Carr Golf's Father/Son event in Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland is what golf and life is all about. John Ashworth calls it the “experiential definition of the term Linksoul.”
Technology continues to broaden the gap between generations, and an event like this—where fathers and sons roam the rolling linksland, competing amid such a spiritual course and town—is critical to the creative inspiration that can only come from a cultural bond.
But it’s not just about the camaraderie of a father and a son. When you have teams from all over the world descending upon this tiny town, it becomes a cultural mosh pit of fathers and sons connecting across nationality, age, and family ties.
And it all takes place around late-night sing-a-longs at a beer-stained piano, or spontaneous swims in a serene pocket of the frigid North Atlantic, or alternate shot in a driving rain where everyone has traded in the their umbrellas for fist bumps and hugs.
All the fun and good times shouldn’t suggest the event isn’t also challenging. Shifting weather, a difficult course, and a fresh sea breeze become relationship-testing obstacles, in addition to being scorecard nightmares. John confirms that “a sense of humor is a must, and the ability to forgive and forget.” A pint of Guinness is usually the ticket for both.
John will be playing this year with fellow Linksouldier Matt Ginella in the ‘Adopted Division,’ more commonly referred to as the ‘Bastard Division.’
John says, “my hope is to some day take each of my sons, who would cherish this experience, and I have no doubt it would bring us closer together as Linked Souls.” Marty Carr and his staff have created an event, format, and venue that has cultivated an endless supply of cherished moments and memories. Anyone who’s been can attest to the gratitude everybody feels towards the Carrs, this is the kind of tournament golf needs more of.
Photography by Geoff Cunningham