COLUMBUS, Ga. — Winning a state championship is hard. But this year the Columbus high golf teams swept in the GHSA 4A state tournament. Chris Parker has been the boys coach for the last 24 years and Joe McDaniel took over this year for the girls. But they both had the same common denominator. They were each coaching their kids.
“I’ve been looking at pictures of Jonathan in the mail room since he was probably six years old. And we all knew that he had really had the potential at that time to be a great golfer. It was a lot of fun watching him grow up. I never, ever imagined my own daughter playing golf and excelling,” says Joe McDaniel.
“It is neat. Of course I kind of consider all of them my kids. But to have my own son and we’ve won both years since he’s been in high school. So that’s been pretty cool,” says Chris Parker.
While most teenagers saying having dad as coach might “cramp their style,” these coaches kids says it’s quite the opposite.
“Yeah my dads pretty fun to hang around with. He’s funny and all the kids love him on the team,” says Jonathan Parker.
“It’s super cool. It’s better than having just some regular stranger. But it’s definitely brought our bond closer and to a more personal level of the game,” says Mary Catherine Parker.
Childhood rivalries, laughter and the love of the game has made this more than just a game for these families. And that why Joe McDaniel said it was important for him to find more ways to bond with his daughter Mary Catherine.
“I love working with kids so it was a great decision to come back to golf. And made it even sweeter with both of us winning, both of our kids have really excelled at it. This has been an unbelievable year,” says McDaniel.