Finlayson Family Profile – September 2023

In September 2023 we introduced a new idea into our quarterly newsletter. We added a family profile of a family no longer playing in the event. Todd Finlayson who originally helped our family get into the event was gracious enough to contribute the article attached. The Finlaysons joined the event in 1989 and played until 2008.

Here is the Finlayson Family Profile as it appear in our September 2023 newsletter:

The Finlaysons - Enjoying Father and Three Sons from 1989 to 2008

As a new feature to our newsletter, we will have profiles of families no longer playing in the event. Thanks to Todd Finlayson for this great contribution.

Photo on left - Circa 2005 - Craig, Scott, Fred, Todd

Photo on right - Circa 1992 - Todd, Scott, Fred, Craig

Greetings to all current, past and future Father and Three Sons participants

As an alumnus of this fine fraternity, I was honoured to be contacted by Gary Isaacs asking if I would like to share our family’s experience with the Father and Three Sons Golf Classic

My Father (Fred) heard about this wonderful event through a friend in 1989 and our very first event was in Burlington at Tyandaga Golf Club. We were like most families when we first arrived, not having a clue what we had got ourselves into. We immediately noticed the great camaraderie amongst all the long-time participants that was initially a little intimidating.

However, we quickly received our own very warm welcome within minutes of stepping onto the golf course grounds. In fact, I remember greeting Gary in this very same way years later at his first tournament and discovered that he has a built-in ‘sub’ with his Number four son (brilliant)

Also, like most, we were surprised when we were not grouped as a family but paired up with like ages from various families. At first, we thought this was odd but became one of the signature traits of the event as it facilitated getting to know so many wonderful people and was instrumental in limiting family fights that could break out on the golf course.

Of course, our family played terribly that day (and every following year) but it was clear from the start that this day wasn’t about golf, it was a very exclusive fraternity. A fraternity not based on economics, your alma mater, your lot or station in life, race, religion or any other special interest. It was much more exclusive and special. The only entries that were allowed were a Father and Three Sons. Priceless.

As everyone knows who is a potential member of this fraternity, there is a special DNA that exists in this ‘micro tribe’ that is made up of a Father and Three Sons. One son is the loud one, one is quiet and one is kind of in between and of course, they all think they are better looking than one another. Then there is Dad. He is the one on ‘pins and needles’ all day and night wondering what trouble his sons are getting into on the golf course or at the bar (if applicable). What will the son say this year when introducing the family, what off-colour joke will be told etc.

During the course of our tenure, we hosted the event on two occasions with another great family (The Turners). Our first year, (1990) we were at Glen Cedars in North Pickering and the second event we hosted was at Horseshoe Valley Resort in 2000. The one legacy we wanted to leave for the tournament was to encourage future organizers to make the day a charity event in some small way as well. We created beautiful SWAG gift bags for all and asked for a donation from each family to receive them, had 50/50 draws etc. We felt strongly that these blessed families would welcome the opportunity to give back on a day that celebrated our good fortune of our family units. We were not disappointed. While we only raised two thousand dollars it felt like the right thing to do and it is my hope that others take on this approach as well

We attended this wonderful event until 2008 until such time when our Father was recuperating from hip replacement surgery. Sadly, due to complications from this ordeal, our Father passed away in 2010 at the age of 81. Of course, this is the sad part of this special group. We no longer met the criterion.

In 2012, we dealt with more sad news when we lost our Number 2 son (Scott the quiet one) to cancer at 54 years of age. Although there is only the Number One Son (Craig the loud one) and Number Three (myself the one in between and the best looking), Craig and I still tell stories and share memories when we are together fondly remembering the third Friday in August.

Our favourite memories include.

  • Ralph Lauer forgot his dress shirt and came to dinner with a jacket and tie and no shirt at all
  • Winning the closest to the Lauers trophy at least once
  • Standing in line waiting to introduce your family and racking your brain for something funny to say
  • The Midland rain delay in 1999 when everyone may be hung around the bar a bit too long
  • The absolute class of Bud Gordon, the event’s patriarch
  • The ceremonial tee-off with the oldest and youngest participant

Todd Finlayson

Editor Notes

Todd is a friend of a colleague of mine when I was working at IBM. I was trying to find a way to connect with the event (this was before any website existed or even email). Todd helped me get on the waiting list in 2000 when his family was hosting the event. Unfortunately, there was no room that year. In 2001 we got a late invite to play but the boys were already committed to playing baseball playoffs with their team. In 2002 we finally got in, at least in part because of Todd getting us on the waiting list.

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