posted by Matt W on August 19th, 2011


This is my and my son’s best guess as to our lifetime golf match record prior to yesterday.

Now, 157-1-2.

I was really looking forward to my son beating me at golf, honestly. I once told my son that, “The day he beats me at golf, he will be the second proudest person on the golf course that day.” Because I am a pretty good golfer (4 handicap) and have played to a scratch earlier in life, I had always found a way to beat him, even turning poor rounds into victory or at worst a tie. The two ties we had on our record were on days both of us played poorly, and truth be told I needed neck surgery and still figured out a way to scramble to tie (eagle, par one day and birdie, birdie the other).

I had always thought it would be a rite of passage kind of thing. I imagined that I would always figure a way to beat him, until that time when my solid “fatherly” 75 wasn’t enough to hold off his 74 with a birdie on 18 to win.

I never envisioned 3 triple bogeys and 3 doubles on my way to an 86 to lose to his uninspired 83.

To put 3 triple bogeys into to perspective, my only two scores above double in the past two years were an 8 on a par 4 last year and a 9 on a par 4 the year before unfortunately in a tournament, I did however rally nicely for a 77 (My wife is always amazed I can remember these types of things but not to buy peanut butter and milk at the grocery store on the way home, but that is a different blog).  I haven’t had such an inconsistent non-fatherly round since, well, I was his age. I really felt like I let down my end of the bargain. I think it was a little anti-climactic for my son as well. I shook his hand when he finished out and told him congratulations, and his response was he didn’t know if I knew he had won (I always have the score in my head, I’m the dad). Then he said, ”Well, at least you can’t say I haven’t beaten you anymore.” Not exactly the high-fiving smack-talking rite-of passage I envisioned.

Years ago, I watched my brother-in-law beat my father-in-law at handball for the first time and it was awesome. My brother-in-law left the court glowing. I wonder how many “son beats father for the first time” moments are like that and how many more are like yesterday. I feel like I let my son down by losing to him at golf yesterday.

On the drive home I said something to my son about changing his swing a little for his driver and 3-wood to get rid of a bit of his hook. “You really should work on taking your club back a little straighter on your backswing and you will straighten out your wood shots.” His reply was, “I’ll talk to Byron about it.” (Byron is a professional he sometimes takes lessons from.) Big pause. I thought his response was interesting, as he’s usually pretty receptive to my advice and then while I’m contemplating this, he said “because I don’t usually take advice from LOSERS.” Nicely played, now that’s the smack-talk I was hoping for!

Hopefully the  next time he beats me it will be more like both of us envisioned.

(And for all the mothers reading this: Yes, I had a good attitude and made him feel good about his victory, which was my wife’s first question).


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