Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. - Bobby Jones
Watching the PNC Championship. let us see some unique pairings of golf legends along with their pairing with family members. Names like Trevino and Sorenstam graced the field of legendary golfers along with Tiger Woods and John Daly among other notable golfers.
While Vijay and Qass Singh won by two shots to finish at 26-under-par to win the 2022 PNC Championship, the unique pairings and groupings offered some succinct lessons on golf and life.
Don’t Take the Game Too Serious
“Let’s not be too serious,” Annika Sorenstam is quoted via Golfweek.
As the article points out regarding her quote, Sorenstam’s message to her playing partner, her son Will, was simply to put more emphasis on having fun playing golf. With his dad as the caddie, 11-year old Will was the youngest in the field of golfers to play the pro-am tournament. It would seem likely that such a status would cause any golfer at heart to approach the tournament with something to prove.
That’s a lesson for a lot of us. We need to reevaluate our approach to playing golf.
We tend to use a lot of words and analogies that convey an image of waging war on the course. And heaven forbid if there is any type of money on the line.
We can get seriously competitive and focus on the wrong part of the game, missing the best parts along the way.
Dial back on the competitive spirit and focus on the fun. Just enjoy the game and the time together.
Playing Through the Pain and Problems
Charlie Woods played the PNC with an injury he suffered prior to the pro-am. Despite the injury, the young Woods managed to keep up with his dad and keep his pair in contention for the championship.
Watching young Charlie Woods fighting to keep pressure off his ankle on big swings reminded me as both a coach and an athlete how much we might hear others urge and encourage us to play through the pain. It was obvious that the young man wasn’t at his best, but he kept playing his heart out.
With high school basketball, I played through injuries and lived to regret it. (DISCLAIMER: Don’t look for me dunking on the basketball court anytime soon.) It did long-term damage, but it also reminded me of the high cost of giving it your all and leaving it all out there as you pursue a victory.
It wasn’t just physical. It was more than that.
Playing through an injury is part of showing up for the moment at hand. In team sports, even when paired with a legend like Tiger Woods t the PNC, you’ve got others depending on you. They’re looking for you to not just show up but to show up with your best and at your best. When you don’t meet that expectation, you tend to do one of two things: take on even more of the burden to carry your team or fall back and give in.
A 13-year old Charlie Woods showed us that he’s willing to show up and carry as much of the load that he can handle even when suffering from a rolled ankle.
How we show up reveals character. How we show up gives others an indication of how much our hearts are into it.
In the upcoming holiday golf tournament, don’t downplay your recent injury-plagued weekend work around the house. Keep away from the signature personal disclaimers of not having played in a while or how the new driver hasn’t been broken in yet. Don’t do all of that on your next tee time or tournament. Just own it and show up for your foursome with your best. Who knows? Your putter might be the difference-maker on the scorecard. Show up and give it your best where you can.
With the holidays so near, I’m playing a few times while in between youth sports seasons. I’m mainly looking at a pair of par 3 courses and a few 18-hole par 72 courses nestled in the mountains and filled with natural hazards and obstructions. I’m definitely looking to do better than my last golf outing’s breakdown.
I’ll post some photos and a few words between play and most probably be back right before 2023 with a recap.
Enjoy your holidays and keep swinging!