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Posts Tagged ‘Tiger Woods’

I was watching the first couple of tournaments recently and was astounded at how lackluster the field was. I would guess the ratings were in the tank, as the only things that would draw viewers were the warm venues. Personally, I tuned into the match between Sam Snead and Bob Hope instead of seeking out David Toms and Mark Wilson. Over at the Champions Tour, there was Brad Bryant apologizing for his 65, more surprised than anyone that he chipped and putted his way to the top of the leaderboard. Tiger hadn’t started his season yet, flying off to Dubai for a huge appearance fee and a joust with the crackerjacks of the European Tour. This blog has predicted he will win just about everything this year, and has advised him to do so then quit competitive golf and concentrate on his foundation. Bobby Jones did this, as did Byron Nelson, and they had no sex scandals to face down. Whether Tiger stays or goes, professional golf goes downhill. He could stay and dominate, or he could go and fade away. Either way, golf suffers. The current crop in their late 20s and early 30s are not strong enough to hold up the high bar of professional golf on all levels of accomplishment. Woods was the last of the lot, and look at the bloody mess he left behind, an irreparable heap of emotional horsecrap laying by the side of the road. And please, don’t feed me all the sanctimonious BS about Tiger haters. I don’t hate Tiger. I’m angry at him for taking himself down along with the game he built up.

Golf requires what the Buddhists call impeccability, which is (more…)

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First, congratulations to Phil Mickelson on winning the Masters. He showed true grit coming down the stretch, a champion’s disposition, the heart of a samurai, a deep meditator without even knowing he was meditating, focused and flexible, a Light Brigade in the form of a golfer. I had advised in a previous post that he go home and be with his wife, that she was too much on his mind to concentrate on golf. I was wrong. Instead, he dedicated his performance to his wife, thereby remaining a man fully in the moment, for the moment was a representation of her and his family. And she came to him, which I didn’t anticipate since I didn’t know her ability to do so. It was one of the great inspirational performances in the history of sport. His approach shot through the trees on 13 from the pine straw, over Rae’s Creek, hitting the green and making birdie was a golfer acting at the very highest levels of skill and courage. I would include it with the best of any shot I’ve ever seen, and will heretofore use it as a model for all the golf I have left to play. Phil, his caddie, Bones, and his wife Amy are true class acts.

Next, Tiger. He impressed me with his golf, of course, but also with his humanness: his connection with the fans, his giving out autographs, his warm relationship with K.J. Choi whom he chatted with and put his hand on his shoulder, his relative restraint around fist pumps and profanity. There’s no quit to this guy, and that too is a trait I highly admire. Given the scandal, (more…)

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At Tiger’s news conference Monday, the most significant revelation was that his troubles started when he stopped meditating, when he stopped practicing the Buddhist religion which he shares with his mother. That’s when he lost his moral compass.Being a Buddhist, Tiger is involved with more than a religion. In fact, Buddhism, at its core, is more a spiritual practice than a set of beliefs that make up most religions. As the late philosopher Alan Watts once said, “Buddhism never uttered its final doctrine.” Essentially, through trial and error, the practitioner finds out what is the truth for himself. It’s a path that requires taking total responsibility. You can’t retreat to God or a set of truths to guide you: You are the captain of your own ship. It’s why monotheistic religions often don’t buy into Buddhism: There’s a basic belief human beings need help, and that help comes from a higher power. These other religions involve prayer and meditation just like Buddhism, but with Buddhism ┬áthe higher power is essentially called your True Self, or that which is always in the present and not subject to birth or death (more on this in another post). It’s a part of you that is always there, if you can get in touch with it. When you meditate according to Buddhist instructions, you simply stay with your own body and mind and breath in the present moment. When Tiger stopped meditating, (more…)

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