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ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - Playing golf while making memories

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:16 PM

For Terri Barman, Father's Day doesn't come just once a year when it comes to her grandfather, Howard Stanfield.

She feels honored to spend time with her grandpa every Wednesday during golf season as they play 18 holes at the Sycamore Hills course.

"I won't even work on Wednesdays," said Barman, a Norwalk resident. "I'll work on Saturdays if I have to make up for Wednesdays. I will not give this up."

Barman, 42, asked her grandfather to teach her to golf three years ago.

"I'm not doing volleyball or softball anymore so I asked Grandpa to teach me," she said.

The lessons have become much more than just tutoring in a sport. They have become a chance to create and share memories spanning the generations.

Stanfield, of Willard, never took a golf lesson, but learned by doing.

"I just went out and tried it," he said. "I never had a lesson in my life. My brother-in-law always wanted me to try it, but I liked to fish.

"Then I tried it and I got hooked," he said with a grin.

Stanfield, 89, agreed to teach his granddaughter golf three years ago, but that isn't her first memory of golf with her grandpa.

"I remember Gina and I riding in a cart in Willard," Barman said.

Gina Ganni, Stanfield's granddaughter and Barman's cousin, lives in Tiffin and recently joined Stanfield and Barman for their weekly 18 holes at Sycamore Hills.

Ganni learned to golf with her grandparents, Stanfield and his wife, Helen, when she was 10. She grew up in Willard near their home and they often took her on their weekly golf outings.

To Barman, the Wednesday date with her grandfather is a continuation of his tradition of reserving one day a week for a special relationship. She said her grandparents reserved Wednesdays as "their time" once their children didn't need constant supervision.

"Fishing, golfing, bowling they just took the day to enjoy time together," she said. "For a good many years, he worked two jobs to provide for his family ... but he still scheduled it to spend Wednesdays with Grandma."

Barman is continuing that tradition by setting aside Wednesdays for her grandfather.

"I think it would be neat for my husband and I to have that kind of thing," she said. "It is important to spend time together."

Barman's grandfather has started other traditions the family still follows.

"For Mother's Day he would always cook the meal and do the dishes," she said.

That started a tradition Barman said the men in the family still follow.

Stanfield, even though he's a widower, also still hosts the family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"He's awesome," Ganni said

"He's one of a kind," Barman added.

Stanfield said he enjoys the chance to spend time with his granddaughters.

"I enjoy it. I think it's great," he said. "I think they enjoy it, too. I don't play (well), but I enjoy the game."

Barman said her grandfather doesn't admit to it, but he keeps track of his golf scores.

"He doesn't say it, but he's more competitive than you think," Barman said.

She credits her grandfather for her success in golf.

"I made par on this course in my third year playing," Barman said. "Everybody said they would like my grandpa to teach them."

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