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Dads and Daughters
By Anne Marie Goslak

My Dad

 

"You know, honey, I know you are disappointed with how things turned out. I know you are hurting, but let me tell you something, there are 8 million people in China, who don't give a damn about how you played today."

That was the best my dad could come up with. I had missed making the US Open by one stroke. Had one more putt dropped, I would have achieved a lifelong dream. But one more putt did not drop. I had failed and I was hurting.

I was in my car, crying, watching from a distance, as a friend of mine celebrated yet another trip for her to the US Open. I had come up short and the first call I made was to my dad.

My Dad always had a way of making me laugh or putting things into perspective. His point that day was a good one. Although it was important to me, in the big scheme of things, for the rest of the world, nothing would change if I did or did not make the Open.

Although he never went to college, never attending a sports psychology class, and never reading a book on how to raise a champion, my Dad instinctually knew something important. HOW you play is not WHO you are. He was quick to tell me that he loved me no matter what I shot and he was proud of the effort.

My Dad was there when I first announced I wanted to be a professional golfer. I was three years old. I was sitting on his lap, watching the Dinah Shore women's professional golf event on TV. I said, "Daddy, I am going to be there one day. I am going to be a professional golfer!"

He asked, "Are you sure, you don't want to be a ballerina, honey?" After he saw me dance, it was pretty clear what the answer was.

He picked out my first set of clubs and attended my first tournament. I was 8 and I shot 112. I am sure it was a LONG day for him, but in the end, I won. I don't know which one of us was more excited.

My dad was my first coach, but he was not the best teacher in the world. In fact, I often referred to him as a 'Hack' golfer. He took that name with pride, which is further proof that he was, in fact, a hacker. Thankfully, he found me a good teaching professional.

He drove me to golf tournaments, celebrated wins, and consoled me in defeat. When I won the National Junior Invitational, with three rounds under par, he bought 40 news papers, just so he could show his friends an 'original copy.'

When I was recruited to play golf in college, I was considering more than 50 schools from New England to Florida. As I narrowed the search down, Dad was there, asking questions, doing research, and trying to help me make a good decision. When I finally settled on Wake Forest University, he drove 900 miles to make sure I would be comfortable at the campus, and so he could buy a 'Wake Forest Dad' sweatshirt.

When I turned pro and tried for the LPGA, he flew out to California so I would not be alone.

My Dad has always been there, whether I was competing, testing to be a teaching pro, or just hacking it around with him on the golf course. We spent hours talking about everything from politics to relationships on the golf course. Dads and daughters have a special bond. Golf is a journey and it's one I was lucky enough to take with my dad.

At this time, my dad is battling cancer. My prayer for him is that he will recover quickly, and live to play another round of golf with me.

I love you, Dad. Thanks for teaching me that what I shoot is not who I am. Who I am is a reflection of you. Happy Father's Day to my dad and to all who make a difference in the lives of their kids.

-Anne Marie Goslak

 

Editor's Note: Ron Goslak lived 70 great years, before losing his battle to cancer. Anne Marie is grateful for the legacy he left behind."