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Saturday, August 8, 2009

I had to make it his best birthday EVER!

My Dad (aka BIG MUR) turned 50 January 4, 2008. Growing up in a home with seven siblings, I don't think he experienced the big birthday celebrations that I experienced. My goal was to make his 50th one that he would never forget.

Two things you need to know about Big Mur:
1. He loves golf
2. He really, really, really loves golf

I started preparations for his birthday September 2007. My goal - to get the autographs of 50 of the world's top golfers. I sent out over 100 emails and letters hoping that I would be fortunate to even receive one. In the end I received 19 autographs from top golfers such as Phil Mickleson, Adam Scott, Greg Norman and the legend himself - a personalized photo from Arnold Palmer reading: "To Murry Best Wishes! Arnold Palmer" (shown below)

We presented the autographs to Dad in a portfolio book. He plans to have them all framed, although my mom is still curious where he plans to hang all 19 photos.

NOTE: Two or three golfers requested self-addressed stamped envelopes, which meant finding a stamp store with US stamps, otherwise all 19 autographs were free. Making this a fabulous yet inexpensive gift that still today amazes Dad. (There is a stamp store in Toronto that sells stamps for most countries - Adelaide St. East of Yonge)

TIP: Google golfers names to find email addresses and mailing addresses. Even if their sites indicate they don't provide autographs by mail, give it a try. I was successful in many cases.

The second gift that took a bit of planning was a golf club head cover resembling Big Mur.
For this I went to Whoopass enterprises, a company specializing in bobble heads. We were not disappointed. I simply uploaded a few pictures of my dad along with specifics about him - eg. he has a "bum" chin, he wears square frame glasses etc. Before painting the company sent me photos of the clay casting of the head. I could submit changes along the way. This was important as they didn't get his chin right at first.

Here is a sample of the unpainted photo they sent me as a first draft, along with the photos I sent to them.

I wasn't sure what to think after seeing the photo above, but the head cover turned out awesome. So much so that Big Mur calls it his "Mini Me".

This isn't the best photo of the final product, but I think you can get the idea.

Things to remember if you order a head cover - they are best for irons. Woods won't fit in the sock, so remember this when deciding which number to put on the back of the hat. (I made this mistake) Dad's "mini me" has his company logo on the front of the hat and the number 1 and Big Mur on the back.

Dad received other gifts from us on his birthday, but these were the two most memorable.

Keep your gift giving unique!
the gift geek

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