Kansas City has three country clubs, constructed in the early days, with a picturesque mansion surrounded by acres of beautiful rolling grounds. The purpose was to advance national amusement and improve the mental and bodily health of the club’s associates. In 1890, The Country Club merged with the popular Polo club. Golf competitions have been held since the beginning. Golf cups were given by the club or directors. Also popular were the social features; family dinners served and the music and dancing in the evenings that were held in the club house.
Every since he was five years old, my husband wanted to be a professional golfer. He lived across the street from the golf course. His mother would take him over there and leave him on the putting green until he was ready to come home. He had to wait for her because he wasn’t allowed to cross the street by himself. During the weekends, his father used to drop him off at the golf course at breakfast time, 8 o’clock in the morning, and pick him up just as the sun went down at night.
He would spend all day hitting balls with the exception of a few minutes to eat his french fries and drink a Coca-Cola. He became quite good. He played well enough to be the champion of the state. He played in national championships in his junior and as an adult. But whenever he talked about being a professional golfer his father would remind him about the little kid Tommy that he played with; who was three years younger. His father would way something like, “You think you’re going to be a professional? You can’t even beat that 12-year old kid!” He took it to heart.
Eventually, he let that dream go because the fact was, he could beat that 12-year old some of the time, but there was something about the way he hit a long iron that made you know there was a level of athleticism in golf that my husband would never get to. What my husband didn’t know was that little boy turned out to be Tom Watson, one of the four to five greatest golfers of all time.