Golfing with dad and Nick

By Andrew Benore | Jul 05, 2010
Photo by: Andrew Benore My dad, Tom, and brother, Nick, on the fourth hole at Green Meadows.

It came down to the final putt on the 18th hole at Green Meadows Golf Course in Monroe, Mich. I was in the Great Lakes state for the weekend to see family and friends and play a lot of golf. The Sunday morning round on June 27 with my dad, Tom, and brother Nick was for bragging rights for the family's best golfer. I play at least once a week at Rockland Golf Club. My dad plays twice a week. Nick plays twice a year.

Nick was having a career round. He shot a 75 and easily beat his father and older brother. He drove the green on two par 5s. He hit booming 4-irons that stopped dead on the green. He walked in a 30-foot par putt to get through a 200-yard par 3.

So it came down to my dad and me. The 18th hole is a 355-yard par 4. I was tied at 9-over par with my dad. I hit a great drive about 260 yards, center of the fairway. Dad was in the left rough. I figured a par, and a 79, would be enough to finally beat the old man. For my approach shot, I aimed for the center of the green rather than going for the pin behind the sand trap. It was an easy two putt for a sub-80 round. Dad got the ball on the green and had a long putt for a birdie. It was a slow, uphill putt that rolled forever, until it dropped in the cup.

Dad knew what that meant — a birdie, a 78, and a one-stroke win. It meant that after 1,000 rounds of golf, I still hadn't beat my dad.

My brother Nick lives in California, and I live in the Midcoast. We were in Michigan that weekend for a golf tournament to benefit a local high school football team. Our uncle, Tom Walentowski, is the coach of the Ida Bluestreaks football team. This was the 16th year that he has organized a scramble-format golf tournament to raise money for the football team. On June 26, foursomes teed off all day at Green Meadows. My foursome included Dad, Nick and my brother Todd, who lives in Michigan. In the foursome ahead of us were my grandfather, an uncle and two cousins.

Our scramble score, 5-under par, was nothing memorable but each hole at Green Meadows was. The Benore family always had a membership at Green Meadows and my brother and I lived there some summers.

On the first tee I remembered playing in a tournament and duffing my drive 10 yards into a bush while a crowd watched. On the seventh hole I remembered my brother hitting a swan with a golf ball, temporarily rendering the bird unconscious. I remembered all the golf balls we dug out of the creek on holes 10 and 12. I remembered Nick hitting a hole in one on the 13th hole when he was a little kid. I have memories about walking up to the last green on a hot summer day during a youth tournament and thinking that this year I might make the cut. I have memories of caddying for my dad during the club championship.

I made another memory to add to that list the last weekend in June 2010: my dad sinking a birdie putt on 18 to beat me by a stroke.

Andrew Benore is a reporter/photographer/copy manager for VillageSoup. He can be reached at 594-4401 extension 256 or by e-mail at abenore@villagesoup.com.

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