Now, let me explain why that declaration isn’t just an inane opening thought to a collection of reflections from the past 12 months.
Starting in January and reaching all the way to the end of the year, 2016 was packed with a barrage of moments that will never be matched. The blessings of the year opened the door to new destinations, introduced me to the powerful impact delivered by the kindness of others, dropped my jaw in amazement at the beauty of God’s creation and raised red, white, and blue goose bumps fueled by patriotic fervor and pride during a magical week in Minnesota.
Each of these special experiences included more than just the reality of me being able to visit the destination or event. It was much more than that, because I was blessed to bring my son or wife along for the most memorable year of golf in my 48 years on this large, multi-hued, non-dimpled ball.
Snapshot Memories: We were welcome at both venues by record cold temps that actually caused us to purchase ski caps, but that sort of wrinkle in the master plan actually made the trip more memorable, especially when we met Joe in the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse and took a tour we’ll never forget.
April – The Masters
Snapshot Memories: Every time I enter my office, I’m greeted by a large canvas print that reminds me that my son and I actually got to enter Butler Cabin, briefly meet Mr. Palmer, dine on the lawn with 3 Masters Champions seated at neighboring tables, and live the ultimate dream – all thanks to the kindness of others.
July – Oakland Hills/Arcadia/Crystal Downs
Snapshot Memories: I can still recall the looks of joy and wonder on the faces of my playing partners during this magical week that started as July ended, and ended when August began. It was a thrill to be able to introduce generous MGL audience members and my son to Oakland Hills South and then embarking on a weeklong journey to the northern part of the state for more fantastic golf with my son and a good friend meeting a living legend at Crystal Downs.
August – Top of the Rock, Branson
Snapshot Memories: Stepping off the plane and a short while later I was standing on the first tee of the most stunning Par 3 course I had ever seen, not knowing the trip was going to get even better. I never knew Branson was this beautiful, fun, or packed with great golf.
Snapshot Memories: I’ve covered many Ryder Cup matches but this was the first time to have my son along to help shoot video, conduct interviews, and truly be a vital part of the coverage effort. Our victory celebration featuring ice cream in the Media Center will long be remembered. Not to go all “Wonder Years,” but one never knows how many more father/son moments like that we will be able to enjoy as he gets older. This was a perfect week of making memories.
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November – Hawaii’s Big Island
Snapshot Memories: Having never been to Hawaii, we didn’t know what to expect but the beauty, hospitality, greatness of the courses, and appreciation for heritage quickly won us over. As I write these thoughts in December as the temps hover around 12 degrees, my mind is filled with thoughts of a return trip to the Big Island and the resorts that hosted us.