Charlie and Debbie aren't easy to please. When they follow Charles on the golf course, they walk separately, but they say much the same thing. The son leaves an easy uphill chip short, and the mother says, "That was poor." The father watches an approach shot drift into a bunker and shakes his head. There are parents today who wear out the phrase "good job." The Howells are not among them. At Bay Hill, Charles played the first two rounds with veteran Dan Forsman. During the second round Forsman's caddie, Greg Martin, walked up to Charlie and said, "You've done a real fine job raising your boy. He's a gentleman."
"Thank you," the father said politely, without breaking stride or making any effort to extend the conversation. He wasn't going to milk the caddie's kind words.
Every so often Debbie will tell Charles, "Just don't ever forget where you came from or how you got to where you are."
"Yes, Mama," he says. His father nods.
For the Charles Howells, Jr. and III, golf isn't just fun and games or a way to make money. "My job is to help him be the best golfer he can be, because that's what he wants," Charlie says. He knows that every child needs something to make his life whole. The father gave golf to his firstborn child, as-surely as God Almighty Himself gave him two working lungs with which to breathe.