POCATELLO — Equipped with a clip-action 20-gauge shotgun, Canadian born Pocatello resident Randy Spencer trudged through fields in southern Alberta with his father and older brother while bird hunting on fall days as a kid.
They left early in the morning and shot pheasant, partridge, prairie chicken and ducks before bringing them home for his mother to make into a meal. Besides food to put on his plate, Spencer gained something greater and longer lasting: cherished memories.
“We’re talking about life, we’re talking about why we missed hitting the pheasant that just came up and we tried to stay focused on our task,” said Spencer, who’s a local real estate agent. “It wasn’t like you had to talk about anything earth-shaking. Your dad took the time from his work to spend with you and that was a good memory.”
Fatherly memories are what Spencer aims to generate for others with his creation: the Father’s Day two-person golf scramble that will be held for the 12th consecutive year at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Highland Golf Course in Pocatello.
Spencer’s father was an inspiration in more ways than one to him, as his dad started an annual one-day summer softball tournament for youth when they lived in Canada. Although his father died, Spencer said the event lives on.
“That’s why I thought it would be nice to have a little tradition going here in Pocatello,” Spencer said. “We’ve lived here in Pocatello for 43 years and we’ve known a lot of people in my real estate practice, and my wife and I have enjoyed our community. So we thought this might be a nice way of giving back to the community.”
For the Father’s Day golf event, Spencer said he puts forward some of his own funds and hands out flyers, while Highland Director for Golf Charles Clinton runs the tournament. Trophies are given out for the top 3 in the father-son and father-daughter categories. The entry fee is $30, which includes the costs for lunch.
There have been as many as 140 people and 70 teams that have competed at the golf scramble, Spencer said. A couple years into the event’s existence, Clinton suggested it not only be a father-son event, but also a father-daughter event, which helped boost the number of participants. He also welcomes men to compete with their grandsons and granddaughters.
Spencer not only helps orchestrate the event, but will participate with one of his sons, while the other cannot travel from Arkansas like he did last year. They golf together as much as they can, offering Spencer a chance to learn how not only his children are doing, but his grandchildren.
“Anytime we have a family reunion or I can go round them up or they come out at any time, we will play golf,” Spencer said. “We get to talk about a lot of things, rather than just golf. We get to compliment each other on the nice shots everybody makes.”
Ironically, Spencer did not golf with his father a whole lot. but it’s easy to find similarities between golf and the years spent bird hunting in Cardston in Alberta, Canada. Each offers solitude, beautiful landscapes and family moments.
Spencer is 74, but the moments of bird hunting with his father are still clear. He can only hope Father’s Days at Highland Golf Course are as clear many years later for other fathers, sons and daughters.
“My father thought it was important to spend time with his sons,” Spencer said. “He didn’t go with people that were his age and just leave us alone to be home. And what he did, he involved his sons. I think that’s what we’re trying to accomplish with our father-son, father-daughter (event). We can also find something to do by ourself, but it’s important to be with members of your family — that’s what memories are made of.”