He was a mover and shaker who was no longer moving and shaking. Actually, he could be any number of movers and shakers that I have known who are no longer moving and shaking. So he talked about golf. He plays a lot of golf.
Can you be relevant and still play golf?
I have an honest confession—I am a lousy golfer. But I enjoy the game. I’ve played some of the nations great courses and even parred the 17th Hole on the Players Course at Sawgrass, a hole that even the Pro’s have a difficult time parring. (It was an accident!) I started golfing because people in my profession golf. It’s not just a game—it’s a way of building relationships, creating opportunities, and establishing your place in the grand scheme of things, even if you’re a lousy golfer.
I play golf at least once every summer. That may explain why I am a lousy golfer. My playing partner is the great Jimmy “Diamond” Williams, leader of “The Ohio Players.” We have a fine time, and always say, “We ought to do this more often.” But his schedule, traveling with the much in demand “Players”, and my schedule doing everything that I do, causes us to not more often the ought. So, I’ve remained a lousy golfer.
But that may be about to change.
This summer I have been hitting practice balls in my backyard. Somewhere along the way I figured out what I have been doing wrong for forty years. And suddenly I started hitting the practice balls up and out. That led me to the driving range where I hit a bucket of balls. Yea verily, they too went up and out. Not too far out. Respectable distances, neither hooking or slicing (going to the left or right t for the non-golfers.) I think I’m ready for my yearly round of golf. And if it’s good I think I may play more often.
You may wonder what all of this has to do with relevance. Quite a lot, actually. If you’re in a professional field golf is still a way of building relationships, creating opportunities, and establishing your place in the grand scheme of things. (I’ve been told that pickleball will do the same thing.) And there are some things that you can learn when you play golf, (or any other non-team sport), with someone. If they cheat at golf they will cheat in life. If they play courteously they are more than likely courteous in other ways as well. If they are hyper-competitive on the golf course they are probably hyper-competitive in everything else that they do. You have to decide if that hyper-competitiveness works for you or against you.
Let me make all of this relevant to my non-golfing readers. The same principles of actions and observations cross all boundaries. Bowling? Check. Ping-Pong? Check. How someone treats their spouse? Check. Or they way that they treat someone that they perceive to be their inferior? Double-check! (I lost respect for one friend who berated an old shoeshine man because his impossibly stained, needed to be replaced, white golf shoes didn’t look like new after a five-dollar shine. You know how I feel about shoeshine guys!) Everything I’ve written about golf applies to the game of life.
You may think this idle speculation but as I write these words my mind goes back to someone that I used to golf with. He was intensely competitive. He cheated at the game. Lack common courtesy. Was insensitive to those he thought his inferiors. Which was most people. If I had known then what I know now….
To answer the question—you can be relevant and still play golf. But only if you are relevant and that’s a decision that you have to make.
When you join me “Behind The Door” I’m going to share some thoughts on remaining relevant based on the game of golf. Whether you play it or not these insights will help you to be relevant and stay relevant whatever you do in life. If you have this month’s password you can go there right now. If you don’t have the password hit the “Sowing” button and sow a seed of any amount and the password will be automatically sent by email. The default setting is $20. That amount can be lowered or raised. At this point no one is lowering the amount and many raise it. I set it up this way because I want anyone to be able to go “Behind The Door” that wants to be relevant in life. I’ll meet your there!