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AUTHOR : CHARLIE EPPS

author-charlie eppsKnown as "The Golf Doctor," Charlie Epps has been one of Houston's most respected PGA professionals for 30 years. He is the Director of Golf at Redstone Golf Club, home of the PGA Tour's Shell Houston Open.

Epps teaches two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and second-year Tour player Bobby Gates. Listen to Epps 9-10 a.m. Saturday mornings on Yahoo! Sports Radio on 1560 AM in Houston, channel 127 pm Sirius satellite and 242 XM.

He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Giving thanks

Written by Charlie Epps on 01 November 2010.

What does Thanksgiving really mean? The funniest explanation was told to me by the 1948 Masters champion, Claude Harmon. He said, "Charlie, do you realize that if the pilgrims had shot a cow instead of a turkey, we'd be having steak for Thanksgiving?" Claude always told me he never ate anything that had wings or swam. He was a steak man.

As I sit here thinking about Thanksgiving, here is what comes to mind. I'm thankful that I was born in the United States of America. I've lived overseas, and I know firsthand how great our country is, even with all of our misgivings.

I'm thankful that I was given loving, caring parents. They showed me the right ways in life. My dad always told me if you can't pay for it, don't buy it. He also said when you finally could afford a Baby Ruth, you don't want one. It was lessons like these that helped me navigate through life's challenges.

I'm thankful for a great education. Although I was probably one of the worst students ever, I still received—and am receiving—a great education every day from the people I work with and teach.

I'm thankful that I was able to serve my country in the U.S. Army. I didn't volunteer; I was drafted. But in those two years, I learned many lessons that challenged me and helped mold me into a responsible adult.

I'm thankful that my mom and dad introduced me to the game of golf.

I'm thankful that I met my wife, Judy. And, yes, we met through golf. Yet another reason to be thankful my parents got me started in the game.

I'm thankful for having landed in the city of Houston. We live in a big city that feels more like a town. Houston is full of great, down-to-earth people, the kind of folks I feel blessed to call friends.

I'm thankful that I became the head professional at Houston Country Club back in 1975. That was my first head pro job, and I'll always be indebted to the club for allowing me to grow and become successful in my trade.

I'm thankful for great family doctors and dentists. Sometimes we take these talented people for granted. But without them, who's to say that my quality of life would have been so good?

I'm thankful for the freedom that we take for granted in this country, the freedom that was given to us through all the men and women who have risked and given their lives so that we can play golf and have fun.

I'm thankful for the daughters the good Lord has given me and my wife to enjoy and nurture. To see Nona and Mimi blossom into outstanding people has been one of the greatest gifts in my life, something for which I'm eternally thankful.

Finally, I'm thankful for all the friendships that have come to me during the six decades I've spent in golf. Without golf, I wouldn't have made the lifelong friendships with so many great people. There are too many of them to name here, but they know who they are. And they mean to the world to me.

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