The Masters has come and gone and while I do have a number of issues to discuss this year, this week — as tradition now entails — must focus on that special group of women who have helped shaped most of us, not as golfers, but as the individuals we are today.
Twenty years later, it’s funny to look back on my junior golf days and remember all of the different “types” of moms (and grandmas) I encountered along the way. Here are a few “types” that come to mind:
The Tiger Mom: Pretty well known now, but back in the day there were definitely a few moms who brought the intensity with them to the course.
The Could Have Been Italian Mom : Would always finish the day with a story recounting their kids’ mistakes saying, “What did I tell you to do on that hole? What did I tell you?”
The My Kid Could Do No Wrong Mom: Encounters would go something like this ...
Mom: You should have seen Jimmy’s tee shot on 7. It was the highest prettiest shot I’ve ever seen. And his swing was so perfect.”
Me: “Wow, where’d it go?”
Mom: “Oh, the wind picked up and blew it out of bounds. But it was so pretty.”
The My Kid Could Do No Right Mom: Every time you’d see this mom on the course and ask how their kid was doing, regardless of score, she’d reply: “Oh he stinks! I don’t know what he’s doing out there today!”
The Clueless but Loving Mom: At some point in the round, this mom would hold up play by standing in the fairway while players on the tee tried to wave her back into the rough. And after the round would congratulate little Tommy coming off the 18th green for his great round. Little Tommy would give us the eye roll and chuckle and say, “Mom, I shot 98, but thanks.”
The Clubhouse Mom: The group of mothers who would always intend to watch their kids’ every shot but end up chatting it up over lunch in the clubhouse all day.
The Enthusiastic Mom: It didn’t matter who hit the shot, but if it went up in the air and anywhere toward the target, they were “oohing and awing” and clapping for every player in the group.
The Nervous Mom: Always more nervous than the player, these moms would literally have turn their backs while shots were played because they were “too nervous to watch.”
Personally, my mom was always one of the “competitive moms.” She would walk the entire course and watch every shot. She would carry a scorecard and keep track of every shot hit by every person in my group. Sometimes it was almost like we had an official scorer when after walking off the green I’d see her out of the corner of my eye pointing to each player asking if she had their correct scores. She always knew where I stood and she rooted me on until the end of every round.
My Granny Ford was the “superstitious” type. I forget where it came from, but after one of the tournaments I won, she told me that a recently purchased angel figurine in her car must have brought me good luck. I don’t think she ever watched me play another round without that angel in her purse.
My Grandma Karzmer was the “reserved but proud” type. I never had to describe my shots, good or bad, from a round to get her magical smile and accompanying eye glimmer. In her mind I always had a great day.
And just to be clear, I’m not saying any one of these types is better than another. The important takeaway for me now is having that ability to look back and recall those memories. To remember how special it was to get to travel and spend time with my mother and grandmothers. And to recognize that, even with the different personalities, all of the moms who were loving and supporting their kids in their own best way possible.
My wife Beth and I have a 2-year-old now. I’m not sure if it will be golf or some other activity, but I can’t wait to get to watch Beth develop her own “type” as Stella grows up. I think I have an idea of what she’ll be like ... but I KNOW it will be full of love and support. And for that baby Stella, you are one lucky little girl.
So Happy Mother’s Day to my wife Beth, my mom and mother-in-law, our special GG Betty, and all of the moms out there. Enjoy your special day!
Jonah Karzmer is a former golf professional who writes a Sunday golf column for The Vindicator. In his spare time he sells commercial insurance and loves getting feedback on his weekly columns via email at Jonah@thekarzmerinsurance.com.