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  • Lessons From the Links

    Posted on by Heather

    It was Master’s Sunday yesterday, and for those of you who don’t live with a professional golfer and weren’t raised by one of the most die hard sports fanatics in this country, The Masters is one of four major championships in men’s professional golf.  The golf course, Augusta National, is by far and away one of the most immaculately pristine venues in all of the world.  (For those who know golf, they actually sweep any leaves or particles of sand from the green in between each group so that players hitting their approach shot from the fairway are contesting with nothing short of perfect.)  


    For those who know me, a five hour stint on the couch in front of the TV is somewhat near impossible for me to pull off, but, a combination of shear fatigue after teaching an 8 hour workshop on Saturday, and the absolute downpour of rain on a cold windy Vancouver day set the stage for this rare occasion.  And as I watched the dramatic final round unfold, I couldn’t help but see the inferences that could be drawn between this history making day and everyday life.

    Nothing’s impossible (The Dark Horse)

    All around the world in the week leading up to the Masters, amateur golfers and fans of the sport scramble to pick the players that they think are the most likely to win in their Masters pool.  (A way to gamble on the tournament.)  But, within the list of golfers to choose from there is a subtle term used to describe the players that, though they are in the tournament, the chances of them winning (based on stats, the golfer’s level of experience etc.) are slim.  In other words it would be somewhat of a miracle, a bit of a cinderella story if one of these players (termed Dark Horse) were to win.  But, nevertheless this term exists for the simple reason that in golf as in life, we can use all the stats and information of the past to try and predict what likely will happen in the future, but, alas we really don’t know.  And that’s why all around the world we watched, excited and anxious, anticipating that final moment when the future became the present and the past all in the same moment.

    Never give up

    Winston Churchill said it, farmers all around the world know it to be true – we must never give up. (Can you imagine if a farmer in a fleeting moment of panic, ran out into his field and furiously started digging up the ground to see whether or not something was growing there??)  In the final round of the Masters, players tee off in groups of 2, based on their cumulative score from the previous 3 days.  Therefore, the leaders of the tournament are the last to tee off.  As they make their way around the 18 holes, it’s nearly impossible for them to ignore the roars of the crowd (not knowing what the cheers are about), the scoreboard, (where they can find out exactly where they stand), not to mention contesting with the challenges of the course.  However, their ability to stay the course (pun intended), to not give up is the difference between those who win and everyone else.  Angel Cabrera (a dark horse in many opinions) emerged as the winner yesterday, after completing the 18 hole round and having to contest with a 2 hole, 3 man playoff.  He never gave up and in the end he was the 2009 Masters Champion.

    Golf and life are full of challenges and triumphs, set backs and miracles, and, love and loss.  But, amongst all that are two very important lessons to carry with you as you navigate your path:

    Anything is possible!

    Always keep going!

    Enjoy the week!


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