Madsen Family
The Madsens, seen in April: David, left, Kim and Josh. Josh's essay won trip.

This is the kind of Father's Day gift David Madsen wouldn't trade for all of the ties in the world.

No disrespect to fathers who got ties for Father's Day, but Madsen and his son, Josh, are headed to Scotland in July to the mecca of golf, St. Andrews.

The trip comes courtesy of The Golf Channel, which sponsored an essay contest that gave contestants a chance to write about the life lessons they learned from Dad on the golf course.

About 6,000 people entered the contest.

Josh Madsen said he immediately knew what to write about: that time at North Salt Lake's Eaglewood Golf Course that his dad imparted some wisdom after Josh's perfect drive landed in a water hazard.

"You know, son, even perfect shots are out of our control. It's not fair. Smile, pick up your clubs and take the drop. The game's not over yet," David said at the time.

That lesson has special meaning in the Madsens' lives because everything was sailing along for the the family until Kim Madsen, David's wife and Josh's mother, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer four years ago.

She's still fighting, and David's words meant that Josh should do the same on the golf course.

The game doesn't end just because the ball takes a wicked hop.

Life doesn't end just because the one you love has cancer.

Josh and David were in San Diego at Torrey Pines for the U.S. Open with the other four finalists and their fathers for Sunday's announcement that they would be going to Scotland.

David said he had his fingers crossed and was saying "I hope we win, I hope we win, I hope we win," as the announcement was read.

If you go to, you can see a video of the announcement and the Madsens' tearful reaction, as well as a brief interview with both men.

"My knees about buckled," Josh said later. "I don't think there is a better Father's Day present than this."

On air, Josh had some kind words for David.

"This is a man who has taught me not only what is important, what to make a priority in life, he's the most selfless and kind and generous man that I've ever met," Josh said.

David said his son is the epitome of the man he'd like to be.

"I think most important thing that we really have realized from this process is that all the comments a father makes to his children are important, whether positive or negative, and if we use our positive influence its so much the better."

Of course, it doesn't hurt that a life lesson, written down for a contest, can send you to St. Andrews.

It's a course the Madsens have only seen in the virtual world as they've played "Tiger Woods" on the Xbox 360.

"Unbelievable" has been their word of the day, they said.

"We appreciate all those who voted for us," David said. "It's very meaningful for our family."

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