9 GOLF EXPERTS ON HOW THEY FELL IN LOVE WITH THE GAME

Damon Hack

Co-host Golf Channel’s Morning Drive
“The beauty of golf is that it gives you the chance to fall in love over and over again. I fell in love the very first time I played — at Spanish Hills in California — and again when I received my first set of clubs, Arnold Palmer Peerless irons. I was heartbroken when Greg Norman blew the Masters in 1996, but I fell hard for the game again the very next year, when Tiger Woods romped by 12. The older I get, the more I fall in love, with every sunset round or bucket list course checked off. The beauty of the surroundings and the challenge of the game got me hooked. And they still keep me smitten.”

Jim Gallagher Jr.

Five-time PGA Tour winner; Golf Channel analyst
“Growing up as the son of the club professional at Meshingomesia CC in Marion, Indiana, I was exposed to the game at a very young age. Surprisingly, though, it was my mom who would take me out to our backyard, which was really the 17th hole of the club, and help me with my grip and anything else she could remember my dad telling her about the swing. She kept it simple.

As I grew older, my dad was able to take a little more time off away from the shop, and he would also teach me the basics of the golf swing. Dad would allow me to stay out there just long enough for me to want to come back the next day. The key was to know when to make me stop playing so I’d beg to come back. And I would. I would dig holes in the back yard using Campbell’s soup cans for cup liners and play all around the house if dad was not able to take me out himself.

It wasn’t a long course by today’s standards but it was my Augusta National right there in my backyard. What started for me at age 3 has become a lifelong long passion that I’ve passed on to my own kids. I credit my mom’s patience and my dad’s love for the game for giving me the incredible life in golf I’ve had.”

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