Fathers can teach their sons about golf ... and life
Posted: Wednesday May 3, 2006 4:47PM; Updated: Wednesday May 3, 2006 6:29PM
Golf helped bring Earl Woods and Tiger closer.
For me, golf is the greatest game on the planet, and for the most part I learned it from my father, just as Tiger Woods learned from his dad. Even though Earl Woods never played on the PGA Tour, he knew the game and obviously knew how to teach it to his son, how to build Tiger's character and toughness and train him to become the world's best golfer.
Meanwhile, I feel fortunate to have learned from my dad, one of the best golfers of his generation.
Even though the two fathers came from different perspectives, I believe they shared some of the same passions, and whether it was hands-on training or just watching from afar, sons can appreciate the lessons instilled in them by their fathers. Certainly Tiger did, calling his father his "greatest role model."
As a kid, I remember that my dad's job as a pro golfer required him to be gone for weeks at a time. That was how he supported our family, and a part of life. To me, my father was mostly like anyone else's dad, mine just played a game for a living. But it wasn't until I was in high school that I realized the magnitude of his accomplishments.
Golf was never pushed upon me in my youth. My father allowed us to choose the sports we wanted to pursue, and I enjoyed playing baseball. To help develop my baseball skills, I spent days with my father as he practiced golf at the San Diego Country Club. I would shag shots with my baseball glove, from a sand wedge all the way up to a five-iron, as he prepared for the next events on his Tour schedule.
Meanwhile, in the Woods family, Earl wouldn't let Tiger play golf until the son's homework was done. Earl wanted to make sure that Tiger was learning the game with the proper perspective.
I always enjoyed the travel that I was able to experience as a part of my dad's chosen profession. My favorite times with my father were when I had the chance to travel with him one-on-one when he played in tournaments. One such event was the Western Open in Chicago. My father represented Wilson Sporting Goods for his equipment. This tournament meant I had the chance to go to the factory with my father to watch as his clubs were worked on and for me to look through catalogues and bring home some of the latest athletic equipment.