Fifteen years strong: Father and son share bond over golf

This story was published about my dad and I in the Idaho State Journal. I can't explain how much I love this tradition.

For 15 years, Tim and Marcus Morrison have stepped onto the same golf course to play in the same two-day tournament on the same weekend in June.
While the father-and-son duo has enjoyed various levels of success over the years, one thing has always remained the same: their bond over golf.

“There’s just something special about it,” said son Marcus. “My dad taught me how to play golf. My dad means a lot to me, and it’s just eight to 12 hours — depending on how fast or slow the rounds go — of father-and-son time.”
Marcus graduated from Highland High School in 2007 before getting his degree in accounting from Utah State University in 2011. He lived in Salt Lake City for four years before moving to Seattle last summer to work for Amazon. Through it all, he’s always made it a point to return to his home golf course to partake in the tournament with his dad. Marcus won’t let 700 miles stand between him and keeping a storied family tradition alive.

“I pretty much had it marked on my calendar the whole time,” he said. “...I haven’t lived in Pocatello for a long time, but it’s always been circled on the calendar to come home.”

It all started when Marcus was 12. Highland Golf Course was right outside the Morrisons’ backyard, and Marcus was starting to take the sport seriously. That was when Tim had the idea to enter himself and his son into Highland Golf Course’s two-man scramble-best ball tournament.

Before long, the Morrisons cemented it as an established yearly practice. And as Marcus began developing his golf talent and playing on Highland’s varsity golf squad, the pair became a formidable twosome.

The Morrisons reached their peak right after Marcus graduated from Highland. It was the sixth year he and Tim had played in the tournament, and they were tied for the lead of the first flight after the scramble on day one.

Tim and Marcus watched the groups ahead of them posting solid scores in best-ball play on day two, and they knew they’d have to be on their game to have a shot at winning the tournament.
With one hole left and the tournament crown on the line, Marcus sank the clinching 10-foot putt.

“Just seeing the look on (my dad’s) face and seeing how proud he was,” Marcus said. “It was right after I graduated high school. I just felt like, ‘OK this is kind of the pinnacle.’ ... When I think about golf and the memories and stuff like that, that’s the first one that comes to mind. ... It was a top golf moment for me.”

Over the years, Marcus and Tim’s golfing ability has waned. With other things on their plates, both are spending less time on the links.

But the yearly custom was never based on par scores. It was always based on the bond between father and son. They’ll notch their 15th tournament together Friday and Saturday.

“I’m committed to it as long as I can keep playing with him until he drops me as a partner,” Tim said.
Marcus shares that sentiment.

“I love it,” he said. “I just hope we don’t stop, and when we do, I hope I have kids big enough to play with. ... It’s really at this point not about the result. It’s about getting out there together.”