Friday, July 27, 2007

Wealth and Class -- Don't Go Together Always

Do you read Peggy Noonan? She's a regular columnist at the Wall Street Journal. She writes with a grace about her insights in everyday life, as well as in politics.

Her latest column ( talks about those who have wealth also often have poor manners. While reading her piece, I thought her observations also apply to the lack of etiquette that is too often seen on the golf course.

Some obvious examples of lack of class includes Sergio's spitting into the hole that I talked about in my last post. Or, cheating in golf as I shared in an earlier post. Another is about Tiger, which I hate to say because I like him so much, but can't he carry a handkerchief or tissue? It's not very attractive to watch him blow his nose onto the course.

As a member of a private club, I have seen a gradual increase over the years of members' not repairing ball marks and divots. It's their course, yet they don't seem to care and apparently expect someone else to clean up after them...usually me. Worst was when a former member, a psychotherapist, declared that since she paid to be a member she believed she can play as slowly as she likes. I sure pity her clients if she shares that attitude with her clients.

With wealth, it seems many have a "it's all about me" attitude and the hell with the rest of you. I hate to think we'd be better off without so much wealth in this country, but something needs to change so we can enjoy being in each other's company on and off the course.

I truly believe what you see on the course is who you'll get when doing business with a person. Simply said, a boor is a boor. So, play golf before you do business with someone to see if you really do want to do business with that person.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Garcia as Open Champion?

Sergio Garcia is playing the 13th hole of the 3rd round at The Open with a 3-shot lead. There was a time that I would have been cheering him on to win. Overcoming his poor putting with his belly putter. In contention for his first Major and finally living up to his phenom fame.

But, since he spat into the hole during a tournament earlier this year, I'm not an enthusiastic fan. If he had apologized and was sincere, I would have said he got caught up in his frustration. Instead, he brushed it off like it was no big deal and the next day was indignant when the topic was raised again.

Golf is such a game of decorum and honor. For him to win his first Major at The Open just wouldn't be right.

I am hoping for Steve Stricker to go out tomorrow and play well. He's currently 3-shots out of the lead, but if you saw his interview after the round, you'd feel for him. He became emotional when asked what it meant for him to play so well. According to Azinger, he's worked hard to come back from his blocked shots and duck hooks. Good for Stricker and hope he plays well!

Enjoy The Open and the excitement of another Major!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Winning Isn't Everything, Is It?

Something occurred during a match that I played in this weekend that makes me wonder for some people what is it worth to be called a "winner"? For some, it's clear that they (and their partners) will cheat and lie to have that hollow title.

I always tell my audience if you play with a cheater and you're doing business with that person, watch out! That person will likely cheat and lie in business as well.

Whether it's declaring a higher handicap to get extra strokes or denying something that they did worthy of a penalty, is it really worth it when they lay their heads on their pillows?

They know they cheated. Others know they cheated. Yet it's apparently that important to be able to declare themselves victors. Worse yet is when this involves those who tout political correctness, self-awareness, spirituality, and kindness to all.

Sure I could have made a claim and had the golf committee solve the issue. I chose not to do so. We would have gone through a "he did this, she did that," and so on.

Yes, I am an attorney and I am paid to fight. But I also believe if you did something wrong, you own it, and take the consequences. Perhaps, naively, I believe I shouldn't have to fight to get what is right in the first place.

Since this occurred, I've been reflecting on how this will affect my future matches if something like this occurs again. Will I fight to "win"?

I probably won't simply because it's not that important to me to be declared a winner of a golf match. I know who prevailed, and the others can put on their charade about the outcome of our match...and as to who they are as people.

I suspect they don't even know that they are doing the latter, which makes me feel even more pity for them. Besides, God, karma, or whomever or whatever is the final arbiter will likely decide who is a victor in the most important game we play, and it's not the game of golf.