So, now that my children (9 and 6) are strong enough to swing a club with some authority (a good drive will go about 100 yards), the last two years' worth of going to the driving range and putting green about 4 times a year, and having them ride along with me on a few rounds and hit a shot here or there to get them acclimated to the rules and etiquette, as well as basic shot making, were enough to let them step onto the course. All summer, I had wanted to take them to a local 9 hole muni course, but it had not worked out, so on our way back home from a vacation, we stopped in Monterey for our last evening. I decided to jump on Pacific Grove Golf Links, which was 2 minutes from our B&B for a very late afternoon round. It was time: I payed for a children's rate and then my kids alternated holes for their first nine hole experience each (we finished on #17 in the dark), with my generous wife serving as the "caddy" (no club carrying for her, just snacks and water and sweatshirts).
I had them tee it up, sometimes from the red tees and sometimes from the fairway, so that the distance was about 1,500 yards in total. As one would expect, there were a decent amount of 7s, 8s and 9s and even a couple of double digit scores.
Then, my older daughter, who made her first real par at the Palm Course at Palmas del Mar back when she was 8 (I made my first par when I was nine), decided to answer the call. I gave her a 125 yard hole as well on #14. She ripped a drive about 100 yards right between the narrow gap with dunes left and right, followed with a great chip to about 20 feet and two putted for her second par of the day. More impressively is how she played the five holes on the back nine in as many strokes as the four on the front nine.
Suffice it to say, that in life there are only a few days that you know you will not forget, and even less where you know you can cherish them as moments of pure joy. I don't know if my Dad begged a favor from the big guy upstairs, but I can tell you that this round on Pacific Grove is etched in my memory forever.