To put not too fine a point on it, I finally got to play the most important (from an emotional perspective) round of golf of my life with my son this past year. When I was 7 years old, I took my first plane flight (at least the first one I remembered) to Calgary and we took a family vacation to Banff and Jasper National parks in Alberta, Canada. As part of that trip, my father went to play the very famous Banff Springs Golf Course. At that point in my life, my dad had just started allowing me to hit balls with him at the junior college, but I had not yet ever played a round of golf, let alone a complete golf hole. I remember standing above the first tee (now just below and to the left of the 15th tee box pictured above) and watching my father hit his bright yellow ball a long way onto the fairway that, at that time of year, was flanked on either side by patches of snow. The dozen or so people at the restaurant overlooking the tee box gave him some applause, as did I. All I can remember was thinking how cool my dad was and how awesome golf was and how beautiful the tee and surrounding area was (the picture below was taken, at the time, on the 8th green, now the 3rd green). Then, the big moment happened. On the 18th hole (now the 14th) my dad told me I could play. It was like a bolt of lightning stuck and electrified my hole being. I grabbed his 7 iron and proceeded to hack my way down the hole with this oversized club. I remember hitting one or two good shots and finishing with a double digit score, but it didn't matter. I had played golf, under the shadow of the imposing Banff Springs hotel, and I was hooked.
So, fast forward 35 years, and my wife and I finally got around to planning our own family vacation to Banff National Park, and my son, 10 years old at the time, and at least 4 years into playing golf got to experience the golf course with me, and we played the round I had been dreaming of passing on to my child as soon as I started thinking about children. For the record, he played all 18 and he played very well. I hope he takes some pleasure, someday, in realizing how important that day and round of golf was for me, all because I was able to do it with him!