Father/Son Championship: A newcomer’s perspective

Family has always been very important in my life, so spending this weekend around sons, dads and grandpas playing golf in the AGA 2010 Father/Son Championship was an inspiring experience. I’m new to the AGA, new to golf to be precise (but we’ll keep that our secret), so driving up to Prescott Sunday morning I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’d worked a few Member Days, so I’d had a taste of interacting with members on the golf course, but I knew from talking to other staff members that tournaments are quite a bit different. I decided to go to the Father/Son Championship because I’d heard stories of the families who have been participating in it for decades. That intrigued me. When I arrived I found men of all ages had flooded Antelope Hills Golf Course, teeing off as late as 2:30 p.m. to ensure all 492 golfers were able to play a round each day. I spent the first half of my day driving around the course taking photos, which you can peruse on our Facebook page. I then hung around the clubhouse, helping out where help was needed and talking to golfers as they turned in their scorecards and checked the scoreboard. Dan Ellington has played in the tournament for the past 40 years. He used to play with his dad Farris, and now plays with his son Chris who has been playing for 16 years. Dan fondly remembers his dad making a hole in one on 16 in the 1980s. Why do they keep coming back? “It’s a fun father/son weekend,” Dan said. I saw families like the Pates, Kernagis, Kuhls and Cunninighams who had upwards of nine family members participating. In true family dedication, one of the Kernagis men played even though his leg was in a cast and he was on crutches. This tournament, and the family bonding that comes with it, are monumentally important to those who participate. My amazement continued when I saw the little guys competing. I met 8 year old Bobby Beers who was playing with his dad Joe. It was Bobby’s first year and in his words, “It was awesome!” The smile that lit up his face when he told me that stretched from one cheek to the other. With a look of pride on his face Bobby told me his favorite moment of the weekend was “dad almost making a hole in one.” Joe, who in previous years played with his dad Dr. Bob, was proud of Bobby for how well he hit his driver. The day wrapped up late Sunday night, after the sun had set and all scores had been calculated. After two very long days of golf, a winner had been determined. Earl and Lucas Meyer posted a two-day total of 139, beating Gene and Patrick Moran by one stroke. Ted and Bryan Pate won the Professional Division with a total of 137. A full list of results can be found at this link.