Monday, May 21, 2007
A Gentleman's Game
I played in a golf tournament today with my boss and a few colleagues. Since I hardly have time to play golf anymore and there was no telling how I would play, I was not even sure if I would enjoy it. It turned out to be a great day and great fellowship with some great folks.
Some of the best memories I have in life were made on the golf course. Although Reynolds was a very small town we were fortunate enough to have a golf course. And I spent many hours on the Reynolds Kiwanis Golf Course as a young boy. Before I was old enough to drive, my mama would drop us off at the golf course early on Saturday morning and pick us up at sundown. It was not unusual for us to play 63 holes of golf in a day. When baseball was not in season there was nothing else to do in Reynolds.
Not only did I learn to appreciate the game, I learned a few life lessons in the process. Golf is a gentlemen’s game and golf etiquette can also be applied to life.
For instance I learned to never hit out of turn. I learned to be quiet and still when someone else was addressing the ball. I learned never to walk in someone’s line. I learned to never criticize someone’s futile attempt and always compliment the other’s great effort. I learned to repair all divots, fix all ball marks and rake all traps. I learned to let others play through who are playing faster than your group. I learned to count all my strokes and never improve my lie when no one is watching. I learned I did not need an umpire or a referee but my integrity was enough. I learned never to hit when there is danger of hitting someone else. In case that happens accidentally, I learned to yell “fore” to warn the person who is in danger of getting hit. And I should always tip the beverage cart girl.
In this thing we call life we all could use a little etiquette. By the way etiquette is basically a discipline of being considerate of others.
In life we always should know when it is our turn to act or react. In other words, we should know when to speak and when to shut up. We should know when to act and when to be still. We need to pay attention to what others are saying or doing and never get in their way in the process. We should be very slow to criticize and very quick to compliment a great effort. We should always clean up behind ourselves to make life better for those who will follow. We should pace ourselves but never get in the way of someone who is quicker and better. We should always live so one will never have to question our integrity. And contrary to popular opinion, we don’t have to destroy someone else to be successful.
Golf is definitely a gentleman’s game. It would not be fun if it was played any other way.
And we would all do ourselves a great favor if we apply the same discipline and etiquette to our lives.