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Lessons in golf and graciousness

Chip Beck walks one of the fairways at Highland Country Club with great-nephew McNeill Duggins.

Back in his PGA Tour playing days, Fayetteville native Chip Beck was always known for being unfailingly polite. Whether he’d just missed the cut or shot a record-tying 59 (which he did in 1991 in Las Vegas) he always was one of the nicest guys on tour.

Chip Beck with, left to right, McNeill Duggins, Charlie Horne, Nate Horne and Taft Courie.

It should probably come as no surprise, then, that Beck regularly returns to his hometown to spend time with his large extended family, including the youngsters who dream of following in his footsteps. That was the case one day recently when Beck, who lives in Chicago but graduated from Terry Sanford High School, took to the fairways at Highland Country Club to give a few tips to great-nephew McNeill Duggins, who turns 7 in September.

"Children are great imitators," Beck's wife Karen captioned one of the photographs of the two. "Give them something great to imitate."

Beck, who now plays on the PGA Champions Tour, also spent some time with a few other youngsters, including Taft Courie, and brothers Charlie and Thomas Horne.

The day probably brought back memories of when he was a boy himself and his mother Dolores Beck insisted he attend a free youth golf clinic. Reluctant at first, he fell in love with the game and went on to become a three-time All-America at the University of Georgia. He finished second in the 1993 Masters and twice finished tied for second in the U.S. Open.

McNeill Duggins, center, poses with his dad, Wade Duggins, left, and great-uncle Chip Beck.