Dan Crosby came to the sport of golf at an early age – in seventh grade he realized that getting hit by a fast-pitch baseball was not for him anymore. His father was his high school golf coach, and the only coach that he ever had. Currently residing in New York state, with his wife as his caddy, he lives, sleeps and eats golf.
Have you ever wondered what your life would have turned out to be if you were born of different parents; or if they had chosen different career paths?
Who knows if I would ever have gotten into the great game of golf if it was not for my father? As far back as I can remember he played golf. When I was a little kid he coached the high school golf team. When I was in high school I was on the team as were all six of my brothers as they came of age. He taught adult education classes at night in the winter. Golf was the topic, what else? He was an English teacher by trade as well as the audio video director at school. He was a tremendously gifted carpenter. If you could see the kitchen he designed and built in the house that I grew up in, you would know what I mean. I have got very little of the carpenter gene programmed in me. Good or bad? I don’t know.
But golf was the true, deep passion in this man; to a fault. It was what he ate, drank, slept and talked about. Somehow he always managed to turn a conversation in the direction of the game that he loved (I have that same strange, probably annoying, ability). He remembers most, if not all, of the shots that he hit in his hundreds of rounds during his life (again, I have that same strange, probably annoying, ability). There was that shot off of hard pan on the local course with the sandy greens back in 1952….the curling putt that was up over a hill and down through a swail to a cup located in the far rear corner of the green while on leave in Germany…..the tee-shot he snap hooked into a pond back in ’67. I hope the most important shot he remembers is when he finally got HIS hole-in-one.
What else did he pass on to me? My deep passion for the game is identical to his. I am way too much of a perfectionist on the course. Yes, I realize that I will never be on the Tour. But, I still want to play as well, if not better, than the last round that I played. I get way too bothered with myself for miss hitting a shot. I mutter the same comments he did to anyone within earshot after almost every shot I take. I even make those stupid comments when I am playing alone. They still apply, even though no one is there to hear them.
Neither one of my adult children have gotten the bug for this game, although my daughter seems to be interested in learning the game. She has a very nice swing, but forgets that you actually have to hit the ball to make it move. My son has taken a liking to the game as of late and finally fessed-up to me that he had played a few times this summer
I wonder if I ever would have picked up this great game if I had been born to a different set of parents or if my mother had married a man that did not have this passion? Who knows? I do know this: I love this game and I loved my father, he passed away 4/10/03 just days after his 78 birthday.
The week of my father’s funeral, my family all gathered together in Phoenix and had a round of golf in his memory. There were 11 of us all together, including daughters-in-law. There were some sweaty palms and tear filled eyes as each of us teed it up on the first tee. We had agreed before teeing off that later in the round we would all tee up a second ball, turn 90 degrees to the left and fire a ball directly into a huge pond, one by one, in salute to our dad. With tear-filled eyes each we hit a driver as far and as well as we could and hoped that he was watching over us as we did it. I don’t think that I would have much liked being born to a father that was as dedicated to the game of chess.