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NORTON, Massachusetts – Golf creates memories. Most who have played the game can point to a specific round or shot that they will always remember. Solo memories are great, but moments can be even more impactful when they are shared with family. One of the best ways to create those moments out on the course are through participation in Mass Golf’s parent/child tournaments. There are still spots available in Mass Golf’s various Parent/Child Tournaments this season.
“I would say that it is definitely one of the highlights of my summer playing and competing with them,” said Tracy Welch, who in 2020 won the overall champion with her daughter Amanda Adams at the Mother/Daughter Chapman event.
For Welch, she has a long history of playing with family. She used to compete alongside her mother Jane Faxon Welch, as well as her father Wade Welch. Now, she is continuing the tradition with her daughters, 16-year-old Tory and 15-year-old Mandy, as well as her 13-year-old son Bradford.
“To be able to carry on that tradition and share it with my kids is definitely special,” Welch said. “It is nerve-wracking, but it’s also fun to watch them compete and to be a team together and work together.”
Welch is not alone in this sentiment. Numerous parents feel the same way about getting the chance to play alongside their child and share a love of the game. Steve Tasho won the Father-Son Modified Scotch Junior Division alongside his son Steven in 2015. In 2017, they captured Senior Division honors. In a career that’s been marked with loads of success, those are still the memories Tasho holds in the highest regard.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Tasho said. “It means a lot. In the case of what’s your best victory or whatever, it’s the two I have with my son. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s fun to be out there, you get to spend a whole day with your child. It’s great just to play with them, but when you win something, and you know a state one, it means a lot.”
Sue Curtin and her son James have won the third division of the Mother Son Modified Scotch every year from 2013-2018. The past two years they’ve won second division honors. Like Tasho, Curtin has a tremendous appreciation for what these events have given her and her son.
“James and I have been competing in this event since he was eight years old,” she said. “To look back at how much he has grown physically and matured as a young man is really special to reflect on over the years. The one great thing about golf is having uninterrupted time together. Golf offers a connection with my son that is hard to find these days with 4 hours of walking, talking, and doing something together that doesn’t involve a distraction. It’s priceless.”
In addition to the memories, competing in parent/child tournaments helps develop a natural interest in the game of golf for kids. Phil Smith has won the Father-Daughter Scotch tournament in various capacities a total of six times in the last seven years. He has seen his daughters (17-year-old Morgan, 16-year-old Molly and 13-year old Maddie) love for the game grow over the years.
It’s come especially far from the days in which Phil used to bring Molly along with him to Vesper Country Club using plastic clubs at 3 years old.
“I’d like to believe playing in the Parent/Child events definitely jumpstarted them into, hopefully, a lifetime of tournament golf,” Smith said. “My two older daughters, they just love to play golf, they work at it, they love to play tournament golf. They were fortunate that they had early success in winning these tournaments, which is a lot of fun.”
The thrill of winning is real, but the memories created along the way will always hold the biggest impact. “Every round there’s just so many memorable shots,” Welch said. “I remember the very first time I played with my daughter Tori was probably when she was seven. There’s a bunker on the very first hole and I told her to go around the bunker and she hit this amazing shot and just flew it directly over the bunker. It was just fun to see them having fun.”
Welch was also able to recall her son Bradford’s downhill birdie putt on the 4th hole during last summer’s Mother/Son Modified Scotch in which they won the 3rd Division. Those shots, and watching improvement over time, are the main elements of what makes parent/child tournaments so special.
“It’s just fun to see how they’ve improved,” Welch said. “I remember when Tory was little, she really just wanted her Gatorade. I remember getting the Gatorade and then halfway through, we got her another Gatorade, it was like a high point for her,” she laughed as she recalled.
“Now, both my girls are taller than me and they hit the ball farther than I do. So, it’s a completely different dynamic now. From a young child, to now teenagers, who practice their golf and love it, they have great golf swings.”
For more information on Parent/Child Tournaments and to register, visit MassGolf.org.