“Fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man.” – Dr. Frank Pittman


Here is my preamble: I have been the father of two daughters for over 30 years and each and every year has been memorable. It is almost impossible to believe that they have gone from playing house to owning their own homes. Time carries on, but great memories are timeless and the list of great things about being their Dad keeps getting longer. For example: 
  • Toddlers are just plain funny.
  • An owie can often be fixed with a quick kiss and a promise of a cookie.
  • Walks on the beach while holding hands.
  • Seeing their eyes light up on Christmas morning.
  • Over the years watching them being so loving and kind to our three yellow labs.
  • Listening to post-dinner mother-daughter chats can be quite enlightening.
  • Their demands for “real” hugs are ongoing.
  • Seeing both of them develop long-lasting and caring friendships.
  • I have learned as much from my children as they have learned from me.  
  • Hearing the words, “I love you,” never gets old.

Of course, while the rewards of being a father are many, a little recognition for the years of devoted service is always appreciated, which, I suppose, is why Father’s Day Weekend was invented. I use “Weekend” instead of “Day” because I have always sold it as a three-day celebration of fatherhood. I did so because I wanted to play golf Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then watch the U.S. Open guilt free. Typically this is the Mount Everest of weekends for me, a father who loves golf.

Historically, the U.S. Open is played on the same weekend as Father’s Day, which must have been the brainchild of a very clever gentleman who understood that this was a rare opportunity for THE DOUBLE DIP – playing golf and watching one of the world’s great tournaments.  

Unfortunately, this virus has put a damper on our weekend. This year we will be watching a regular PGA tournament, the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, SC, instead of a Major, the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Watching real live golf is better than no golf, but the Heritage isn’t the U.S. Open! Not by a long shot!

While this is a MAJOR disappointment, I have a secret plan that I think will work!

Step 1: Starting today, drop a few woe-is-me comments such as “Father’s Day just won’t be the same without playing in the morning with my friends and then watching the U.S. Open” and “Father’s Day Weekend and watching the U.S. Open have always gone hand in hand. Not this year, though.” (Be sure to add a small frown after the comment.) Bottom line: You are playing the sympathy card -- hard!

Step 2: You are setting the stage here. Beginning Monday, remind your wife and children that the U.S. Open has been postponed until Sept. 17 – 20 and that a Major is CAN’T MISS TV. As two-time U.S. Open winner (1922 & 1932) Gene Sarazen said, “I was interested in one thing – Majors – because I know they live long. You could win a million dollars and that will go. But when you win the U.S. Open or the British Open or the Masters or the PGA, that title goes to your grave.”    

Step 3: The Close. In early September, ask your wife for THE DOUBLE DIP – playing golf and watching The U.S. Open to your heart’s content. If you have been reasonably well behaved and your 3-month, it’s-only-fair campaign has been effectively waged, you will find yourself on the course and in front of the TV on both Saturday and Sunday, Sept 19 & 20. Remember, though, you have to ask nicely!

If, on the other hand, you get the what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about stare, then simply smile and wave the white flag. At least you have this Sunday to celebrate all the great things about being a Dad!

 

Have A Great Father’s Day Weekend!

Allan Stark


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