This is my second version of my weekly golf ponderings. Had I posted what I wrote last night you would have read a rant about one of my favorite writers, Sam Johnson. In his blog last week, Sam was once again having one of his Tiger love-fests. The funny thing was, it wasn't even the collection of Tiger superlatives that really bugged me. It was his comment that golf being like life was "preposterous". When I read that it felt like I had just gotten punched in the gut...the foundation of my greatest passion, golf, is that life lessons are waiting for us each time we set foot on the first tee.
Needless to say, after reading his "Legends" post, Sam Johnson was in serious jeopardy of falling out of my top ten favorite list.
Life is all about choices...and in golf I think we saw the gamut of good and bad choices throughout the 4 days of the US Open. Even Tiger himself said that he made some bad choices, which he believes cost him the title. When asked about his tee shot on the par-5 6th hole, which went over the cliff after hitting a 3-wood, he responded. "It should have been a 2-iron down there." Whoops, bad choice.
Life is also about handling stress. I don't know a golfer that wasn't feeling at least a little bit of the pain that Dustin Johnson went through on Sunday. I'm sure I wasn't the only one talking to my TV screen...slow down Dustin! But once the wheels start falling off, sometimes you have no other choice but to crash and burn.
Life is full of emotion. I maybe would have thought that Tiger is the exception to that rule when it comes to golf, but TW gave us a show of frustration, excitement, relief, and then disappointment mixed with a little anger. And I think his game is also showing the effects of his world outside of golf. Oh my stars, he's human after all! I wonder how many people have asked the question, what would have happened on Sunday if the "old Tiger" had been there?
Life is about celebrating the journey...even if it's hard. What a great story about Shaun Micheel golfing in honor of his Mom who is battling cancer. Yes, I know there are some that are annoyed with all of the "puff pieces" that come with a golf tournament, but I enjoy them. Micheel's emotions were honest and true and I think his inspiration was contagious. And of course I can't leave out the great story of Erik Compton competing in his first major. While he didn't make the cut, he left an impression on more than a few people.
And how about some of those amateurs?! It was really fun to watch their excitement and appreciation of being on the same stage as the best players in the world.
And then there's our US Open champion, Graeme McDowell. To me, McDowell is a testament to perseverance. It couldn't have been easy to watch his playing partner implode and at the same time stay focused on the prize. It also couldn't have been easy to see the list of contenders right on his tail. Not immune to faltering a bit himself, McDowell was able to hold it together enough to hoist the trophy at the end of the day. His dad asked him for one present, a win...now how's that for a son who comes through?!
Whether we (and when I say "we" I mean Sam) like it or not, golf is and always will be a parallel to our daily journey we call life. Sometimes we get breaks, sometimes we don't. One day the hole seems a foot wide and other days it's the size of a pin. We have great days with our friends, and on occasion we find ourselves in the foursome from...well, you know.
What I hope sets golf apart from all of the other analogies related to life is that at its foundation, golf is based on honesty, character, and good sportsmanship. So while Sam may be right, that you don't have to be a nice guy to be the number one player in the world, my counter to that is...well, he SHOULD be...golf deserves that.
And I guess the best thing about life is that we're all entitled to our own opinions. But I'm certainly relieved to know that I am right and Sam is wrong...again. Big Smile
PS...My first working title for this week's blog was Sam Johnson is a Jerk...but since he isn't, and I really do admire him, I thought better of it...see, good choice! Golf does that for me.
PPS...if you want to read something good, check out 2Putt's comments about the USGA and Pebble's conditions in the US Open thread in the forum - good stuff!!
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Filed under: character, Sam Johnson, US Open, Cathy Erickson, honesty, life, stress, emotions