I have found that common interests can really connect people. I was always close to my Grandpa growing up and he thought as highly of me as I thought of him. My Grandpa was always a hard worker and in his spare time he decided to pick up a golf club. He fell in love with the sport and for someone that did not see the purpose of golf he became what my Grandma called “The biggest duck in the puddle.” Grandpa took my twin brother, Landon and me our golfing and soon we would have our own set of clubs.
Grandpa, my brother and I would go golfing several times a week and on Sundays it became a tradition to go to church and go golfing afterwards. It was a wonderful time to learn about y Grandpa’s life and bond with him. I continued playing golf in high school and my brother played as well. I could tell that my Grandpa was so proud that we were involved in the sport that meant so much to him. He went to as many tournaments as he could and it was always comforting because Grandpa would always remind me to take it a swing at a time which is a reflection of how to look at life, one day at a time.
Unfortunately, my Grandpa passed away in 2013 and I felt like I lost my best friend that day. The day after he passed, we had a practice round scheduled for a tournament coming up. My coach and teammates were surprised when I told them I would be there. I knew that my Grandpa would not have wanted me to sit at home; he would want me to continue on with my golf career. I played the best round of golf up to that point and my friends helped me through the day. It was the best thing for me to pick up my clubs and keep going to keep his memory alive.
I still play golf today and I am entering my sophomore year in college. I know that my Grandpa would be proud and I often think of the friends that I never would have made had it not been for my Grandpa. I think of him often as he was such a big part of my life. As hard as it was to lose him, I have all of the wonderful memories to reflect on. Golf, just like any sport brings people together and they can create lasting bonds and friendships.
My Grandpa also instilled in me the importance of finishing a round of golf no matter what difficulties arise. If I had a bad shot he told me to just move on from that bad mistake and focus on the next. His hard work ethic, kind personality and his enjoyment of the simple things in life inspired me. He always encouraged me to follow my dreams and was supportive in all of my endeavors.
I will continue to keep his memory alive by remembering the lessons that he taught me and by playing the sport that he loved. I think it is important to have people in your life that love you and want nothing but the best for you. My Grandpa left a mark on this world and he was known for helping anyone that needed it. I am thankful for the impact he had on my life and for the friendships that he helped create because he decided to put a golf club in my hand. Some of the littlest things in life have the biggest impact.