Under a bucket hat, with white streaks of suntan lotion criss-crossing his 67-year-old face, Dave Greenberg sat in the shade and waited for his son.
With Father’s Day on Sunday, Dave’s son Doug was in the merchandise tent buying a gift for his father.
“No, no, no, no,” Dave said.
“Yes, yes, yes, yes,” Doug, 33, insisted. “Mom will kill me if I don’t.”
“A lot of sons and fathers don’t get along, but I get along great with my guy,” Dave said. “He loves me, and I love him. What else can you ask for?”
The two spent Wednesday together at the final practice round before the start of the US Open tournament at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore.
Father and son spent the day among the tens of thousands of spectators catching a glimpse of world-class athletes, and enjoyed a rare sunshine in a dreary week of storms and floods.
But all that didn’t matter.
“I’m happy as long as I’m with him,” Dave said. “We could be at a golf course or it could be a train, doesn’t matter to me.
“But the golf course is better,” he deadpanned.
Dave, a retired elementary school teacher from Staten Island, bragged about his grandson, and Doug’s son, a 19-month-old. He talked about the difference between the their approaches to golf and life.
“The difference is my son likes to shoot a good score, and I just like to have a good time,” he said.
“I learned a long time ago that trying to beat golf isn’t an option,” Dave said. “I learned to just go out there and have fun with it.”
It looks easy, but golf’s nuances can drive you crazy.
“Be satisfied with modest goals,” he added. “A few good shots, a few pars, that’s enough to satisfy me.”
Doug learned. He used to consistently shoot in low 80s. Now with a wife and child, he has trouble breaking 90.
“Until his son gets older, it’s not going to get much better,” Dave said. “He realizes that.”