My Calling in the World of Golf
Today, after my mid-morning session of putting and chipping, I spent the bulk of the day watching The Tour
Championship and, therefore, the conclusion of the Fed Ex Cup with my family. I must say it was an amazing display
of golf and I truly enjoyed every second of it. But more than enjoying the golf being played on the television and the
time spent with my family, I stumbled onto my calling in the golf world.
Throughout most of The Tour Championship, the television producers showed many interviews and clips of this year’s
Payne Stewart Award winner, Kenny Perry. Seeing vintage footage of Payne Stewart, one of the classiest people
ever to play on the PGA Tour, interviews with Kenny Perry, one of the classiest people currently playing on the Tour,
all during a tournament being played on Bobby Jones’ home course, seemed to shine an illuminating light on what golf
is all about.
Golf has always been a gentlemen’s game. In the late 1800’s, Old Tom Morris provided the foundation in relation to
behavior that a true golfing champion should display. Other examples of gentlemanly behavior that golfers should
emulate come from the likes of: Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Payne
Stewart, and Padraig Harrington. For sure, I’ve missed some other gentlemen that have played the game. But what
is sad to me is that the people I’ve missed are not all of the upper echelon players of today. Click on this link. Now
understand this picture was taken after the conclusion of the 1977 British Open which took place at Turnberry. It was
not set up by the television producers, rather it was instigated by Jack Nicklaus. All that can be said about Jack is that
he was simply a class act. Despite that fact that he played nearly flawless golf, Tom Watson beat him that day.
Nevertheless, he maintained his gentlemanly ways. Now imagine, Tiger Woods putting his arm around Phil Mickelson
like this and walking off the 18th green after being defeated by Phil at a major championship. It is impossible to
imagine, isn’t it!
This is exactly the issue. I think golf is losing (or has lost) its “gentlemen’s game” moniker. When exactly this
happened is hard to pinpoint. I am sure Tiger Woods’ fist pumps and tossing of clubs haven’t helped the matter. I am
sure the U.S. team storming the green after Justin Leonard’s putt in the 1999 Ryder Cup and the obscene amount of
the purses these current golf tournaments produce, don’t help matters. What ever the cause, I personally would like
to see the game re-establish itself as a true gentlemen’s game. This is my mission in the game of golf.
Geoff Shackelford has his issues with modern technology and the way it is ruining the classic golf courses. In fact, he
has written books discussing this issue and has his “list” on his website. The discussion boards on Golf Club Atlas
are littered with comments concerning walking versus riding while playing golf. Some members have even started
websites entirely dedicated to support players who like to walk. As for me, I am going to do whatever I can to help re-
establish the gentlemen’s nature of golf as that is what I am passionate about.
I have already taken baby-steps in regards to this process. Currently, on my site is an article entitled “What I Strive to
be on the Golf Course”. However, I will be looking to do much more. In fact, if any of you reading this have ideas that
can be implemented regarding re-establishing the gentlemen’s nature of the game of golf…please let me know.
However, don’t be afraid to begin implementing them by yourself either!
In closing, have fun and hit’em straight!