Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville was on the list of golf courses Dick Anderson one day hoped to play, so when he saw the club would host a qualifier for the U.S. Senior Open last month, the Colleton River Plantation resident figured it would be a good opportunity to visit his son in Nashville and check out the Donald Ross track.
"When I saw there was a qualifier there, I said, 'What the heck?' and entered it," Anderson said. "I figured I would get at least two rounds on it."
Turns out at least two rounds at the U.S. Senior Open came with the deal.
Anderson shot a 2-under-par 70 that day, earning a spot in this week's U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, where he'll tee it up Thursday and Friday in hopes of making the cut and sticking around for two more rounds on the weekend.
"I'm just looking for a great experience," Anderson said by phone while driving from Bluffton to Toledo. "These guys are so good. I'm very excited about being there and enjoying it, and I just hope I play my game well and we'll see where that ends up."
It has been a circuitous route to this point for Anderson, who played collegiate golf at Stanford University -- then didn't play much competitive golf for more than three decades. He stepped away from the game entirely for 15 to 20 years, he said, then began playing casually for the next 15 to 20 years.
It wasn't until he retired from IBM after 35 years that he began playing seriously again.
"Tournament golf is very different than regular golf," Anderson said. "It took me awhile to get that back, but I had some success and it got me excited enough to try this."
Now he's living his golf dream, ready to compete in a major championship -- and with his son, John, on his bag.
"He's willing to come out of caddie retirement," Anderson said. "He caddied for me all the time in high school and college, and he decided to come out of caddie retirement for this."