Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Golf and character

I had made a comment on the Woods-Mickelson event a few days ago. A thoughtful reader sent this:

On your posting on Tiger Woods vs. Phil M. Yes, good stuff. Someone once said that golf doesn’t build character, it reveals it. Very much like boxing. Boxers, of course, undergo direct physical risk, but if you’ve heard them talk, that’s not what scares them. It’s the fear of being exposed, of having one’s manhood stripped away in front of the world -- not because one might be beaten, but because of disgrace in how one was beaten. You can’t hide in a ring surrounded by 20,000 people. Or on a golf course surrounded by as many people, with millions watching on TV.

Golf ain’t quite up to that, but you must admire it when two gentlemen dignify themselves by how well they play and how well they behave, as at Doral. If you’ve played much golf, you’ll understand the amazing pressures, even in a meaningless game among friends, to play poorly and act even worse. It’s not completely stupid for businessmen to want to play golf with potential partners. You discover also that some players like Tiger just have "it" -- virtu, fortuna, whatever. The gods seem to be with them, or rather they seem to command the gods when it really matters.

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