The holidays are a great time to reflect and look back to see where we’ve come from, what we’ve done and how we can do better in days to come.
Thanksgiving has always been special, simply because of its name and everything that implies.
Our recent visit to Scotland was a great time to open our eyes to a wonderful country with it’s warm, friendly people.
A chance to visit the land where golf grew up was something to give immense thanks for, something to cherish, something that I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have experienced.
Our entire group received a wonderful email last week and this Thanksgiving time is a great chance to share it with you because of what it says and how it is said.
It reads like this:
“There are many people who’ve come over to my little country and bashed the ball around. It doesn’t take a golfer to do that. A real golfer is the guy who appreciates what golf is. It is not a personal struggle with handicaps, scores or competitions. A golfer is more than that. A golfer is a way of life. Your golf wasn’t all on the course either. Your comradeship, talking about it, laughing and drinking — that’s golf in its purest form. Yes, you guys got it!
John Ratteray may have been credited with writing the rules for the sport in the Lucky Clephans Pub. But I have no doubt he never wrote them himself. He signed them as Captain of his club. Records show he definitely wasn’t alone. He was surrounded by his friends, who in turn would have been chipping in their two-pence worth. That Honourable Company Of Edinburgh Golfers, “friends after work” laughing and joking, shaping our game for friends to enjoy together from then on. James II’s Act of Parliament of 6 March, 1457 banned golf until 1744 by law. It was 287 years and 1 day later a group of friends meeting in a pub in Leith overturned a law directly written by the monarchy which was really written to stop gatherings of people (along with soccer). This now allowed friends to meet and play. That is golf! I know this may be a bit boring but I passionately feel that golf isn’t about scores, clubs or anything like that. It’s about friendships and I am very happy to be a member of a new club, formed in the World’s End Pub, 29th October 2017 — The Honourable Company Of Transatlantic Golfers!
So read the email to all of us who ventured to Scotland last month. It came from a delightful young Scot named Frankie Cusack. Frankie is a longtime friend of one of our gang — Jay Miller, soccer coach extraordinaire, now retired but a man with a coaching resume thicker than an old phone book. He met Frankie thanks to a Scottish player for the New England Revolution when Miller was a member of that team’s coaching staff.
Frankie brings new meaning to the old term: “I’ve got a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy…..”
Frankie’s Edinburgh connections are as thick as Miller’s coaching resume.
Frankie’s one of those guys who is a giver. You see it in his eyes, you see it in his home life where he has built the ultimate Father-Son cave for his son. Frankie calls it “The Shed,” we would call it an amazing man-cave. Its walls are lined with incredible soccer memorabilia, there’s a monster-screen television for watching matches. The walls spell “l-o-v-e.”
It was our privilege to travel thousands of miles to Frankie’s “wee country.”
There’s nothing small about Scotland or its people.
When we give thanks this week, let’s give thanks for our wonderful game and the people we’ve met through it.
I know The Honourable Company Of Transatlantic Golfers will be giving thanks for our days in Scotland and the man who made everyone feel like we were his long-lost brothers.
Thank-you Frankie Cusack.
Thanks for showing us the true meaning of golf and Thanksgiving.
As Coach Miller likes to say:
“You can’t coach that!”