Tiger Woods celebrates hole in one during 2004 Masters Par-3 Contest.
I got the following text message from my dad Sunday:
"Finally got it done. Hole in one. And it was a good shot."
So, a few thoughts on that text. First. It was a text. Rarely does my dad text, so I know his triumph left him speechless.
"And it was a good shot." I need to follow up with him and ask him when the last time was he saw someone line up and smack a tiny ball through the air with a club and land it in a hole the size of a pickle jar lid a football field and a half away - and call that a bad shot. Is it possible that feat has ever been accomplished upon the launching of a bad shot? And even if it has, doesn't the beauty of the ball going in the hole from a couple of hundred yards away erase whatever ugliness might have preceded it? Trust me, if I ever get a hole in one, even if the ball careens off of 8 trees and the heads of a couple of playing partners before coming to rest in the hole - it will be declared the greatest shot EVER!
As for finally got it done. He's right. My dad is 72 years old. He's been golfing pretty regularly for at least 60 of those years. My loose calculations tell me he's stood over a golf ball with the potential to claim his first hole in one 30 or 40 thousand times. All those years, all those shots - I know it had to feel good to finally get it done.
As an added bonus, my dad was in Arizona escaping the Ohio winter when he made his shot. He was playing along side his friend and retirement years golf rival, Pete. Their's doesn't rise to an Arnie and Jack or Tiger and Phil type rivalry, but I assure you my dad won fifty cents or maybe even a buck on that hole, so it was more than a good shot. It was profitable. (As a side note - Pete also makes a credible witness).
I was happy for my dad. What a blessing to be 72 years old and still playing the game you love at a level where you make the kind of shots that keeps the game fun. Even memorable. I dare say text-worthy monumental.
It was also inspirational. I told my dad, "great, now that you've made one I have to get serious about chasing one down myself." There's more motivation than humor in that statement. My dad has been a great example of you're as young as you feel. He continues to work most days, and hit the golf course on the days he doesn't. All while taking in as many grandchildren activities across several states as he can squeeze in. I have him to thank - or blame I suppose - that I really spend zero time looking toward retirement with the same sort of kick back and relax dreams many folks pursue retirement with.
I've watched my dad and come to believe the key to staying young is staying in the chase. Whether it's chasing career goals or family memories or hole in ones, you always have to have something out in front of you. That's why I have no doubt that now that my dad finally got it done, he'll move on to collecting more instead of over-celebrating the one he got. (Although I'm pretty sure he'll frame the dollar bill he won off Pete).
Way to go dad. I got a text and not a picture, but I like to think the celebration looked a lot like the one above.