The Time I Made My Dad Cry Happy Tears
When: Summer of 1983
Where: Ledgeview Golf & Country Club
Conditions: Sunny and hot
Ball: Wilson Blue Ridge
Club selection: 5-iron
Back in the summer of 1983 I was 13 yrs old and still trying to come to terms with knowing I needed glasses so I didn't dare tell my parents I couldn't see a thing beyond 20 or 30 feet.
I figured I could hide my nearsightedness until I was at least 16 when I'd have to bite the bullet and finally get glasses so I could drive a car. But until then it was squint-city.
I was so blind I didn't even see the ball go in the hole!
The 17th hole at Ledgeview Golf & Country Club is listed as 131 yards long. That doesn't seem very long but almost the entire shot is over a bushy gully - the same gully my friends and I used to spend hours in collecting lost golf balls so we could sell them back to the clubhouse.
I remember seeing the first half of the shot; it was a low, line driving bullet that went screaming towards the green. My best friend, Jason Smith, kept his eyes on the shot and a few seconds later he looked at me and yelled, "It went in!"
I threw my hands in the air and then slid on my knees soccer celebration style!
And then for a brief moment I wondered if Jason was kidding? He was definitely known to prank me every now and then but the cheers coming from the white house behind the 17th green let me know I really got my first (and only) hole-in-one!
I don't remember picking the ball out of the cup and I don't even remember playing the 18th hole because I was just too excited! But I do remember getting to the 18th green and greeting the club pro who waiting for us to ask who the lucky golfer was.
Someone from the house behind the 17th green had called the clubhouse to verify that one of the kids had just aced #17.
That evening we went to meet my Dad at his sister's place for supper. My mom hadn't told him the news yet, she wanted to let me tell him in person. I was bursting with the news!
So when we got to my aunt's house, my Dad was already there sitting at the kitchen table when my Mom announced I had something to tell him. He looked at me and asked what it was?
"Dad, I got a hole-in-one today!"
"Come on, you did not..."
"I did, I really did," I said as I showed him the scorecard.
And then he cried happy tears.
It's not everyday your son tells you about a hole-in-one. My Dad was about the age I am now when I got my ace, he'd probably been golfing for almost 40 years without coming close to his own hole-in-one.
But his day would eventually come.
A few years later he was playing in a men's night tournament and he finally got an ace of his own. I remember laying in bed and hearing him come home really late at night, usually he would stay downstairs for awhile before going to bed but this time I heard him coming up the stairs quickly.
He swung my door open without knocking and said...'Josh, wake up...I got one, I finally got a hole-in one!
I answered in my best deadpan...'Gee, Dad..what took you so long?'
He laughed and shut my door.