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Friday, 23 June 2017

Bobby Jones Really Got It

I know, I keep going on and on about Bobby Jones. But, let's face it, he was an exceptional golfer and human being. 

While winning thirteen Major championships, including the Grand Slam, he found time to also earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a degree in English Literature from Harvard, and passed the Georgia State Bar to become a lawyer like his father. He was clearly not your average duffer. 

His golfing prowess opened many doors for him. He was the toast of the golfing world, and much loved. But, through it all, he seemed to remain humbled by his success. Consider just two examples I was thinking about.

The guy who won the Grand Slam wrote that the most exciting match he ever played was against Chick Evans. In that match it all came down to the last hole where Bobby's putt lipped out and he lost. Consider that for a minute. This is a guy who won who-knows-how-many matches, and the one he remembers as being the most exciting was one that he lost. Bobby said that he really never learned anything from a match he won. He really got it. He understood that golf and life are about the journey, and that winning isn't everything.

Bobby Jones rubbed shoulders with the very cream of society. And yet, he wrote about the fact that the greatest compliment he ever received was from a local St Andrews caddie whose name he had forgotten. It came in the final round Bobby played at the Old Course when virtually the entire town turned out to watch him play what was supposed to be a casual round. No doubt Bobby had received gushing compliments from great and powerful people over the years. But the one he cherished most was the simple expression of admiration from a young caddie.

Bobby Jones really "got it." Just imagine how proud his parents--and the black cook, her brother, and her Beau who helped raise him, and were his first friends--must have been. He did pretty well for a sickly child with knobby knees, who didn't eat solid food until he was five years old. You can't make this stuff up.