of golf geekery, along with a full fatherly heart. Additionally, it confirmed that my boys are ready and willing to go down the golf rabbit hole with me. That presents interesting possibilities galore.
Plans are already cooking. Stay tuned for more diary entries to come.
MORE GEEKED ON GOLF MUSINGS:
- Musings on Greenkeeping
- Musings on Greatness
- The Year that the GeekedOnGolf Tour Ended
- 2016 Golf Tour
- 2015 GeekedOnGolf Tour
- Wilson & Me
- New Year’s Shift
- My Bucket List – U.S. Open Venues
- 2014 GeekedOnGolf Tour
- Want to Improve Pace of Play?
- Short Game Game Plan
- These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
- Making It Right is Alright with Me
- 2013 GeekedOnGolf Tour
- End of Season Wrap-up
- From Putt Putt to Punchbowl
- A Slip of the Mind
- Coming Full Circle
Copyright 2018 – Jason Way, GeekedOnGolf
3 thoughts on “Geek Dad’s Diary – Part 1 (The Best Birthday Gift)”
Nice. My Dad used to take me to Gleneagles in Lemont on my birthday. Dad played there before I was born and would always talk about the two courses there, especially the White. Believe Tom Bendelow had a hand in the design. Very Scottish.