I don’t need to tell anyone what a brutal winter, at least three quarters of the U.S. has had this year. However, for those of us living in Mexico it has been one of the mildest in history. Sorry…I don’t really mean to rub it in. Okay, maybe a little.
The harsh weather caused a lot of family and friends to come this direction to get away from the cold. Our first group of visitors arrived the day after Christmas followed by the second group 4 days later. This set the pace for what was to come. In 2 days it will be three months since the first group arrived and we have had various numbers of family visiting ever since.
Now I know most of us love getting together with the family, but there have been times when there have been as many as four different family groups visiting at the same time. Parents, children, grandchildren, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, plus others I don’t even know where they fit on the family tree. It’s been crazy. And, it’s been crazy good!
I saw a lot of laughter and joy. A lot of celebration of good shots, good food, good family, and endless stories beginning with “Remember the time….”. All good memories, that for most will last a lifetime.
None of this really struck me as to how special all this company had been until this past Saturday when I played golf with my wife and her father. To watch him you would never believe his age – maybe playing golf five days a week makes him appear 15 years younger than his 84 years. He shot a very respectable (for a 22 handicapper) 44 on the front 9. I’m sure you’ll understand if we don’t talk about the back 9.
The USGA has a slogan, “Golf – The Game of a Lifetime”. Sure, I knew it was. But, these past 3 months I have truly lived it. I saw golf bring so many of our family together and give them great joy and happiness – even those that don’t play the game.
I played golf with all those who are as addicted to the game as most of us, as well as those who simply wanted to give it a try. I was with my 6 year old grandson and my autistic nephew when they made their first “true” pars…ever. Another nephew broke 90 for the first time, and after hitting nearly every ball in my bag into the water my granddaughter finally cleared the lake on the par 3, 6th hole. The on course achievements and celebrations filled the days.
I also saw an uncle fall down trying to hit the ball, a cousin fall in the lake trying to reach a ball, a club fly into a lake, two people fall out of golf cars, one cooler fall out of the golf car scattering it’s contents across the fairway … you get the idea. Sounds more like a fraternity reunion, but remember, this has been nearly 3 months of experiences.
Next month, my brother in law will get a break in his chemo therapy and come for a visit. What’s at the top of his to-do list? What else, he wants to play a lot of golf!!
There aren’t many sports that can be played for a lifetime. Golf is one of them. Golf is for everyone at every age. If you play golf you are lucky and you have something you can do with family and friends forever! Even on a bad day…golfers are so blessed!
Kim Anders is a PGA Professional residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at email@example.com.