The Fascination of Championship Rings

by Phil Bundy on April 14, 2010

This morning, my seven-year-old son Charlie was watching SportsCenter while he ate breakfast. During the broadcast, ESPN aired a report on the New York Yankees receiving their rings for winning the 2009 World Series. Charlie was captivated as the video showed the Bronx Bombers being presented with their rings.

Quickly, I retrieved and invited Charlie to hold the 1986 NCAA Championship Ring that I received as a member of the Wake Forest Golf Team. As he opened the Jostens ring box, his eyes lit up, becoming big as saucers. He slowly took the ring out of the box and put his tiny finger through the large hole. Totally enthralled, he quietly said, “Wow.”

Then, he fired off a series of questions. First, he asked, “Who was your coach?” I told him about the legendary Jesse Haddock, who led the Demon Deacons to three national championships as well as many other honors in a 30-year coaching career.

Next, he wondered aloud, “Who was the best golfer?” Pulling out the team picture, I pointed out the top five players: Billy Andrade, Len Mattiace, Tim Straub, Chris Kite, and Barry Fabyan — all of whom were All-America selections and future PGA Tour players.

Then, I told Charlie about the tournament, which still stands as the biggest comeback in the history of collegiate golf. While playing host at Bermuda Run Country Club — our home course outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the five starters charged with a wild 20-stroke swing to overtake rival Oklahoma State University in the fourth and final round.

Later, as we were walking out of the house, Charlie ran back into the kitchen to take one more look at the championship ring before heading off to another exciting day as a first grader.

Until next time, enjoy golf, America!

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Phil Bundy by Email