In A Time Of Global Crisis, Golf Gave My Father—And Our Family—A Sense Of Security
The year I turned nine, I didn’t think there was anything outside my dad’s control. He seemed curiously incapable of bowing to fear. Dad always said fear was everywhere you looked. It was boundless in its reach. You could let it run your life or, as Dad, a 10-handicapper, liked to say, you could learn to play through it.
These days, we seem to be playing through a lot of hazards. The dust has barely settled in New York City as we find ourselves facing down two irrational despots: Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and North Korea’s Kim Jong Il. Angry, cornered men with very dangerous toys aren’t the kind of leaders who help us drift peacefully off to sleep at night. The current climate takes me back to another time when we were in the grip of a similar terror. It was 1962, toward the end of my first summer playing golf, and President Fidel Castro—an avid golfer himself—was busy bulldozing courses in Cuba. In my father’s eyes, this was the worst kind of killjoy: a man who was stockpiling nuclear missiles and wiping golf off the map besides.