You have heard of Soccer Moms and Little League Dads, but PGA Tour parents are the worst.
If you fall into this group your choices are hari kari (for those who don’t know, it’s disemboweling yourself with a samurai sword) or cut it out now.
I practice at a public course with a really nice facility. It gives me a chance to be comfortable in t-shirts and cargo shorts.
What I saw yesterday afternoon made me sick because I see it almost every day.
I saw a little boy who couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 getting a chipping lesson, all the while the parent was shouting instructions. I don’t mean basic “here’s how you hold it” stuff, I mean real mechanical perfection type stuff. I had to leave the chipping green and go to the range to get away from this.
Then I went to the range and started hitting balls. There was a teenager about 15 or 16 hitting balls next to me and getting lessons from his dad. I thought the chipping lesson I just witnessed was technical. “Your plane is off 3 frames into the back swing” and “lead more with the left shoulder,” were a few of the beauties I heard. Now is where it gets interesting. It was late in the afternoon and the shadows were long.
“Excuse me, your shadow is bothering my son’s practice.” I practice with music from my Oakley wireless sunglasses on, so I often can’t hear people talking on the range…thank GOD. He then taps me on the shoulder and repeats.
I asked him if he was kidding and if his kid wanted to play on Tour someday, he better get used to distractions worse than this. He then very forcefully told me that his son’s practice was very important and I either needed to move, or make sure my shadow was out of the way when he was hitting.
I couldn’t decide whether to separate this guy from a few of his teeth or embarrass him really bad. Since there is no internet in jail, I obviously chose option two.
I told him I would play he and his son a best ball for any amount of money he wanted.
“Your son looks like a low single digit and by the way you are talking to him, I judge you to be at least a 15, if not a 20. Am I right?”
I got a stunned look from the dad and the kid started to laugh.
“Look, I’ll make you a deal, let me finish warming up and I’ll give you one of two choices. We can play the match for $100 a hole, or you can let your son hit the rest of his balls without your input.”
After I hit my first driver, he sat on the bench and silently motioned to his son to hit the rest of his balls.
The point of this story is not how awesome I think I am and what a jerk I am to people who bother me at the golf course (although both of these things are true), it’s that parents need to leave their kids alone because they don’t know jack **** about golf and how to make their kids better. Let them whack it around and have a good time.