A Quick Nine: Who or what was most influential in getting you into golf?

Steven Bowditch
Getty Images
An incredibly kind gesture by Steven Bowditch got one of our PGA.com Facebook friends hooked on golf.
By
T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
PGA.com

Series: A Quick Nine

The entire month of May is, 'Welcome to Golf Month,' which is a new Play Golf America program evolving from PGA Free Lesson Month. Along with the usual May offering of free 10-minute lessons from PGA/LPGA Professionals, Welcome to Golf Month will include additional complimentary introductory programs, orientations and Get Golf Ready clinics as part of the innovative month-long promotion.

This provides a great opportunity to introduce a friend or loved one to the game; or a chance for you to get more serious about your own game.

WELCOME TO GOLF MONTH

As part of the new Welcome to Golf month of May, The PGA of America, in conjunction with its partners Golf Digest and Nike Golf, is launching a Twitter campaign to promote the free, fun aspects of this program. Beginning the week of April 30, The PGA is asking the entire golf industry, pro golfers and golfers across America to tweet about their Welcome to Golf experiences using the hashtag #welcometogolf.

With that in mind, we asked our PGA.com Facebook fans to tell us: Who or what was the most influential in getting you into golf?

While you read the great answers we received below, why don't you consider becoming that "most influential" person to someone else?

9. The Folds of Honor Foundation. This from the Folds of Honor Foundation website: The Folds of Honor Foundation was founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a former F-16 pilot, golf course owner, PGA Professional and USGA member. A Major in the Air National Guard and a decorated military aviator, Rooney has served three combat tours in Iraq. After returning from his second tour, Major Rooney witnessed a profound situation that drove him to create the Folds of Honor Foundation.

Facebook fan quote:

"Folds of Honor Foundation for sure! I've always been interested, but these guys made me step it up a bit!" -- Mike Daggett

8. Starting out as a caddie. For a lot of kids, their first summer job might be as a caddie at the local golf course. It's a great introduction to the game and the etiquette.

Facebook fan quotes:

"I started caddying in the eighth grade. Carried two bags, 18 holes, two loops a day every day. Caddies could play Mondays. I battled all summer long just to get a round in, hooked ever since." -- John Dorsey

"The membership (and guest play) at Winged Foot where I caddie." -- Andrew Spina

"My uncle. He used to let me caddie for him when I was young." -- Dan Cutter

7. A touring professional. Just like any sport, it's easy to be inspired by the people who are among the best at what they do. Golf is no different.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Tiger... he made the game look interesting and exciting!" -- Shail Chotai

"Tiger Woods no doubt." -- Jeremy Nicholson

"Todd Hamilton. We grew up together. He got good, then great. I still suck, but I still play!" -- Scott Brown

"By a Tour Professional named Steven Bowditch, I was at a tour event on the nationwide tour in Boise, Idaho in 2006 asking for autographs and such, and such like every other 12 year old kid and younger. He gave a couple of kids hats and went to his car and I started talking with a kid, and then he whistled me over and gave me his putter. Ever since then I asked my dad to buy me clubs and started learning and such 6 years later still using his putter. I am now a 2 handicap and could never thank Steven enough. My goal is also to become a tour pro thanks to him as well." -- Zachary Shaun Regonald Woods

6. A friend. The earlier you can start playing golf with a friend, the better. Since golf is a game you can play for decades, it can keep that friendship alive and well.

Facebook fan quotes:

"My best friend Rose. She started playing when she was 12 and got me hooked at 43 and we've never looked back. She lives in Phoenix now and I'm in Fort Worth so we take turns visiting each other so we can play together!" -- Tami Malone

"A 93 years young friend of mine who still hits the ball 100 yards with a driver. He helped me keep it fun until I learned the game, and swing I could repeat." -- Glenn La Bonte

"My friends in high school got me in to the game and for that I will always be grateful." -- Pete Miller

5. A PGA Professional. These are the men and women who dedicate their lives to growing the game. To find one near you, click here.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Dr. Jim Suttie! Thanks Jim!" -- Keith N. Hight

4. Your grandfather. Many of you said that golf initially started out as a reason to spend time with your grandfather and then became a lifelong passion.

Facebook fan quotes:

"My grandfather got me started in golf; best memories I have are with him on the course." -- Nathan Gunson

"My grandfather! Started me at the age of 14. He taught me specific fundamentals I still use today at 36. He's 86 and still plays at least 9 holes, 5 days a week, and he can still kick my butt!" -- Christopher R Belcher

"My grandpa. He bought me a putter the day I was born. It's still in my bag. He encouraged me to be a caddy and I got the Evans Scholarship." -- Greg Ungru

3. Your husband. Is there a better place to spend time with loved ones than on the golf course?

Facebook fan quotes:

"My husband... join them or be a widow... now he's the golf widow! LOL." -- Melanie Watt

"My husband said, 'Honey, we do everything else together, I want you to learn to play golf.' The rest is history." -- Maryann Parks Prine

"My late husband... He loved the game and I loved playing with him. There is a large void in my game without him." -- Elizabeth Barone

"My husband. I decided to start playing so I could see him more often!" -- Dawn Hichborn Closson

"My husband and best friend whom I miss everyday. Hard to find a course that will let just one play." -- Nancy B. Ayers

2. Your father. I know tagging along to the golf course with dad is what got me hooked. I'm not surprised to read that's the case for many of our readers too.

Facebook fan quotes:

"As I'm sure many will say, it was my Dad. He stunk at the game, but loved it just the same... and it afforded the chance, starting when I was about 10 or 11, to spend several hours non-stop with him on an almost regular basis." -- David Presley

"My dad, every Sunday after church." -- Barry J C Meyer

"I was 7 years old tagging along with my dad and saw him make a hole in one. I was instantly hooked. He took me to the driving range a few times and told me to hit it hard. I was pretty good using the baseball grip. Then one day he said if I didn't start using the proper (Vardon) grip he wouldn't take me anymore. I struggled through about half the bucket of balls before it started to feel comfortable. That was 50 years ago." -- Bruce Effisimo

"My Dad wanted me to be able to play with him and my brothers. I was the only girl!" -- Susan Davis

"My father, my hero, who showed me the great game of golf. I'll never be able to thank him enough. I lost him too soon from my life." -- Courtney Brett

"Like many, my father as well. A little different than some, he is a lifetime member of the PGA. That's a 50 + year stint working and promoting the game with the unwavering respect and integrity that comes along with that. Love you Dad!" -- Kevin Desmond

1. Your mother. Mother's Day is coming up on Sunday. Did you think there was anyway she wasn't going to be No. 1 on our list? (By the way, are you still looking for a last-minute, golf-related gift? Look here for some great ideas!)

Facebook fan quotes:

"The EA Sports video game kinda helped me but I credit my mom for pushing me to get into golf and now I want to be a golf journalist! It's rare to see mothers get their kids into golf but I am blessed that my mom did. She wasn't really into golf but she wanted me to get involved and I love her for that." -- Colin Prince Col-Wah Mieczkowski

"My mom... she won her first Club Championship at age 14 in 1946, won 33 more, she beat all the men! Awesome golfer she was." -- Jeff Kinsley

"My mom. Grew up with the first fairway in the backyard. Took years before I recognized the value in that." -- Cynthia Cronk

"My mom. She would pick me up from school and take us to the club where she was general manager. Got hooked at an early age." -- Stephen Patten

"My Mom taught me everything that I needed to know and now she has two golf professionals in the family and one lawyer. Don't know that happened there." -- Tim Bishop 


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