“You’ve got to persevere. Because if you don’t succeed the first time, you’ve got to keep at it, keep your goals high.” – Stan Thirsk, The Kansas City Country Club’s head professional from 1961 to 1992 and Tom Watson’s long-time teacher.
During the cold and grey days of this past winter, I actually kicked around the idea of playing in our club’s full-throttle member-guest tournament, The Wormburner. It is a full three days of golf and activities and I was thinking that I had one more in me. Then two quotes came to mind:
• With age comes wisdom.
• A man’s got to know his limitations.
Instead, I played in the Stanley Cup, which is named after Stan Thirsk, our club’s head pro for 30 years. The Stanley Cup is KCCC’s member-guest tournament for men who are in the prime of their lives. In other words, a tournament for men over 50 who realize they don’t have the firepower to compete against the Gen Xers and Millennials on the course and no longer have the ability to consume their fair share of the available liquid refreshments for three straight days.
From my age-related viewpoint, the very genteel Stanley Cup has two big advantages over the Wormburner: 1) There are only two rounds of best ball and a snappy playoff to determine the overall champion. 2) There is not a big, final-night dinner party that includes the expectation of dancing past midnight.
And while my drives lack the length of 20 years ago and our rough seems to get higher every year, I still find myself getting excited about playing in a competitive tournament. I say that even though I usually finish in the middle of any tournament I enter. I guess you could say that my expectations exceed my ability.
Nonetheless, I had a great time playing with my partner Craig Mahurin, who is known for his upbeat nature. (I always hope that his positive energy will rub off on me.) If nothing else, I tried to be competitive within our flight. And though we didn't do so well in the end, these tidbits below serve as good inspiration in general:
“When you are in the hunt you always have to see good shots. You have to see only positive things.” – Tommy Jacobs (born 1935), member of the 1965 U.S. Ryder Cup team. He had a 3-1-1 record and the U.S. defeated Great Britain 19 ½ to 12 ½ at Royal Birkdale.
“Hit the shot you know you can hit, not the one you think you should.” – Sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella.
“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin (1706 to 1790), author, printer, political theorist, inventor, statesman and a Founding Father.
“Remember who you are. Remember how good you are. I believe in you, so go believe in yourself.” – Golf instructor Jim Flick (1929 to 2012).
“You will hit the ball farther more frequently when you don’t try to hit it far.” -- Sam Snead (1912 to 2002), winner of seven Majors.
Allan (Index remains 9.4; home handicap 11)