The SPORTS PHILOSOPHER SAYS: “What a great day for golf….and not a bad U.S. Open, either.”

June 19, 2011
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     Yes, I saw it.   You bet I did.

     And yes, I’m sure we all agree that the big sports story of the last weekend was Rory McIlroy, and his ascension to the rarified plateau of true athletic superstardom.   Yes, it was totally inspiring watching him bullwhip his 330-yard drives, pitch balls from far down the fairway to within a few feet of fluttering flags, and roll the rock like Willie Mosconi.   Yes, it truly was one of the most utterly dominant performances in the history of golf.   Maybe the best anyone has ever struck a golf ball over four days in the history of this whole misbegotten world.

Just ignore Rob’s orange golf ball.   He didn’t miss it.   This was only a practice stroke.

Just ignore Rob’s orange golf ball. He didn’t miss it. This was only a practice stroke.

     I loved it.

     But not as much as I loved the other golf match that went on on Sunday.

     Sunday, of course, was Father’s Day.   Father’s Day is one day of the year (some years the only day of the year) I can be sure to get my son out on the golf course.

     We played at a little municipal course over in Pasadena.   A 9-hole track.   The kind of friendly little course where you’d have a freak like Rory McIlroy driving the green on all the par fours.   It was myself, my son, and my girlfriend.   In the dark.

     Well, practically in the dark.   We got sort of a late start on my Father’s Day golf outing.   Some unexpected delays.   The most significant of which was that both my son (Rob) and girlfriend (Roxanne) decided that first they wanted to play some tennis, which normally would not have vexed me in the slightest, but right before me trying to simulate being a golfer it made for a daunting double-dip of athletic trauma for my suspect physique.   So we got a late start.   And we wound up only getting in six holes.

     Truth is, we all hit a few good shots.   I love watching my son play.   He’s pretty good.   And he’s only 14.   Sure, during Sunday’s U.S. Open I’m aware that Rory McIlroy (only 22 years old himself) hit a mid-iron into the tenth green, over water, to within eight inches of the jar—the big showoff—but I was no less thrilled than Rory’s father Gerry when my own son hit a perfect 180-yard drive Sunday on the fourth hole.   Who cares if he could only make double-bogey?   It’s a father thing.  (Yeah yeah yeah, I know Rory hits his average drive about 330, and that he’s shorter and weighs less than my kid.   But Rory practices golf five hours a day.   Rob plays golf one day a year.   To me that makes Rob’s modest golfing feats far more impressive.   Do the math.)

     At the end of the day, Rob looked at me with a serious look on his face (which he hardly ever does) and said, “Dad, we suck, huh.”   I said yes we most certainly do, but added that he hit some very good shots, and we agreed that if he starts playing golf more than one day a year maybe he could make the school golf team next spring.   Food for thought.   At the end of this little talk he added, “Thanks, Dad.   I had fun.”   Isn’t that all any dad can ever ask for?

     Then on the way home my worthless car overheated.   Twice.   But that’s another column….

     Anyway, happy Father’s Day, Mr. Gerry McIlroy.   I know exactly how you feel.

meet….The Sports Philosopher!image0023

Brad Eastland is an author, historian, film buff, undiscovered fictioneer, and sturdy veteran of nocturnal golf.   Brad’s other recent columns for LaVerneOnline can be found in Sports under ‘The Sports Philosopher’ and also in Viewpoint under ‘Brad Eastland’s View’.    Brad has also written 4 novels* and over 20 short-stories.   

*To pick up a copy of his recently published novel of life at the racetrack, WHERE GODS GAMBLE, a tale of American mythology, simply search for it on,, or…it’s easy!








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