Hack leaves New York, embraces the Sunshine State
- By Damon Hack
- Aug 17, 2012 12:33 PM ET
Two weeks ago, I packed up my car and began driving south toward Orlando, Fla., and a new adventure at Golf Channel. It was not easy leaving New York City, a place that had given me so much – my wife and triplet sons in particular.
I’d also spent 12 years with three wonderful publications – Newsday, The New York Times and Sports Illustrated – covering the New York Knicks and the NFL, the Athens Olympics and professional golf. In those early years I’d quietly sing “New York, New York” whenever my flights began their descent into LaGuardia or JFK. I traveled the world with a notebook and a laptop, but I always got goosebumps when I was back in the boroughs. New York had seeped into this Californian’s bones.
All the same, my wife and I had been having conversations in the past year about moving somewhere new. The thought of raising year-old triplets in New York, navigating the streets and the schools and all the rest, was losing its appeal. The offer to join GolfChannel was a blessing.
It is amazing how much children change us, and the things we believe are important.
Like many parents, I have distinct memories of the pregnancy, including the joy we felt when we learned we were having twins, only to return to the doctor’s office two weeks later to spot one more shadow on the ultrasound. Triplets? My life was about to become a sitcom. Nervous as I was, I started to embrace the coming chaos.
Eight days before my sons were born, I was invited to play golf at Liberty National, the sometimes home of The Barclays. My warm-up was terrible, a series of quick hooks. My first tee shot sailed left into the rough, too.
After an opening bogey, the strangest thing happened. I started making pars, carded a birdie on the front and made one more on the back. One of my playing partners, Andy Bush of Octagon, thought I was a sandbagger. “Really, I’m a 17,” I explained. “This has never happened before.”
“You’re not a 17,” Bush said.
I shot 82, with matching 41s, my career round by miles. I believe the pending arrival of my boys had everything to do with it.
When I got home I emailed Bush my most recent GHIN scores so he could see my 94s, 98s and others. I’ve only broken 90 once since.
The night before my wife’s scheduled delivery, our doctor asked us what kind of music we liked. “Jazz,” I said. He promised to have it pumping through the stereo during the C-section.
The next morning those babies came out – one minute apart – to the melodious strains of Miles Davis’ “Some Day My Prince Will Come.” Our youngest, Miles, is named after him. I get teary-eyed whenever I hear the song.
I’m getting settled in Orlando, where I’ve joined a gym, located a Whole Foods and met some great people at the channel. My wife and sons will be down here soon. For now, you can find me on GolfChannel.com and on television, exercising new journalistic muscles. I need a song for the times I land at Orlando International Airport. I’m leaning toward Jimmy Buffett’s “Floridays.”
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