I knew my son would beat me someday, but . . . .

It's been a little over a year since my son first set foot on a full size, par 72 championship golf course. My dad and I discovered golf together more than 30 years ago when I was a barely a teenager and the golf course was one of the few places that we found common ground to enjoy each other's company as I went through my rebellious teenage years. So now that my oldest son was big enough to swing a golf club and get the ball a good ways down the fairway, I figured it would be a good time to get his feet wet.

One of the ways I've kept him interested in the game is telling him that it would not be long before he was beating me on the golf course. I watched his face as his eyes came alive as he imagined the day that he had finally bested me on the links, I thought of some far-off day as he approached high school graduation and I approached retirement when I could proudly say that my son had defeated me on the golf course.

One day a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take my son out for a quick afternoon round at a local course. As usual, David was playing off the red tees and I allowed him to tee the ball in the fairways, so as not to discourage him with a lot of topped shots. I began the round in my usual fashion, with a good drive followed by a clumsy approach and ugly putting on the first hole. Oh well, I hadn't warmed up and I knwo that my game would eventually come around. Meanwhile, David was smoothly whacking his tee shots about 15 to 175 yards down the fairway and chipping nicely onto the green. His putting was a little shaky, but he was obviously playing the round of his life. At about the turn, I even noted to him that he was leading me by a stroke and that if I didn't step up, he may even beat me! Of course, in my own mind, I knew that this would never happen, as I ALWAYS follow a shaky front nine with a fairly competent back nine.

As the round progressed, It was becoming painfully obvious that the game was not coming to me, and David chugged along as steady as a rock. A quadruple bogey on the par 5 16th (which David Parred) and a triple bogey on the 17th, dogleg left, and I announced to David that there was virtually no way that I could beat him on that day! I limped home through two bunkers on #18 and tallied the scores. My 11-year-old son had beaten me by 12 strokes, shooting a 97 to my inexplicable 109!

When we got home, David raced in to announce the scores to his mother, brother and sister who were all equally as delighted as was.

I can't that I'm not proud of his accomplishment. I thrilled that my son seems to have acquired the same love of the game that I have. I hope he goes on to derive as much pleasure as I have through golf and hope that he beats me many more times. But the last time we played , I brought along my 5-year-old son too and he got his introduction to "big course" golf. At least there will be someone in the family who I can beat for a few more years.

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