By Tim Porter
(Tim Porter is a retired Canfield businessman and Greatest Golfer player, along with sons Scott and Michael. He responds to a few questions about raising great sons who are also great competitors.)
1) All three boys, Michael, Scott, and Greg played the usual sports that kids play, basketball, football, baseball, soccer, swimming, etc. But golf became their main focus by age 12.
They fed off each other and it became very competitive as the years past. Pushing themselves to get better was fun for them.
By the time they hit high school, they were making the best of a “special” God-given talent. They participated in other sports, but golf seem to hold their attention.
Playing in, and trying to win Junior golf tournaments became a year-round activity in our family life. My wife, Janet, was more than their mother. She became the quarterback for every move they made. All their golf tournaments — Mom was there: local and national, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, etc… it became a 24/7 activity, one she has never regretted.
The boys will tell you, Mom made it happen.
2) Golf is a game that - played at any level - teaches you about people. I used a phrase on the boys as they started to mature, “you will learn a lot about someone by playing 18 holes of golf with them.” Egos, patience, character all come out.
I think they picked up on that and have carried it with them to this day. I believe golf has shown them sportsmanship and competitiveness that they use every day in their own personal lives.
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3) As I look back, I really enjoyed watching them mature as players but more importantly as men.
Playing with them was always challenging and very competitive. I loved beating them on the links but that became short-lived. When they started pounding the ball past me, I knew it was over. On very few occasions, I will have my way with them and I know they are thinking, “Pop still has it."
I know that I shouldn’t say this, but I always condoned gambling on the course.
It makes you a better player in so many ways, for sure, it keeps your attention.
My boys have found it out the hard way playing with me. If you snooze, you lose. I know each of them remembers the first day they beat me, they couldn’t wait to tell their mother.
4) Golf in the Porter family stems from my parents who loved playing the game and made it available to my brother, sister and me. We all passed it down to our kids and hopefully our grandchildren.
My brother Don, who passed away 20 years ago, was a solid 10 handicap. My sister Pam, has played golf for over 50 years and she too is a solid 10 handicap. And she also loves a wager or two when she plays.
My wife started playing soon after we were married and has a 20 handicap today. She also, loves the action. I guess the word "competition" keeps us loving the game of golf.
5) Family dinners and babysitting our grandchildren is our main deal now. We sold our condo in Florida a year and a half ago, after 17 fabulous winters there. We made a life-changing decision together when my wife said it’s time to become grandparents. Our boys and their wonderful wives have blessed us with 5 (with one on the way) incredible, adorable grandchildren.
Now we visit Florida in the winter, but we don’t live there.
6) The National Father/Son golf tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina, in July is hands down our favorite golf moment.
Michael and I started playing in the tourney in 1991. Scotty joined us shortly thereafter. Greg saw what he was missing and, living in Charlotte, made it a foursome. After finishing second with Mike and Scott a few times, last year was the charm.
Michael and I finished first and Scott and I finished second. Throw in some great bass fishing and male bonding, you have the best of moments.