Next week I'm going to the Bahamas to be my dad's partner for
the fourth time in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge. I'm
sentimental about the event because it reminds me of the
defining role the game has played in my relationship with my
When I was a baby, my parents divorced, and I moved with my mom
to Missouri. Dad used to come by in his jet once or twice a
year, and we'd talk on the phone every month or two, but
otherwise we didn't have much of a relationship. Things changed,
though, when I was seven and saw Dad playing golf on TV for the
first time. "Ricky, that's your father," Mom said. I was shocked
because I didn't know Dad was such a good golfer or so famous.
Next time Dad and I spoke I asked him for clubs, and a set
arrived a couple of days later. I hit balls on our 12-acre farm,
and by the time I was 10 I was shooting 40 for nine holes.
As my interest in golf blossomed, so did my relationship with
Dad. When I was 14, I moved in with Dad in New Mexico. That's
when he really got involved in my life. Dad hosted fund-raisers
for my Huntingdon College (Ala.) golf team, and he was the best
man at my wedding, a moment I'll always treasure.
What's funny is that we're so darn similar despite all
the time apart. We have the same builds, golf stances, putting
strokes, happy outlooks, voices and laughs. I once spoke on the
phone to Judy Pierre, Dad's office manager, for 10 minutes before
she said, "Rick, I thought you were your father!"
I used to own automotive tune-up centers and sell Cadillacs, but
eight years ago I got out of the car business to pursue my dream
and follow Dad's footsteps into golf. I started as a caddie
master, but now I'm the director of golf at a great instructional
facility, which is the home of the Trevino Golf Schools. Having
Dad's name hasn't hurt my career, but a much bigger help has been
his love and support. And his deadly short game.
Rick Trevino, 38, runs the Orange Beach (Ala.) Golf Center.