Like father, like son: All-in-the-family golf is special

The photos are so cute. Charlie Woods dresses like his dad, has the same mannerisms as his dad, even has the same putter as his dad.

I’ll bet a lot of golfers watched him stalk Ritz-Carlton Golf Club with proud papa Tiger Woods last weekend and thought about playing our great game with their sons and daughters.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

You could have the greatest foursome in the world, the funniest playing partners, the best company, but there’s something about playing with your kids that beats it all.

That’s why I had clubs in the hands of all three of my kids while they were still toddlers. That’s why all three of them went to summertime golf camps.

I dreamed of a day when we would be a foursome out there, trading pars and repartee. Oh, the fun we could have.

All three were briefly interested but then got caught up in other activities. The offers to take them to the driving range, so exciting not that long before, weren’t met with enthusiasm.

I never gave up. When my younger son showed some interest in his late teens, I bought him golf shoes and even had him join my regular group for a round or two.

To this day, my happiest moment on the golf course – yes, after all these years – is the time he made consecutive birdies on the 18th and first holes at Bennett Valley.

We had started on No. 10, and I had told him in advance that he would need to pick up if he was taking too many shots and falling behind.

The last thing I expected was for him to start hitting some quality shots, but it seems as if he was born with a good swing. His bugaboo was putting. Yet he got it close enough on those two holes to make his birdie putts makeable, and he drained them both.

Two legit birdies. I was ecstatic. I hoped it would be the first of many rounds together. Alas, I think it was the last time we ever played. I’m not quite sure why.

Now we live in different states, and to my knowledge he doesn’t play golf. But if he ever wants to go back out there, I’d tee it up with him in a heartbeat. I should ask him about golf the next time we talk.

Recently, however, I got some great news from my older son: After all these years, he wants to get back into the game.

It started with an outing at Topgolf. We “played” Pebble Beach, and the competition and joking back and forth was precious. We had a blast. It planted the seed.

Now he has the urge to play a real course again, and he asked me to get him golf gear for Christmas. We’re going to look at clubs during his visit.

Hmm, golf gear. Yeah, I think I know something about that. Talk about an easy present to buy – the only challenge will be choosing from all the possibilities.

So now I can start dreaming again. Maybe that Topgolf trip will be the first of many times we share the joys of golf. Maybe I can create memories with him at Bennett Valley like the one his brother sparked.

But he doesn’t have to make consecutive birdies to make it worthwhile. Just being out there with him would be a fantastic experience.

It doesn’t get any better. It just doesn’t.

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