Growing up, I used to love going to the golf course. My parents would take me every once in a while, and I'd get out of the car, with my bag draped over my shoulder. I would see all the lush greenery—and head straight for the batting cages. Golf was not my sport. I'd go with my father occasionally, to the driving range, and I'd hit a few balls, but I never had the patience for it. I even received my own set of clubs once, but to my father's chagrin, I only used them once or twice. After that, they lay around the garage gathering dust.
My father, however, loves the game, and that's where my interest in golf begins. As long as I can remember, my father has loved to play the game. Since I was 7, and until I turned 17, my father would play golf with his buddies nearly every nice weekend we had. Nearly every present he received from the family, for every occasion, involved golf one way or another. My mother once bought him golf lessons, another time my brother and I saved up our money for six months and bought him a putter.
That putter cost $60. To an avid golfer, it's not a lot of money, it's not even pennies, but to my brother and me, when we were 12 and 10, respectively, it was the most we'd ever spent on any gift, for anyone. I remember looking at the putters, and seeing some that were over $200. I'm sure my father never actually used the putter we gave him. It was a crappy little thing compared to the one he already owned, but he always kept it in his bag, and that always made us feel happy, like we'd actually helped him be a better golfer with our gift.
This is not to say that my father is a fantastic golfer. On the contrary, he rarely breaks 90 on a par-72 course. However, when I see how much he misses playing now, I realize that he possess a quality that few others do. When I think about it, I can't name many other people who are so motivated to get better at something simply because they love it. Usually there's a motivation, whether it be money, an ego, or simply the competitive drive to be better. My father played for love of the game, and for that, he forever has my admiration.