Who was your biggest influence to start playing golf?

By T.J. Auclair
Published on

Whether it was mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, an aunt, an uncle, an actor, a world-class player, or the fact that we're all gluttons for punishment — there's someone or something that had a big influence on getting you involved in the game of golf.
We asked our Facebook fans: Who was/is the biggest influence on getting you involved in golf? The answers added up in the hundreds and there were so many great stories you shared with us. Here's a look at some of the best:
  1. Caddying. What better way to get to know the game than to spend your days around the game?
    "Caddying at Winged Foot... that's where I first saw the game and fell in love with it. And seeing Davis Love III win the '97 PGA with the famous 'rainbow scene' helped a little also." -- Andrew Spina
  2. A strong man looking to make change.
    "Mr. Eason, who in the mid-1960s built his own golf course very close to my home. Imagine committing that much land to something that certainly was not revenue generating. He was not allowed to join the area country clubs or even play because he was a black man. He invited his friends to come and play and he taught all of us neighborhood kids the game. Mr. Eason, I salute you." -- Reginald L Rankins
  3. Your parents. If you're like me and the people whose answers you will read below, many of your greatest memories with your parents involve the game.
    "Started playing when I was 11. My dad taught me when we moved to Florida and he played golf every day until the day he died. Not to mention, he walked countless courses with me as I played Junior golf." -- Alanna Child Johnson
    "My dad took me to a par 3 golf course when I was around 15, and he said, I think you might like this." -- Tim McIntyre
    "Dad. When I was 13 he was putting in storm drain next to a golf course and brought home hundreds of golf balls. If it wasn't for that I would have never started playing golf." -- Lou Magud
  4. An aunt/uncle. They can teach you some fun games on the course and some life lessons.
    "When I was about ten my Uncle Bob rented me some clubs and took me to play at a 9-hole course. I will never forget him for getting me started, it was an instant addiction. Sad he is gone now, but THANKS Uncle Bob for 45 years of great fun! Love ya!" -- Michael S. Orzechowski
    "Uncle Malcolm. He played for money. He said playing golf without something at risk is like playing poker for match sticks. No way to weed out the bluffers!" -- Paul Grubbs
  5. Carl Spackler... Seriously.
    "Caddyshack and Bill Murray! We had a day off from college baseball practice and went to see Caddyshack. The next day we went to the local executive course and hacked it up pretty bad, but 30 years later it's still as challenging as day one." -- Peter Velasquez
  6. Your grandfather or grandmother. Golf is a great way to spend time together.
    "My Grandfather when I was 9 and he ran Apple Valley golf course. He gave me my first set of clubs and my second set too. He had a pro give me a lesson and the pro said he would not do anymore so he would not mess up my natural swing. When Grandpa passed away in 99 my cousins and I played 72 holes in his honor. After that I finally bought a set of metal heads like he always said I should and man did I hit the ball!! -- Dana Noe-Sadler
    "My grandpa was my biggest influence. He was coming down with Alzheimer's and he taught me while he still could and I was determined to learn and show him before he passed away. He just recently passed and he got to see me succeed in his favorite sport." -- Nick Wisse
    "My Grandfather introduced me at age 9. Thankful for all the lessons he taught me both on and off the course. He is in my thoughts every time I tee it up and I miss him very much." -- Keith Duffy
  7. A boss. Wait, what? A boss? It might be time for a new job search for the rest of us!
    "My boss has helped me in every way possible and he was the person that made me pursue a job in golf." -- Alex Barley
    "My old boss, Andy Hoefer, he insisted I take the afternoon off, gave me his old set of clubs and took me to the golf course. I've been addicted ever since." -- Larry W Lindstrom
  8. A grade-school teacher. And you thought they only cared about math and English.
    "My fifth-grade teacher, for taking me for my first time. However, I switched to playing tennis religiously and fell away from golf. But I'd have to thank the motorcycle accident I had. Though I golfed a few times a month prior to the wreck, it increased dramatically after. Because the resulting injuries made it painful to run, jump and get physical, golf was the least painful of them all. Once I really learned how hard it was, my perfectionist-drive took over and I'm heading to golf college in a few weeks!" -- Benjamin R Jenson
  9. A fund-raising charity event.
    "Sitting at the clubhouse all day at a fundraiser tournament, watching all the golfers having fun, and said next year I'm playing. Been hooked ever since." -- David Lockamy