ON THE TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 20, 2014 #472 Up next…Gratitude?
After further review…During a recent conversation I had with the executive director of the AT&T Pebble Beach Junior Golf Association, she was discussing the nine core values their junior golfers (ages 7-17) can learn from the great game of golf and further, put into practice in their daily lives. These were: respect, honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. She said she was proud to be part of such a program.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Junior Golf Association is 25-years- young and preceded, maybe even gave impetus to, the nationwide First Tee movement. This junior golf program has 60 golf professionals on the Monterey (California) Peninsula providing lessons, clinics, tournaments and scholarships for some 1,300 junior golfers. The cost to these kids is an annual fee of $25. Golf clubs, hats and balls are provided free of charge for any financially-challenged players. Tournament competition occurs within five age divisions (platinum, gold, silver, bronze and copper).
She was effusive in describing how remarkable the character of these youngsters is. Then she related a story about a young golfer who had finished a tournament third in his division. When he returned home he held his medallion up disgustedly and said to his father “Look, all I got was this dumb metal”. It may be an isolated case, but how could any kid be ungrateful for finishing third? Is first place the only reward? Surely, there is a lesson to be learned here.
I wondered how that father responded. The opportunity to help an unhappy golfer overcome his disappointment could be crucial to the boy’s future, since dealing with unfulfilled expectations will always be part of his live. As the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”. Now, this young man probably couldn’t care less about Epicurus, but those nine core values can certainly help him. There are many ways a parent, coach, or teacher can be of positive benefit in these situations.
Oh, BTW, that executive director mentioned above is Linda Tunney, my wife, who for 18 years has been in charge of this valuable program. The Junior Golf Associations does so much for these kids, not the least of which is introducing them to those nine core values. Linda was recently inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame, Monterey Bay Chapter, for her service to the game of golf and to young people. Way-to-go, Hon!
Will your service to others be of Hall of Fame Caliber?