It was great hearing from many of you about the blog. It is really very therapeutic for me to share by writing. I’ve been a little tired lately. Playing golf in the heat has likely taken a bit of a toll on me. I have not been willing or ready to admit that either the radiation or the cancer, or some combination of the two cause me to just not operate at full throttle. Of course my golfing buddies love it – I am like an ATM machine to them :-). The only salvation is the fact that they haven’t yet tried to start doubling the bets around the 13th hole. The other day, I could feel the energy just leave – it was pretty frustrating – struggling to get to the last hole. The heat definitely hasn’t helped.
People that don’t play golf, don’t generally have a great understanding as to why enthusiasts find the game so addictive. Recently, a good friend asked if I ever improve. I laughed and said ‘hell no’. In my mind, I get better, there are moments where I play fairly well, but over the years, my scores haven’t improved. Same holds true for most of the guys I play with. So what makes me excited to go out and play, especially when temperatures are in the mid 90’s? I love the challenge. I love the competition and I love the camaraderie. Those are the surface factors that drive my passion for the game. It goes much deeper than that though. My love for the game is rooted deep into all the metaphors that exist between golf, business and life. My son can tell you the countless number of times that I used golf as a teaching moment. In recent months, he’s turned the table on me and thrown some of those lessons back at me. In golf, perfection isn’t achievable. Golf shots rarely go exactly where you expect them to go, but even after the worst of shots, you have to move on to the next shot. You may not care for the position that the previous shot placed you in, but you can’t look back, you have to move forward. Each shot creates a different situation and each situation creates a new and unique pathway towards the hole. You have to make well thought out decisions when you consider each shot and accept the outcomes. You catch good breaks and bad. If you dwell on the bad, you can make a bad situation worst. You are ultimately accountable for what happens on the course. I always get a kick out of hearing people blame their bad shots on the course, the condition of the bunker, how thick the rough is and ignore the fact that they just made a bad swing. Of course, often the course makes the shot more difficult, but few are willing to take accountability. I make a lot of bad shots, and while I get frustrated, generally I laugh at how flawed my shot was. After all, it’s a golf shot – that’s all it is – just a shot in a game. If I’ve learned anything since my diagnosis, I’ve learned that the wonder of golf is being able to play!
I recently had the opportunity to see kindness through golf. When I was diagnosed, I had to cancel several golf trips, most notably having to back out of an Ireland golf trip that I had planned. Clearly, I have to put my health ahead of golf right now. But, yes, I hate missing out. Going on a golf trip to Ireland with 7 of my regular golfing buddies was a tough trip to cancel. My friends knew how much I wanted to go, so they took me along. What? Did I trip you up there? You read it right – I went along, just not in the way you may be thinking.
I woke up to a text with this pic of me on the plane with a few of the guys
(Chris Pulos, John Barron, Mike Emoff)
I even got to be in the cockpit for a while
When in Ireland, golf is #1 priority, so I got out to the course
(Gary Pavlofsky, Chris Pulos, Mike Emoff, Bob Newsock)
After the round, time for a cold one on the bus
(Jeff Fourman, Gary Pavlofsky, Chris Pulos)
Of course, the #2 priority on a golf trip – time for lunch
(Jeff Fourman, Erv Pavlofsky)
When these pictures started coming in, I laughed so hard, but admit that I was also a little overwhelmed by their kindness. Let’s be serious, guys just aren’t typically this thoughtful :-). Golf – more than just a game.