“Golf Digest” is a magazine that you can always find lying on our coffee table. When I have a minute, I always love to pick it up and read it, especially these days, because I actually know some of the guys they highlight. It’s so much fun to open one of the latest publications to see Bud Cauley, who Brewer played junior golf with, on the inside cover!! Or Ben Martin, who was his teammate at Clemson. It is so much fun seeing these kids have success and remembering them in their junior golf and college years. I absolute loved this particular publication because they did an article on ” The GOOD GUYS” on tour.
The criteria the guys were judged on was the following:
- Were they charitable? Not just writing a check, but personally involved?
- Good to the “little people” such as volunteers, locker room attendants, drivers, etc.
- Nice when NO ONE WAS LOOKING?
- Role models? (Good ambassadors for their sport?)
- Media friendly or at least professionally tolerant?
- Able to keep their entourages friendly.
I learned so much by reading this article. Arnold Palmer is the “understood legendary good guy” in professional golf. What a testimony!! The writer went on to tell how Arnold worked at it. He recently observed Palmer at Augusta in the middle of a business discussion outside. A fan walked up and asked for an autograph. Palmer turned and kindly said, “I will in just 5 minutes.” Then he observed Palmer pause and turn back around and immediately sign the autograph. When the fan walked away, Palmer said, ” I constantly have to ask myself, ‘What am I doing?'” Meaning, he wants to value people and not be self-absorbed. The article articulates it better than I do but it goes on to share several stories of kindnesses that PGA players have displayed.
One of the most touching is about Graeme McDowell, who was paired with Tiger the last day of the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational and shot 74 to lose by fives shots. Needless to say, it was a tough day for Graeme and extremely disappointing. Just as he had loaded his car and pulled out of his parking spot to leave, a lady and her daughter walked up to the car for an autograph. He rolled down the window and signed it. Then the mother asked if he would pose for a picture with her daughter. Graeme said, “No problem.” He put the car in park and got out and posed for a picture. This really impresses me. My children have never been professionals but I have watched them come so close and come up short in many tournaments. So down and disappointed right after, I can’t imagine what it took for Graeme to muster up kindness and put his emotions on hold to graciously stop and, with a smile, honor the stranger’s request. I am sure the stranger had no “clue” how hard that was, but I am so impressed.
If you aren’t impressed as a reader, then I guess maybe you would have to walk in their shoes. It is very difficult, very, very difficult for the kindest of people. If they are a fierce competitor, it isn’t easy to turn off the emotions that quick after a loss and be a “good guy”. It speaks volumes to me about Graeme’s understanding of people, self-control, and ability to put self away! Very disciplined and extremely impressive. I will forever now be a fan of Graeme McDowell and a few others I read about. Steve Stricker was this year’s winner, Brandt Snedeker (2nd), and Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar tied for 3rd.
Collins, our daughter, takes lessons at Sea Island from Todd Anderson and has had the privilege of interacting with Brandt in a little friendly putting contest on the putting green. Recently, she also had the opportunity to eat lunch beside Matt and his wife and kids. She agrees that the people who voted got it right. She was so impressed with their warmth, kindness, genuineness, and unselfishness that she experienced from both Brandt and Matt! When Graeme McDowell was asked, “What makes a good guy on Tour?” His response was, “It begins with the REALIZATION THAT EVERYTHING ISN’T ABOUT HIM!”
Are you feeling me here??? I love this!! Love it! Love it! Love it! There is a GREAT and VALUABLE life lesson right here. EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT ME, OR YOU……. We all need to visit that statement often!! Kindness, Thoughtfulness, Sincerity, and Humility starts with the realization that it isn’t all about me or you! If we all could do like Arney does, and ask ourselves, “What am I doing here?” Self-examine! and seek to live, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4