May 19, 2013

Author Q&A: Father and son explore new links

Don Snyder tells the story of learning to be a professional caddie for his son and the journey they took while chasing a dream.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

But later, his grades fell and he was dropped from the team. I was very disappointed in him. My father died (in 2010), and at the funeral I took one look at Jack and could tell he had given up on himself.

I decided that I would go back to Scotland to show him I hadn't given up.

When I got back (from Scotland), I turned on my phone for the first time in six months and had a message from Jack. He had passed his (test required to join a pro golf tour). He said he was thinking about turning pro and he asked, "Are you still up for it?" 

Q: So you went on a pro golf tour?

A: It was the Adams Golf Pro Tour, in Texas. We were there about four months, and there were 12 tournaments. We lived in one motel room, on a diet that would have killed most people.

It turned out to be a privilege, spending that time with him, chasing a dream.

Jack did well, he held his own. But he had made a pledge to himself that if he didn't win a tournament, he was going to get a job and settle into the real world.

You have to raise a lot of money to keep going on these tours, and he said to me, "If I don't win, I'm never going to ask anyone to put up money for me."

Q: Is that the end of your golfing odyssey then?

A: I talked with Jack on the phone a few days ago, and I was telling him about this amazing book I read by a PGA master teacher in Florida named Judy Alvarez who was helping wounded veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq play golf.

We talked about this for a while. The truth is, if Jack hadn't had the chance to play college golf, he might have become one of those wounded vets. And if I hadn't made the all-state football team in 1968, I probably would have had to go to Vietnam instead of college.

And Jack said, "Daddy, we should go back to The Old Course (in Scotland) one more time and take some of those soldiers with us."

So we are going to try for this in October. And Judy Alvarez is coming with us. We are reaching out to everyone we know in the world of golf to help us.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

 

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