Megan Gailey is one of our favorite stand ups. She’s also more knowledgeable than everyone on the BYT staff about sports so we’re asking her about sports. Today’s column isn’t a question but a sincere appreciation of dads and golf, which is something we never thought we’d have on this site.
This will be the most Norman Rockwell, isn’t life beautiful thing I’ll ever write here. If that’s not your thing, stay tuned til next week when I inevitably revisit the video of LeBron’s shorts being open for the world to see!
Father’s Day and the U.S. Open are a longstanding tradition, one that I really like. I love watching golf on TV and I love my dad.
My dad taught me to play golf when I was 15-years-old after I found out a close family friend had been hired as my high school’s coach. I was terrible then and I’m terrible now. But I’ll always remember the special moments we shared in the process:
“Dad, am I bad?”
“No, you’re not even good enough to be bad.”
But we both persevered. My dad, because he wanted to have a daughter that was good at both golf and tennis, guaranteeing herself an MBA. And me, because my taxing tennis and theater schedules were becoming too much and I needed a break from stardom. I was not a star.
Playing girls HS golf was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. I loved my teammates, coaches, snacks, we got to ride on a minibus and for 18 hole tournaments we got to miss school! To be bad at a sport and STILL get to miss school is a teenage dream come true.
For the record I never got better. I hit a couple cars, forgot my uniform and played in bright-red skintight pants, left my clubs everywhere and my mom had to become responsible for all of them and then in a miracle moment accomplished the incredible feat of hitting a ball off my own head. I was named team captain my senior year, despite being the worst lady on the team. But I have always talked a lot and I was the only senior and everyone was like, this’ll be cute. I overslept and missed our first tournament. I cried but everyone forgave me because they placed higher without me on the course. At the end of the season the school named an award in my honor: Megan Gailey Pretty in Pink Award. I had a pink putter. I don’t know if they still give it out but I hope those kids don’t think I died.
I’ve been around golf my whole life. My Grandpa Willie ran a tournament on the amateur tour for decades. That tournament was won by Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Scott Verplank, Ben Crenshaw and though he didn’t win it, Tiger Woods played in it and stayed at my Grandpa’s house. They now give out an award and scholarship in my Grandpa’s name every year at The Porter Cup. And it’s definitely a bigger deal than The Pretty in Pink Award.
Father’s Day falls on the final day of the U.S. Open. There’s usually a sweet story and the man that ends up winning has a newborn or his dad just passed away or his step-dad who raised him from two-years-old is his caddy. No matter what, I cry. I love dads. I love golf. I love dads watching golf. And I hope it’s a tradition that never ends.