Core Value: Integrity
Beaver Golf has over a dozen competitive junior golfers playing in tournaments over the course of a year. While I would love to attend, my teaching schedule combined with the fact that tournaments are all over Florida, make it difficult for me to do so. However, one time the location was near my house and the tee times were in the afternoon after my last lesson so I headed over to Okeeheelee to watch four of my players.
I was present when Mateo hit his second shot on hole 17. As I watched him from afar, I could sense something was wrong, we had practiced hitting balls over the trees which would have been the easy play but he had a different strategy that did not work out. Unfortunately, one bad decision compounded in several more, but I am proud that he did conduct himself with integrity. While winning is great, your character is always more important.
I read an opinion column in The Herald Times that caught my attention because it captured the very concepts that I teach to my junior students. The columnist starts off by explaining an unfortunate incident on a golf course that he witnessed at the age of 12. He made a decision to walk away because he did not agree with the behaviors. He closed with the following thought:
We grew up on that country club golf course. I think we grew up in a good way. I believe that the lesson we best learned as we played with poor, but honest, fellow caddies and ethical country club members like Mrs. Crenshaw, was to never violate the rules. For a score to be treasured at the end of 18 holes you need to know that for all of those holes you never transgressed, you never cheated yourself. And your score in life, like the score on the golf course is laudable only because you worked at following the rules — all of the rules. Maybe life is best lived when simply played like an honest and ethical game of golf. Just maybe
Character counts. The decisions we make today will determine the kind of person we become tomorrow. It took courage for a 12 year-old caddie to say no and years later he sounds like he would do it again. That's what integrity is all about!
During the Covid shutdown, I was asked if I would be willing to teach a student at their home. I am equipped to teach amidst all of the health concerns and the student was clearly comfortable with the idea. Based on the pictures, they had a nice set up with a net and I definitely would appreciate the income.
I went back and forth for a week and ultimately I decided not to accept the offer. While the income would have been great, my services are not considered essential during these times and I am not comfortable violating the current guidelines.
The dictionary defines integrity as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is my hope that I will strive to make decisions that are just that.
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