He’ll be the missing man, but I know in my heart he’ll be there with me — every step of the way.
My father deeply loved the game of golf. He started late in life. Thirty-nine years as a command officer in the United States Navy’s Medical Service Corps demanded too much time and attention.
My greatest and best rounds of golf were not the matches I won nor the times I broke 70. My greatest rounds were the ones spent with him after he retired to the Pinehurst/Southern Pines area of North Carolina. My summer vacation time would always be spent with him, on the golf course.
We spoke often of a possible trip to Scotland, to play golf where golf began, in a country not far from Wales, the homeland of our earliest ancestors. He loved the looks of links golf, the wind, the challenge.
While we spoke about for many years, we did realize a dream trip. That came at the 1993 Masters. He walked 27 holes the first round, at age 77. He loved the walking game.
We never did make it to Scotland. Lost him back in 2003. Parkinson’s was an opponent he couldn’t beat.
Not a day goes by without him in my mind and heart.
There’s a something special going with me to Edinburgh and St. Andrews, something that represented his commitment to God, his country and family. I’m bringing one of his uniform shoulder boards. I will keep it close to me. Everywhere I go, he’ll be there. I know deep down inside he’s with me.
I know deep down inside he’ll walk besides me with each step of each round, every shot.
I just know he’ll be there.