Mothers, daughters, sons and golf. No better way to spend a day dedicated to the one who brought life to the worst hackers, the greatest golfers and everyone between, even if it’s just brunch at the local country club.
On Sunday, the family that prays together, stays together. The Bible tells me so. On Mother’s Day, the family that plays together, stays together. History tells me so. The creation of Mother’s Day reveals golf and the celebration are linked as closely as up-and-downs.
According to history.com, Ann Reeves Jarvis turned what the Greeks and Romans started “into ‘Mother’s Day Work Clubs’ to teach local women how to properly care for their children.” Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, conceived in the 20th century the modern-day Mother’s Day as “a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.”
What does Mother’s Day have to do with golf? John Wanamaker helped Anna Jarvis organize in 1908 “the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Va.” Recognize his name? Each year, the Wanamaker Trophy is awarded to the last major champion of the year.
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Finally, “persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.”
Two years later, John’s son Rodman Wanamaker, an avid golfer, help found the PGA of America.
John Wanamaker saw an opportunity to promote his business with Mother’s Day events at his stores, and according to www.pga.com, son Rodman “saw a business opportunity: more golfers means more equipment, and if they bought that equipment at Wanamaker’s, even better.”
The commercialization of Mother’s Day does not detract from the true meaning of this special Sunday; in fact, flowers, cards and gifts of golf clubs and skorts help golfers honor their mothers. Thank you, Greeks and Romans, Ann and Anna Jarvis, the Wanamakers and Woodrow Wilson for recognizing the sacrifices mothers make for their children. Now let’s go play golf together.
Tommy Snell, golf coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, writes a regular column for the Sun Herald.