Yesterday I broke with an old pattern I had developed during half a century of work (if you include college, where I did work hard) and took the day off. I had always wondered what it would be like to attend a major golf tournament and I was fortunate enough to get 2 free passes to the U.S. Open practice rounds plus a parking permit. So I invited a friend and we had a ball, so to speak.
I won’t bother telling various highlights, other than that I love to see people being really competent at what they’re doing and so even the bad shots looked to me. It reminded me of what a friend at the OMB said when we were talking about sports. He said that many people, when they see a major league baseball player flub a catch, comment on the player’s incompetence. My friend’s reaction, by contrast, was, “Damn, he’s good.”
Ok, two highlights:
(1) On the fabled 18th hole at Pebble Beach, Jim Furyk got to the green, on the left side, which, apparently, is the correct side to get to, in 2 strokes.
(2) When my friend and I were walking along, we saw a guy come along in a golf cart and he slowed down to the point where my friend could ask what hole we were beside. He answered (and I’ve forgotten his answer.) Another guy walking near us said, “Hey, slugger.” Slugger answered with a friendly “hey” and proceeded along in his cart. I asked the guy who had called him “Slugger” if the person was well known. He looked at me with eyes wide and said, “You need to watch more golf.” It turns out that Slugger was the legendary Slugger White. Here’s a great short video.
The whole thing got me thinking about my relationship with golf, which was entirely on the supply side. I posted here about some of the lessons I learned early in life.