A Life Built By Golf: Why I'm Thankful for the Game, From a PGA Member
By Abby Parsons, PGA
As a PGA Professional, it’s easy to say that I am thankful for golf because it pays the bills; however, it goes way deeper than that for me.
My father, Tom Parsons, is also a PGA Professional.
I grew up idolizing him, his job, and the effect he had on not only his students, but the golf club and community in general. He was the Director of Golf at National Golf Club, now Pinehurst #9, my entire life. I witnessed him build connections with members and guests at a young age, and he and I still keep in touch with them to this day. Golf built these friendships for my father, and my family.
Quite literally, I would not be here if it were not for the game of golf. My mom went to a Christmas party in Tampa, Florida with a friend. She thought one of the golf professionals there was really cute (she was too scared to talk to him at the time), and eventually called the golf shop a few days after the party to book a lesson with the, said cute, golf professional. She called and hung up until eventually, Tom Parsons answered the phone. She booked a series of lessons with him and thought…
‘Hey, if it does not work out, at least I’m learning how to play golf.’
Well, after the third lesson, my father called my mother and asked her out. Now, I sit here typing on my laptop in Scottsdale, Arizona where I am a PGA Golf Professional myself at The Country Club at DC Ranch.
My Dad actually remembers seeing my mom walk into the golf shop for their first lesson. He turned to the golf pro beside him and said “I think I’m going to marry that woman one day.”
The game of golf has brought me so many memories from a young age. Obviously the countless junior tournaments, college tournaments, and even professional tournaments fill up a lot of that memory bank, but one of the best weeks of my life will forever be the 2020 Ryder Cup (that happened in 2021).
Working at Whistling Straits when the Ryder Cup was postponed was heart-breaking; however, it added to the build up of that glorious week in September of 2021 when team USA dominated team Europe on a course that I grew to love and called my home. Seeing the fans look at the golf course in awe and hearing the positive comments from the players, made me feel a sense of happiness and accomplishment I cannot compare. I was able to experience that week with my best friends, family, and coworkers. It was a week I will never forget.
Finally, I am thankful for golf because it has taught me so incredibly much. It has taught me integrity, humility, dedication, patience, forgiveness, and so much more. Golf has taught me more about myself than I knew was possible. Not only this, but golf pushes me to learn more every single day.
With the people I have met, the courses I have played, the friendships I have built, the memories that I have made, it is hard to think about Abby Parsons without golf. If “golf” is the first thing people think about when they think of me, then I am thankful for that. Because golf is the greatest game ever played.