Welcome, and thanks for your interest in our wonderful event.
Visitors to this area who are encouraged to read all of the information below, whether you are a member of an Interested Family, New Family or Returning Family.
The aim is to provide information on what to expect before, during and after the event
- from logistics to traditions to dress codes.
Registered Families can expect to receive a formal Information Package well in advance of the event. Whenever appropriate and possible, information in the package will also be hosted on the Father and Three Sons website.
The package will contain finalized agendas, timings, accommodation recommendations and arrangements and specifics for any planned social events.
The Father and Three Sons Golf Classic is held annually on the last or second last Friday of August.
At the conclusion of the event each year, the Host Family officially introduces the Host Family for the following year, who announces what course will be played. The Host Family (or co-host families) then work throughout the year to plan and organize an event that will continue the tradition and spirit of this storied tournament.
While the Host Family has a significant amount of leeway on the specifics of the event, allowing them to put their own "stamp" in the history books, there are certain guidelines and traditions that are generally adhered to.
While not mandated by the Constitution, several formats have been widely adopted as the norm:
Although the "Low Gross" Family is considered the official tournament "winner", an equally celebrated award is the "Closest to the Lauers", given in good spirit to the family with the worst aggregate score.
At the discretion of the Host Family and host course, there have also historically been competitions for Longest Drive (separate for fathers and sons) and Closest to the Pin. Quite often there are random draw prizes as well.
Throughout the day, you will have several opportunities to be together as a family. However, it is not mandatory that any portion of the day, with the exception of the Family Photo, be spent with all (or any) of your family members. Feel free to move throughout the events as you are comfortable and use any chance to mingle and begin new friendships.
As you make introductions, be sure to let others know it is your first year - you'll receive a warm welcome from everyone you meet. Past families have been in the event as long as long as 35 years consecutively but everyone remembers the excitement of their first year. You can expect many offers of help in navigating any part of the day's events.
Generally, you will be presented with a scorecard and reconfirm your pairings, cart partner and starting hole. You will also be reminded of the agenda for the day, and be informed what facilities are available (i.e. Pro Shop) and where the Family Photos will be taken.
Depending on arrangements made by the Host Family and course, you may also be provided with additional items such as meal/drink tickets, information brochures and/or a small keepsake from the tournament (i.e. pen, mugs, golf towel, etc.).
The meeting is chaired by the Host Father, and while the meeting is a formality within the constitution, the structure of the meeting is more of a round table discussion and usually lasts about 30 minutes.
Topics of discussion include proposals from families to host future events, possible amendments to the Constitution, and any other items or concerns anyone would like to raise regarding the Father and Three Sons Golf Classic.
Ceremonial Tee Off & Group Photo
While everyone is assembled, the photographer will take a commemorative Group Photo, after which golfers are instructed to head to their carts.
While bar and/or patio facilities are usually available, a "tailgate" atmosphere in the parking lot is not uncommon, as families reconvene and share stories of the day, compare scores and introduce one another to new friends.
It is standard for the course to make washroom and shower facilities available to the golfers, but these can get very busy as the Banquet time approaches, so you should judge your socializing time accordingly. There will be plenty of time for further visiting and conversation during the Banquet.
Dinner & Awards Banquet
What family member is responsible for introductions (i.e. Oldest Son or Middle Son) is announced during the Father's meeting at the start of the day, so you'll have plenty of time to think of what you'd like to say. The order of responsibility is generally rotated each year through each of the four family members.
It's possible that a family member has to leave before the Banquet (or introductions), which is not a problem at all. Usually, another family member performs the duty in their absence.
As awards are announced, the winning family (or individual) makes their way to the front to be presented their trophy or prize, at which time a picture is usually taken as well.
Family Scramble (Optional)
Increasingly, families are choosing to play the host course together with their family the day before the event. Beyond spending time together, this gives them an opportunity to experience the golf course, which is usually new to most families.
Early in the 2000's, a Host Family took it upon themselves to negotiate a discounted rate for the Thursday round, a helpful gesture that has continued. Families are individually responsible for paying for the round (cost is not included in the formal Golf Classic registration fees) and in some cases reserve tee times. Specifics will be communicated in the Information Package sent to all registered families.
In 2005, there was such a strong turnout that the idea was floated to the attending families of having a Scramble format, with bragging rights on the line. The result was a slightly more competitive feel to the round, something that most of the participants highly enjoyed. The Family Scramble format has been in place each year since, with a Trophy being donated in 2006 to be presented during the Friday Banquet. The turnout of the Family Scramble was so substantial in 2008 (20 of 32 teams played the Thursday round), that a Shotgun start was implemented for the round.
It is important to note that participation in the Scramble, even if electing to play on Thursday, is in no way mandatory. Many families still use the round simply as a chance to play with family members they may not have seen much throughout the year. As an example of fun traditions that develop, some families with more than three sons, such as the Nash Family (with 6 boys), use the Thursday round as a "playoff" to determine which three sons will formally participate on Friday.
Other Useful Information
Over the past several years, a Thursday evening/night social event has been put on. Past variations have been a reserved room at a local pub/restaurant, a host suite at the recommended hotel, and extended bar/patio hours at the golf club following the Thursday round.
Thursday evening social events are available to anyone involved in the tournament. Many families unable to get away during the day for a Thursday round still attend the Thursday evening social, using it as a chance to catch up with old friends and poll the day's golfers on how the course is playing.
If you are in a position to furnish prizes, it is requested that they be golf-related (i.e. balls, umbrellas, totes, bag towels, etc.) Depending on the quantity of donations, the Host Family then determines the format for allotting the prizes (such as random draw).
The event is entirely non-profit, with any surplus proceeds being passed to the next year's Host Family to cover unexpected costs. In the past, when the surplus allowed, Host Families have donated portions to a charity of their choice (i.e. Ronald MacDonald House, Big Brothers, and disease research).