“What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive.” -- Arnold Palmer
I have always loved this Arnold Palmer quote because it reinforced my thinking that “greatness” and “genius” can be found in any human endeavor. I realize many people would scoff at the idea that you could mention Harry Vardon, Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam and Tiger Woods in the same paragraph as Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Maya Angelou and Mozart.
However, wouldn’t you agree that all of the men and women mentioned above are innovative, observant, imaginative, stubborn, motivated, ambitious, persistent, disciplined, risk takers, detail oriented and open minded? If you combine those characteristics with God-given talent, then you have IT, you have greatness that will live on for generations.
While very few of us have that magical combination, which results in IT, we can learn from and be inspired by those who broke new ground with words or paint or chisel or musical notes or clubs.
“Learning never exhausts the mind.” -- Leonardo da Vinci (1452 to 1519)
“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” -- William Shakespeare (1564 to 1616)
“People err who think my art comes easily to me. I assure you, dear friend, nobody has devoted so much time and thought to compositions as I. There is not a famous master whose music I have not industriously studied through many times.” – Mozart (1756 to 1791)
“Fortune befriends the bold.” -- Emily Dickinson (1830 to 1882)
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” -- Vincent van Gogh (1852 to 1890)
“Trouble shots are surprisingly easy if you activate your imagination. You simply must be able to imagine exactly what flight the ball will take before you can play any shot well.” – Walter Hagen (1892 to 1969), who won 11 Majors
“By ‘guts’ I mean, grace under pressure.” -- Ernest Hemingway (1899 to 1961)
“I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.” – Maya Angelou (1928 to 2014)
“Beyond good hand-eye coordination, perhaps my greatest inherent gift in regard to golf is the ability to compartmentalize my mind, to switch it at will totally from one activity or concern to another, then, for the required duration of the new focus, blank everything else out 100 percent.” -- Jack Nicklaus (b. 1940)