Some Father’s Day gifts are simply better than others, even when they’re a bit belated.
And few fathers – especially those who golf – can attest to that fact with as much conviction as Brad Harken, who was recently treated to a hole-in-one by his 11-year-old son Pierce.
“It ended up being one the best presents and best rounds of golf of my life,” said Harken, a local dentist, who watched his son knock a 3-wood tee shot into the cup on the 125-yard, par-3 11th hole at the newly remodeled Liberty Lake Golf Course last Saturday. “I know I was lot more excited about it than even Pierce was.”
What made the event even more special was the tie-in with Father’s Day.
Pierce had presented his dad with a Father’s Day card six days earlier, and inside, he had written, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Now get your clubs. We have a tee time at Hangman Valley at 12:35.”
Unfortunately, a heavy rain forced the scheduled golf outing to be postponed.
“It was just pouring that day,” Harken said, “and I told Pierce that I wanted him to have fun when we did play, so I suggested putting it off until the following weekend.”
As it turned out, the two were able to get a tee time at Liberty Lake the next Saturday and were paired with another twosome for the day.
The round, while enjoyable, was slow and uneventful – until the group arrived at the tee box on No. 11.
Pierce, who first started swinging a golf club as a 4-year-old and is taking lessons at Manito Country Club, was the last in his group to hit.
“He was playing from the red tees and asked me if I thought he should hit his driver,” Harken said. “I told him I thought that might be too much club, so he hit his 3-wood.”
According to Harken, his son’s tee shot landed on the front of the green and started rolling.
“I told him, ‘Hey, Pirece, that’s rolling toward the hole, it might go in.’ And then, clank! It did.”
Understandably, Harken, his son and their two playing partners “went crazy” when the ball disappeared. So did the foursome ahead of them, which was backed up and waiting to tee off on No. 12.
“All those guys up ahead were going wild, too, and when we got to the green they all wanted to know how old my son was,” Harken said.
Harken, who plays to a handicap of “about 10,” has holed three shots out from the fairway – two for eagles and one for a double eagle.
But he has never had a hole-in-one.
His wife was quick to point that out once he and his son returned from their memorable round of golf.
“It didn’t matter,” Harken said, “because it tickled me way more to watch Pierce do it as a Father’s Day gift for me than it would for me to ever get one.”
Deer Park course remains open
The phone in the pro shop at Deer Park Golf Club has been ringing incessantly after a recent story ran in the business section of The Spokesman-Review earlier this week detailing the pending auction of the golf course and adjacent RV resort.
“We’ve had hundreds of calls from people wondering if the golf course has closed and if the tournaments we’ve scheduled have been canceled,” said Deer Park head professional Craig Schuh. “It’s been crazy.”
So Schuh would like to get the word out that the golf course is still conducting business as usual and will likely continue to do so throughout the rest of the summer and early fall.
“The clubhouse and restaurant are still open, everything is still open and customers shouldn’t see any changes from the way we’ve operated in the past,” Schuh said. “Our 2-for-1 specials on Mondays and Thursdays are still in effect, and all the scheduled tournaments are still on.”
According to Schuh, Deer Park’s current owners plan to keep the course open throughout the auction process, which could stretch into mid-September.
He added that in all likelihood, the golf course will remain a golf course and operate under new ownership.