PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

Nick Price and son Greg go low-key in Father/Son Challenge

December 14, 2015

At home on break at the end of 1994, Nick Price handed a cut-down driver to his 3-year-old son, Greg, dropped a few balls on the ground and waited for the magic to happen. Magic happened, all right: a disappearing act from Greg.

"He dropped the club, picked up his cup of Goldfish snacks and ran straight to the range picker," says Nick, a three-time major champion and captain of the past two International Presidents Cup teams. "He loved to be driven around in that thing. Even then, golf was a little slow for Greg. He liked action."

So it went with Greg, a committed surfer, wake-boarder, kite-boarder and water-skier who at 24 only recently emerged as a typical millennial golfer. A senior at Florida Atlantic University with an unofficial handicap in the low-double-digit range, he plays fast and not always seriously. He likes golf primarily as a way to spend time with friends. One of his pals: Greg Norman Jr., whom Greg Price met when they were kids at the day care provided by the PGA Tour.

Even with a membership at the superb McArthur Golf Club near the family home in Hobe Sound, Fla., it doesn't take much for Greg to shrug off golf in favor of the ocean.

"Until two years ago, I hardly played at all," he says. "I chipped tennis balls around our back yard so the dog could chase them, but that's it. But one day we were down at Blowing Rocks [Preserve], and there were no waves. No waves means no surfing. So we went and played golf. Fun game, but I'll never be anywhere near as good as my dad. He's got some serious prowess."

At the PNC Father/Son Challenge (Dec. 10-13 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando), many sons display games reminiscent of their fathers'. Steve Irwin, son of Hale, has played in a U.S. Open. Dru Love, a junior at Alabama, pounds it past Davis. Daniel Trevino, Tucker Wadkins, Tom Strange and many others are high-level amateurs. Greg Price, meanwhile, is keeping it real, with golf more on the periphery of his life than at the center. It's an approach his father understands and accepts.

"Golf is such an individual game, and there are a lot of ways to enjoy it," says Nick, 58. "You don't want to push golf on young people in a restrictive way. When Greg told me he'd been playing with friends, I didn't know whether to help him or just let him do his own thing."

The Prices were working to improve on their last-place finishes in the Father/Son the past two years. They share dinners with friends—Nick and Greg share a love of thick steaks—and, like every other father-son team, try to narrow the generation gap.

"The world is so different than when I was growing up," Nick says. "What's interesting is, my hair was longer when I was Greg's age than his is.

He's pushing for Team Price—one of our caddies and the two of us—to show up this year wearing beards. I hate to break the news to Greg, but that isn't going to happen."