The 2008 Father and Three Sons Golf Classic was held on Friday, August 22nd at Firerock Golf Club, in London, Ontario. The weather was spectacular – sunny and hot all day with just a slight breeze – which made for a very enjoyable day.
Registration and Family Photos were conducted between 8am and 10am, after which the Ceremonial Tee Off and Group Photo took place. This year, because Hole 1 is a forced carry and Hole 10 a blind tee shot, the Nash family elected to have a Chip Off on the 18th green. All the families gathered on the sloped bowl around the green to cheer twins Spencer and Dylan Coetzee as the youngest participants (aged 12) as they officially started the tournament with very respectable chips. Peter McKay, the Oldest Father, then stepped forward to knock his chip inside both boys’, eliciting a roar from the crowd.
Jay Nash, acting as spokesman for the host family, then officially welcomed the families and ran through a few notes on specific holes. Once in the carts, golfers were led to their assigned holes and the Shotgun start was underway promptly as scheduled at 10:30am.
At the beautiful par 4 Hole #2, a sampler station was set up for The Perfect Steak and the Lifford Wine Agency. The par 3 Hole #8 was sponsored by Volvo, with a chance to win a C30 with a hole-in-one (incredibly, no one walked away with a new car). At Hole #12, there was a a Nike Long Drive station where all players hit their first drive with their own club, then a second drive with a Nike driver of their choice. Unfortunately each had to play his own club’s ball for the hole.
The round was complete within 5 1/2 hours, after which families reconvened to share stories from the day and compare scores, then get showered and changed for the Dinner and Awards Banquet. As with everything throughout the day, the Banquet started right on time and was run very efficiently, with announcements, introductions and awards taking place throughout the buffet style supper which took place in Firerock’s banquet facility.
During the Family Introductions by the eldest son, an article was read by John Waite highlighting John Nash’s receipt of the Dr. Ivan Smith Award, University of Western Ontario’s highest tribute (view article). It was bestowed on Mr. Nash in recognition of his commitment and contributions to the university and the London community. The announcement prompted a standing ovation to recognize his achievement.
The only unexpected event throughout the day was the appearance of a bride and her bridesmaids outside having pictures taken, creating a pleasant backdrop to Jay Nash who was emceeing at the podium. Roars and cheers erupted from the golfers, much to the embarrassment of the wedding party. At the insistence of the crowd, Jay opened the door and invited the girls inside, but they somehow resisted his charms.
Shortly before 7:30pm dessert was served and all formal awards and announcements completed. At the conclusion of the event, Geof Lauer was introduced as the Father of the following year’s Host Family. Promising a great event with many interesting touches he announced that, together with the Williams Family, they would be hosting at Rebel Creek Golf Club in Petersburg, Ontario.