Archive for the ‘golf’ Category

Tiger Woods may have attended Stanford, but the past two weeks have proven how stupid he really is. I like Tiger Woods and believe him to be the greatest golfer of all time, whether he tracks down Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 professional Majors or not. Tiger is the best at what he does, but as we learned from Michael Jordan, being the best in a sport has very little to do with being good in the rest of life.

What’s odd is that we think it does. When I was a youth minister, I frequently told students that one of the best ways they could witness for God was by being good at what they did. Colt McCoy, Hunter Lawrence, Jordan Shipley and Tim Tebow are examples of this. By performing with excellence in one area, our very lives are granted credence in the minds others. It’s only natural that people believe that the excellent are excellent. But that’s not always the case. Through all the fist pumps, chest bumps, sunk putts and kicked rumps, we continue to find that our “heroes” are anything but.

Here’s El Tigre, the worlds most recognizable person, complete with a yacht named “Privacy” slinking around, hooking up with cocktail waitresses and pornstars – allegedly – and thinking, presumably, that he wouldn’t get caught; that no one would find out. You’ve got to be kidding!

That’s just plain stupid.

He was bound to get caught.

But it’s the best thing that could have happened to Tiger Woods.

Why? Because of Steve McNair and Michael Jackson.

Last summer, former NFL great Steve McNair was found shot by his girlfriend. A married man, McNair was having an affair with Shalel Kazemi, a 20-year old, who murdered him in his sleep before turning the gun on herself. (In case you didn’t know, if someone continues to hook up with a string of women who do not care that he is married, he will run across one who is crazy!) That’s what happened to McNair, whose girlfriend feared he was leaving her, and that would have eventually happened to Woods. It’s unlikely that it would have ended in murder, but it almost certainly would have been worse than bad press and a re-written pre-nuptial agreement.

And we all know the disturbing tragedy of Michael Jackson. Something dismaying happens to people when we are too tightly insulated. That was the case with Jackson and has been the case with Woods. No healthy person can exists in a world of yes men and staff rather than friends and mentors. Woods – due to our incessant desire to know everything about everyone – had created his own kingdom, perhaps with Elin and his own mother as the only citizens by choice, the only ones who wanted him for him and not cash or celebrity.

This has been his greatest weakness. Tiger has fired caddies and coaches for doing commercials and giving too many interviews. In Tiger’s world, it’s Tiger’s way or the highway. In fact, Tiger’s mom once reportedly told a former girlfriend of his, “There’s only one star in this family. Tiger.” That’s the problem. Everyone needs people in their life to tell us the truth, to remind us that the world, in fact, does not revolve around us and folks like Woods are woefully short of them.

The titillating headlines concerning the train wreck Woods’ life has become over the past two weeks, present Tiger an opportunity. If he can resist the urge to be handled or save face, he can come clean with himself. No one besides Elin needs an apology or explanation. Tiger has the chance, right now, to rewrite who he is, not to resurrect his shattered image, but become a new man. Right now, Tiger can take a big swing.

Deal with your issues, Tiger, – because it’s clear to everyone now that you have them. Become a better father to your kids (good dads don’t cheat on mom). Stop sporting for gullible, star-struck women, using them as objects, and stop doing whatever else you’ve got going on under the surface. Become a man who is honest, friendly, open, humble, straightforward, less the golf machine and more an authentic man. Just think what Jackson’s life could have been had he a chance to be more Michael and less icon. Today Tiger’s life has a chance to be genuine, something, I think, at the end of life, he would much more enjoy than the coat-check girl.

Change and the Golf Room

Posted: January 17, 2007 in fatherhood, golf

Today is my friend, Melanie’s birthday. I kind of feel sorry for her. She was scheduled to participate in our church’s Women’s Bible Study and then have lunch with my wife and another woman they both respect a great deal. Alas, it was for naught, because icy streets in and around Houston have kept nearly everyone at home. I know from experience that spending your birthday alone — and in her case, chasing after a 4 year-old and toddler to boot — is no fun!

Yesterday she was recounting to me the surprise gathering that was thrown in her honor of her 30th birthday a few years ago. During the group’s time together, some of the “older” women shared “what the wish they knew at 30.” Melanie’s mom said to her “Don’t be afraid of change.” That’s good advice, I think.

I am frequently vocally advocating some kind of change, yet sometimes I find myself as resistant to changes as anyone could be. Today is one of those days.

My wife and I are expecting our second daughter in three weeks. I’m excited, yet hesitant. This afternoon my wife began clearing out the guest room — or as we call it, the “golf room.” As well as housing guest, this room housed my golf clubs, golf magazines, and my other golf related items. My friend, Kraig, and I painted the room a nice pale green and hung golf related pictures on the wall soon after we moved into our home. But my golf game took a back seat to parenthood after our first daughter was born three years ago. In fact I have only played three rounds of golf in over three years. As someone has said, “No scratch golfer has ever been Father of the Year.” Cleaning out “the golf room,” in some ways, signals the end of an era, a change. There was a time in my life when I went to the driving range a couple of times a week and played a round of golf on my day off. Now those days are filled with coloring, playing at the park, riding the carousel at the mall, and a host of other Daddy-Daughter related events.

And you know what, the change has been good! I adore watching my daughter grow up and see in her eyes the childlike faith that believes Daddy can do anything and knows that — as she frequently says — “God is taking care of us.” And I love seeing my wife’s belly growing larger and larger as our new baby get ready to, as Malia says, “come out.”

So this weekend, my golf stuff will move from “never-used” status to “storage” status. But soon that room will house something far more beautiful, glorious, and powerful.

And the upside is this, when the moment comes that I’ll have the time and money to play golf again, by the time my two girls are able to join me as I walk the links, it’ll be time for a new set of golf clubs. It’s a no lose situation!