THE FIRST TEE
Things were going great as we arrived at the first tee. Christopher has never been on the Ed Sullivan or Johnny Carson shows demonstrating his elevated skills at the age of three, however, we had talked about grip, alignment, and posture. Chris has been picking up a club and swinging at random from the time he was two. His attention span is about 15-30 seconds before he moves on to his fire trucks and front end loaders. His first request was , “Can I Drive, Pa?” Having driven the John Deere tractor since an early age, I felt comfortable in Chris’ ability to navigate the golf cart.
On the first tee, I demonstrated how he must tee his ball between the two markers, not in front, but he could go two club lengths back if he wished. I hit two drives and Chris said, “Pa, where did the balls go?” Chris grabbed his junior 7 iron, and perceded to strip the ball about 20 yards to the end of the tee box. At this point, I headed for the cart and CJ headed on a dead sprint down the first fairway, chasing the cart and laughing. His next discovery was a sand filled divot in which he dung out. As I approached my ball, Chris continued on a sprint to the first green, 350 yards total distance, to investigate the pin placement. From a distance of 146 to the front, 162 center, and 190 back, I summoned Chris back to the cart. The pin was cut on the front right, 6 on and 12 from the right edge. Yardage to pin, 152. On a dead run, Chris returned to the cart as I prepared to hit my approach. Total sprint yardage, 496.
Chris’ next discovery were the two sand filled bottles of sand strategical placed on the rear of the golf cart. I explained to Chris that the sand was used to fill divots ( a 3″x 8″ displacement of grass or tuff) created when hitting a golf ball from the fairway. The sand is a mixture which allows the grass to quickly grow back. So the next question is , “how many divots can a 3 year old fill before I can hit my approach shot to #1?” Fortunately, there was no one waiting on the first tee and we got most of the divots on #1 filled. My approach was short left, we had enough sand to fill my divot. Up and down for a par and back to the club house for two more bottles of sand. We took 4 bottles for insurance. Now, to the 2nd tee.
On the second hole, Chris discovered more sand. Commonly called a bunker. Fortunately, his front end loader and backhoe were back at the house. Golf Lesson #2 for Chris, “Always rake the bunker after playing in the sand trap” In this instance, we raked the entire bunker of all footprints and sandcastles.
Tee shot on #3, found the water. Chris saw this tee ball. “Pa, your ball went in the water”? He actually grinned and chuckled. Fond memories of playing with Ryan Randall, brother Kyle, and Uncle Brett.
I expected Chris to say, ” Pa, that’s one in, two out, your hitting three from the tee or if it is a lateral, you can drop where the ball last crossed the hazard, hitting 3.” But I knew we had not covered that rule yet.
On our way to the 4th tee box, Chris was thirsty and that basically ended the round. He discovered the water cooler and those funny cone shaped cups. As we returned to the pro shop, I paid the pro for a sleeve of funny shaped cups that Chris wanted to take home and show Oma. And we headed home.
I know that Ryan was watching from above. Several weeks later, we were blessed with Bryson Randall. When he turns 3, Chris will be 7. I figure Bryson can ride with Chris and Chris will explain the importance of , teeing the ball between the markers, filling divots with sand, raking sand traps, and the cost of taking a sleeve of cone shaped cups back to Oma.
A special thanks to Ryan’s friend Zeb at #golfchat for recognizing Ryan with the “Lifetime Achievement Award’ Thanks again #Golfchat.
We love you and miss you Ryan