Ashely Davidson vividly recalls the most recent time her family comprised a golf foursome.
“It was October 2011 at Port Royal Golf Course (in Bermuda), and I played terrible. I do remember that,” said Davidson, 34, elder of Ted and Cindy Bishop’s two daughters. “It’s probably a comical round to watch, to be sure, because we’re so competitive.
“But it’s all in good fun. When it’s over, it’s over.”
Golf has played a major and ongoing role in the Bishop family. Vacations have been planned around it. Birthday celebrations and other family functions have been missed because of it. All four draw paychecks as a result of it.
Ted plays. Cindy, too. Ashely and sister, Ambry, 30, were outstanding players at Franklin Community High School, the Grizzly Cubs advancing to five consecutive IHSAA Girls Golf State Finals from 1995-99, a stretch in which at least one Bishop was playing. Cindy Bishop coached the program from 1993 (Ashely’s freshman season) to 1999 (Ambry’s senior season).
To the daughters in particular, golf always has been part of the family’s collective backbone.
“I started playing competitively around the age of 8. We grew up in Linton, Indiana, and moved to Franklin in 1992 when I was in fourth grade. In the summer months with my dad so busy, it was a way to go see him,” said Ambry Bishop, now in her ninth season as women’s golf coach at St. John’s University in New York City.
“The opportunities that golf has presented me ... some of the things we would not be able to do without golf. One thing I’m fortunate with my dad is that (by becoming president of PGA of America) he will be in New York some, and that’s always a nice experience.”
Ted Bishop has been director of golf at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin since its first mounds of dirt were bulldozed in the early 1990s. Cindy, the food and beverage manager, has worked there full time since 2001, while Ashely, the event coordinator, and her husband, Ted Davidson, the golf shop manager, are indispensable cogs in the overall operation, as well.
As for Ambry Bishop, all she did was lead St. John’s to four Big East titles in her first seven seasons as the Red Storm coach. She also is an assistant pro at Saint Andrew’s Golf Club just outside the Big Apple. It is the oldest golf club in America.
Their lives are a tee-to-green proposition. Ted Bishop, 58, now starting his two-year run as PGA of America president, has found a preferred landing spot as have the other members of his brood.
“My life in golf I feel has many different layers. As a child in Linton it was a smaller golf course and a smaller town. Then when we moved to Franklin, the golf course was a place I could go and really work at my game,” Ashely Davidson said. “Then the opportunity to play at Kansas came along, which, looking back, was one of the best things to happen.
“Now,” she continued, “as a working mother of two, it gives me the flexibility that I need that I might not be able to have in another industry.”
As for who posted low score that day in Bermuda 13 months ago, Davidson only knows it came down to her father and sister.
“We’re all competitive, and I think we get that from my dad,” Ambry Bishop said. “I’ll go ahead and say I’m the best golfer in the family, and I’m sure they wouldn’t expect me to say anything else.”
Bishop punctuates her comments with a good-natured laugh. She’s kidding and serious at the same time.