Ever had that something isn’t right feeling? I have had it, actually more than once, but let me tell you how Father’s Day will never be the same for me.

I will always look back on our first father/daughter golf game not only with laughter but with pride of the closeness that I have with my dad. It’s a special bond that only dads and daughters share…the kind of love that lasts a lifetime and beyond.

For the last few years, my dad found a new pastime…golf. It’s something that he always wanted to learn. He’s been playing golf weekly with friends and it’s heart-warming to hear him talk about the sport and how much his golf game has improved.

Aside from miniature golf, I had never played golf until last year. Dad took me to the driving range a couple of times before I said, “I’m ready!” I probably wasn’t but I wanted the challenge of an actual game. Our first official golf game was last Father’s Day.

Can I tell you about that interesting first-game experience? We chose a golf course which Dad had not played on before and began with a stop at the check-in desk for our 7 a.m. tee time. We asked the reservation desk clerk for directions to the Back 9…that’s where the golf course requested that a novice, like me, start. That way, we’d get further down the course before the advanced players reached us. Plus, beginning at the Back 9 in the early morning was part of a fun package called the “Back 9 Breakfast Deal”.

The reservation desk clerk pointed and said, “Go that way and take a left at the turn.” We thanked her and hopped in the complimentary golf cart, clubs in tow, and headed out to our first father/daughter golf game.

Dad drove, and we both admired the gorgeous terrain of oak trees, fountain grasses, and ponds. The course had just opened and we soon discovered that being outdoors not long after dawn was the perfect time to travel through the far end of the course. We experienced the beauty of nature and God’s creatures—a family of deer casually grazing, tree squirrels scurrying to and fro, and wild turkeys foraging.

While Dad barreled down the golf cart path (remember, we were in a hurry to get to the Back 9 before everyone else) and I admired the scenery, I couldn’t help but notice the backside of wooden signs near the path. The funny thing is that I had to turn halfway around to read them. “Huh?” I thought. “That’s odd.” Finally, I mentioned this interesting tidbit to my dad. “Hey, Dad. It’s weird how I have to turn halfway around to read those wooden signs. One said “18” and then we passed “17”, and I just saw “16.”

I saw my dad’s jaw drop when he realized that we had started at the end of the course and were going the wrong way! Remember, the race was still on! Time was running out! We needed to get to the Back 9 by our 7 a.m. tee time.

In the distance, we noticed the golf course caretaker. Actually, he was looking at us in a perplexed way…even his Golden Labrador looked confused. Dad drove to the caretaker and asked, “How do we get to the 9th tee quickly?” The caretaker said, “Follow me!” He jumped in his golf cart and it was pedal to the metal! The Lab even joined in and ran between the golf carts. That dog sure looked excited about this early morning adventure that he hadn’t anticipated. We took every shortcut imaginable before we reached the 9th tee. I’ll betcha most golfers don’t get to take that kind of a ride before breakfast!

We thanked our rescuers and laughed so hard that it hurt. We knew that we could not leave without first investigating how we ended up in that dilemma. After we turned in the golf cart, we walked over to that left turn. We then noticed a sign up the hill a little ways…a sign that showed a directional arrow to the 9th tee. Wouldn’t you know that the arrow pointed left?

I will always remember my adventurous first golf game with my dad. We still laugh about it! And, I realized afterwards that this one-of-a-kind golfing adventure is just as special as past Father’s Days when we rode our horses.

Even though we have traded in bridles for golf clubs, it is always a blessing to spend Father’s Day, and actually any day, with my dad.

On this Father’s Day, I pray for many more years with my dad here on Earth. I am wishing you a Father’s Day to remember with your dad. If your dad is in Heaven, why don’t you chat with him? Tell him how much you love and miss him, share a memory or two, and thank him for being your dad. By the way, if you’re wondering whether or not we’re heading out to that same golf course for the Back 9 Breakfast Deal on Father’s Day this year? We are. But, now, we know which left turn to take.

Happy Father’s Day!