Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thankful for Golf

Wednesday was a special day because my niece and I, as a twosome, were able to play 18 holes before the start of "Mens' Day." She is 15 and can out drive her aunt by 30 yards, but I don't mind. I love watching her aggressive swing and her determination as she reads our tricky greens. But, after her uphill putt just missed the hole, she declared, "'s tough, Auntie!"

On Thanksgiving Eve, I couldn't resist a lesson on gratitude and humbleness. I explained to her that our lives are anything but tough. I reminded her of the obvious -- we were playing golf at a beautfiul country club on a spring-like winter day with views of the Golden Gate, SF skyline, and were enjoying each other's company. Then, the plethora of loved ones and material things that we are blessed with while many are without. In short time, she got it!

I was especially in a thankful mood as it relates to golf for two reasons. First, on Sunday, while playing with my Dad and friends, I had my second hole-in-one on the same hole that I had my first ace! It was during our club's Turkey Trot tournament and as a team we were grinding to do well. We were playing off of the forward tees and I hit my 6-iron onto the green. It's an uphill hole and a tiered green. We could see it rolling on the green, but didn't know whether it was long or fell off the green and rolled short. After looking for it, I asked my playing partners if they saw my ball. One friend said, "Look in the hole!" which my Dad did and to our surprise there it was.
I was thrilled to share the excitement with my Dad, my Mom, and other relatives and close friends later in the clubhouse.

Then, on Tuesday, a friend invited me to play Monterey Peninsula Country Club near Pebble Beach and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. I've not played Pebble and I'm threatening to take my Dad and Mom there next year -- he's old-fashioned and just can't imagine paying $425 for a round of golf and that's without the lodge fee required to even get a tee time!

I must admit the hospitality was not the most inviting. I suspect because it's a premier private club and guests aren't welcome without being accompanied by a member. After getting over the difficulty of buying my Dad a souvenier, we first went to the driving range, which is one of the nicest and largest that I've seen. Green grass, of course, and there wasn't signage to post the distances to the flags, but range finders behind the stalls.

Newly re-designed, the holes wind through the forest and then you're greeted by the sounds of the waves clapping the beach. It was hard to concentrate on playing well while being distracted by beautiful homes and the vistas. It was a special treat!

It wasn't too long ago that I was very frustrated with my game. I was scoring poorly and just not hitting the ball well. I've improved slightly and then was struck with a bit of good luck with the hole-in-one and a chance to play a beautiful course. I have much to be thankful, and I hope you're having a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

No Whining Allowed in Golf

Terrell Owens' recent comments about wishing he had Brett Favre as QB rather than Donovan McNabb was the last straw. Management has benched Owens for the remainder of the season and he'll likely not play again donning an Eagle on his jersey. His problem with the Eagles started because he wanted to renegotiate his already-lucrative seven-year contract after the first year.

Besides speaking to groups about the game of golf, I'm also an attorney, and a contract is a contract. One party can whine and complain, but the other party doesn't have to renegotiate as the Eagles have shown.

Thanks to T.O., I've discovered another reason why I love the game of golf. Seldom do you hear the golfers on any of the professional tours complain about their take-home pay. Except for company endorsements prevalent in every professional sport, they're not paid for their performance on-the-come or their shots in the past. They're paid for every swing they made, or not paid for every putt they missed.

It's called self-responsibility for your outcome. Perhaps, every sport should adopt the pro golfer's pay scale. For every completed pass thrown, every ball caught, every block made, or every ball hit, you get paid $X amount. Maybe then over-paid athletes will keep their mouths full with humble pie, so they can't say anything to further embarrass themselves and their sports.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Congrats to Annika for her Five-Peat!

On Sunday, Annika won the Mizuno Classic for the fifth consecutive time. She has surpassed Tiger Woods, Gene Sarazen, and Walter Hagen, who have each won four tournaments in a row. Prior to Annika, Laura Davies held the LGPA title for winning the Standard Register Ping tournament four times consecutively from 1994-97.

Winning five times in a row is an awesome feat in any sport. Congrats, Annika!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Congrats to the PGA for Hitting a Billion

The PGA Tour has reached its goal of a "Drive to a Billion." More than 2,000 charities and one million people have been aided by the money raised for charity by the TOUR and its players, tournaments, volunteers, sponsors and fans. The monies are raised from gallery receipts. If you've not been to PGA event, here's another reason to attend. Besides watching great golf, part of the proceeds of your ticket goes to a local charity. It took 67 years to reach a billion. Let's hope it takes less time to reach the next billion!