My day job requires me to teach on a regular basis. Not the kind of teaching you may assume, in a classroom with “minds full of mush”, but at an emerald outdoor adult playground; a golf course. With my marketing career on hold, I have been pursuing another of my passions for some time. Guess you can call it a mid-life career change, or crisis if you will, what with the market in complete disarray.
I was introduced to the great game of golf during my stint in the corporate medical device sales industry. Seemed all the boys (and some of the girls) found it a great way to conduct business with customers. As well, it’s not a bad way to “lose yourself” for a few hours what with health care and our world teetering on the edge of demise.
The lesson I learned from those veterans in the field, the “road warriors”, was that time in that environment exposes people, it “strips them naked”, quoting one golf guru. If you’ve never played the game, believe me, I have seen prominent surgeons and industry leaders crumble under the pressure of a 4 foot putt, or lose all confidence after a shank.
The “child” in all of us is often on full display during a round on the links; from gleeful joy to the temper tantrums of a 5 year old all grown up. God loves to see his children play, but throwing clubs and cursing to high heavens over a double bogey is probably not what He (or She) had in mind…
Golf is ultimately a game for “thinkers”…that damn ball just sits there waiting, as you think, doubt, think again, and then act, hopefully. Other than the “handicap” golf is for individuals, not so much for the role player looking to hide behind a team. Again, it “exposes you”. No “bailouts” if you hit it out of bounds, no “stimulus” if you need more distance to carry the water. It’s you and the course with no help allowed, and penalties if you cheat. If fact, its one of the only games known to man that requires you to call penalties on yourself. I sure would love to play a round with Timothy Geithner, our illustrious Secretary of the Treasury. Wonder if he counts all his strokes correctly, or just “forgets” what he lays on the green, so he just lies and hopes no one is watching (WSJ)?
I’ve read that President Clinton was notorious for “cheating” at golf. “Mulligans” off the tee and improving his “lie” was as common as his finger waggle or lip bite. You know, breaking the rules as often as he broke promises. As for our latest political Golfer In Chief, I understand he is more into bouncing the round ball off the hardwood, as he bounces checks for every social program under the sun. Ironically, when he does “tee it up”, (as he did last Fathers Day, leaving the family behind at the “White” House) (CBSNews), he lines up on the wrong side of the ball…he’s a “lefty”….
Last week I gave a golf lesson to a Very liberal woman from the NYC area. The resort where I work and teach caters to wealthy North-easterners, so I get quite a view, aside from the scenic Adirondack Mountains and the Queen of lakes, Lake George. At one point during the lesson, she commented on the economy and how she looks forward to “Obama turning things around”. While she sliced and topped shot after shot, ignoring my advice to “stay centered over the ball”, she giggled like a little girl after every swing. As much as I wanted to help her, she was just having fun, on vacation. Yet she was just happy to have me there watching, giving her my full attention, lost in her own world…Oblivious…
With hotel occupancy way down, green fees off, and tourism crawling through the summer, she commented on how “quiet it is around here this year”. Her family had no trouble booking tee times or getting dinner reservations, “this is great” was her assessment. Traffic was much more “manageable” during their trek up the Northway from the big Apple. “Isn’t this great, other than all the rain this season”, as she put her custom fit clubs in her designer golf bag, handing me a $5 tip for an hour lesson. She concluded with a comment that revealed her naïve view of America, business, and how sheltered a life she leads. I had made reference to the “Obama economy” in response to her observations. Insulated in her high rise condo in Manhattan, an artificial environment of concrete and taxis, she responded, “The greedy corporations that created this mess will pay for what they did, don’t worry Chris, our President will take care of us”…unquote.
Right, the “greedy corporations” that send their executives and sales forces to our hotel for meetings and golf outings, which pay for green fees, lessons, tips, reservations, and “spreads the wealth around”. Now, they sit idle, paralyzed to act, like a golfer frozen over the ball, unsure of what will happen if they pull the trigger. This liberal woman was stuck in a child like state, oblivious to what creates “stimulus” in the real world. Quoting Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD, author of “The liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness” :
“Under the creed of modern liberalism, the individual citizen is not called to maturity but is instead invited to begin a second childhood. Like the child at play, he is given, or at least promised, ultimate economic, social and political security without having to assume responsibility for himself. The liberal agenda requires him to remain in an artificial environment–the daycare program of the grandiose state–where he need not become an adult, take responsibility for his own welfare, nor cooperate with others to achieve what the state will give him for nothing.”