Jeff Francoeur is close to his father David. So close that Father knows what son is thinking...always. Well, maybe not always.
Francoeur decided he wanted to take his father and six other friends and family members on an all expense paid trip to Scotland to play some of the world's finest golf courses. As we earlier scribed here, Francoeur loves the game of golf, as does his father.
The group of men, which also included his brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin and two family friends, are all special to Francouer: "All these guys have been so supportive."
Jeff's brother and father love the game of golf, especially the British Open where they are able to watch golf all day long. Jeff would be unable to be a part of this due to his baseball schedule. Because of this, annual golf trips was a venue for the Francoeur men to bond and stay close. Francoeur “cherished” these trips.
The idea for the Scotland trip was planted in Francoeur's brain while traveling home from the All Star Break in 2008. He happened upon a man who had played these famous courses in Scotland, using an international travel company. Through this company, they could play the famous and historical courses of St. Andrews, Muirfield and Carnoustie.
To lure his group into this trip while still keeping it a surprise, Francoeur told the group “that they were going back to Bandon Dunes, an Oregon course with a Scottish links feel, where Francoeur had surprised them with a trip in 2006. Then they'd go to Chambers Bay in Washington and on up to play in Canada. That way they'd pack warm clothes and a passport.”
The only people “in-the-know” were the wives and some employees at a local PGA Superstore.
Francoeur, who is presently unable to play golf due to off-season thumb surgery, was permitted by the Mets to put off the surgery until after the golf outing.
While still holding with the ruse, Francoeur and his wife Catie invited the gang over to their house for BBQ the night before the trip. At the cookout, the Francoeur's played a video to inform the guests of the true trip.
To Kenny Chesney's "I Go Back," a slideshow began with shots of Bandon Dunes and Chambers Bay. Then it showed a golfer walking in the snow, with the words "Canadian winter golf, eh?"
Then it said, "So ..." followed by, "I decided to change our trip." The screen then went black.
With the sound of bagpipes emitting from the video, Francoeur then stood up and informed his guests that they were going to Scotland.
A stunned David Francoeur said, "I was at a loss for words. When I heard Scotland, I said ‘Oh my gosh, what a treat.' But then when he started to say the courses we were playing, that's when it really hit me."
On the seventh oldest golf course in the world, Balcomie Links in Fife, Francoeur asked his caddie where he should hit it...in 45 MPH wind: "You have to the North Sea to the right and Scotland to the left," the caddie said. "So I'd aim bloody left."
Francoeur deposited it in the North Sea. He took a Mulligan.
How does David feel about the trip his son was able to provide to those most important in his life? Simple -
"He said ‘When I'm on my death bed, I want you to remember this day because this is one of the greatest days of my life,' " Francoeur said. "My dad is not a very emotional guy. He's pretty tough. To hear that from him was really cool."
Nuff said. This my friends is the next captain of the NY Mets.