The Masters…A Tradition Now Like Many Others

Whether you are a golfer or golf fan if you watch TV in March and early April every year you have probably seen commercial for The Masters, the first of the 4 major professional golf tournaments every year hosted and played at The Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. The tag line CBS uses for these ads is, “The Masters, a tradition unlike any other.”

Golf, A Game Like No Other

I have been a golfer and continue to be a fan of golf, the game and many of those who play it. I marvel at the skills they display and the game of golf itself is like no other. The tournaments are contested on different courses each week and the professional golfers depend on their own skills, work ethic, character, and mental toughness. Golfers pay close attention to the rules of the game and often call penalties on themselves even when no one else might have seen the infraction. They also hold their playing partners to the highest standard and can call attention to a rule infraction by their playing partners in order to protect the field. All of these factors determine how successful any golfer is or is not on the PGA Tour. Those are some of the primary reasons I love the game, the golfer is dependent on himself for success or failure and himself or herself alone and the character normally displayed is not common any more in today’s society.

A Tradition For Me

The Masters every April has always been my favorite tournament of the year and it has been a tradition for me to watch The Masters on Sunday afternoon every year for the past 40 years. I have not missed very many. Ask my family. Our children have grown up watching it and we have been there to practice rounds a couple of times. Augusta National is a beautiful place, one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Look back at Abstract or just a different perspective? if you want to see more thoughts on Augusta National.

That is another reason I love golf. It is played on some of the most beautiful places in the world. Augusta National is the top of that list for me and millions of others. The Masters always marks the official beginning of spring for me. I think I can speak intelligently about the subject as I am somewhat familiar with it.

All that to say, what I am about to say about what The Masters did today is hard for me to say but it has so affected me I cannot not say it.

Bobby Jones and The Masters

Bobby Jones along with Clifford Roberts founded The Masters and was known for his integrity while playing the game and in his life after retiring from competitive golf at the age of 28. He was an amateur and played the game because he loved the game. He once saw his ball move, after addressing it, a rules violation, and called a penalty on himself. No one else saw the infraction and even the official recommended he not call the penalty because no one else had seen it. He did call the penalty on himself because he said he would know he saw it move and it was an infraction. This happened during The U.S. Open, another of the four major tournaments each year, and that one stroke caused him to tie for the tournament lead at the end of regulation and he eventually lost the tournament in a playoff.

There are many other instances such as this throughout the history of golf and this integrity of the game is one of the reasons I love it and sets golf apart from many other sports I believe.

Fast Forward to Today, April 13, 2013

Yesterday, during the second round of The Masters, Tiger Woods, one of the best golfers of all time, committed an infraction on the 15th hole. This was seen by millions of people and was clearly a violation of the rule. He made an illegal drop in his words, “I went back to where I played it from,” Woods said, “but I went 2 yards further back and I took, tried to take 2 yards off the shot of what I felt I hit.”  Rule 26-1 is the rule in question. Since he signed his scorecard for a 6 on this hole instead of a 7 he signed an incorrect scorecard and should be disqualified.

The Masters Rules committee said they saw the drop and did not think it was a rule violation, a sad commentary on the rules committee, and did not mention this to Tiger then or when he finished his round before he signed his scorecard. Apparently a television viewer or viewers called in to say Tiger had violated the rules so they then decided to review the issue.

It is the player’s responsibility to know the rules of the game and abide by the rules. If they have a question about any of the rules there is always an official either with their group or one can be summoned to answer any question they have about a rule or situation. Tiger did not ask for help from an official. It is irrelevant whether Tiger thought he was breaking a rule or not. Ignorance of the rule does not imply you do not have to abide by it. If that was the case then all golfers would just plead ignorance when a rule violation was in question.

Review Not Handled Like All Others

Normally, when there is a question about a rule, an official is asked to make a ruling, the ruling is made and play continues. This is normally done before the player signs his scorecard. This did not happen Friday with this situation. Instead, the rules committee apparently had to think about the implications of this issue overnight as they did not summon Tiger to discuss this until Saturday morning. This is one of the reasons I am disappointed with The Masters. They have always been above reproach when it comes to their tradition and the rules of the game in keeping with the spirit of the founder of the tournament Bobby Jones.

Tiger Woods had several hours after this meeting with the rules committee to consider doing the honorable and right thing by disqualifying himself but chose not to. He could have gained much respect and many new fans and possibly more self-respect if he had and would not have his career marked with this asterisk and have “the Tiger rule” follow him around the rest of his career. I did not really expect him to do this but was hoping he might surprise me and the rest of the golfing world.

A Stroke of Preference

This mystique and standard was breached today with this ruling in much the same manner as Kobe Bryant or LeBron James do not get called for fouls that other, non-marquee players do get called for in basketball. Special treatment for Tiger Woods was given today as I have no doubt that if this was any other participant in the tournament this week disqualification would have been the result and it would have been handled Friday night and not Saturday morning. The reasons that seem obvious to me are TV rating and dollars. I never thought The Masters would lower itself to this level but since they have their tag line for me will be, “The Masters, a tradition like many others” and that is sad for me.

Breaking A 40 Year Tradition is Hard

So I will be breaking a 40 year tradition for me tomorrow afternoon. I will not be watching The Masters while Tiger Woods is still playing as I do not want my TV to be counted among the numbers that make up the ratings for the telecast and I want my integrity to remain intact. I cannot condemn their actions and then watch anyway. That would be hypocritical. I know my boycott will not make any difference to CBS or The Masters but it will make a difference for me. It will be hard, as breaking any tradition that has lasted 40 years would be.

After he is done I will probably watch the end of the tournament. I can’t say for sure right now what I will do next year. I do know Augusta National is still one of the most beautiful places on earth and I would like to visit again. I have a daughter and son-in-law who live in Augusta so I have another reason to visit as well. However, as with people, any time credibility is lost it is hard for it to be regained, if it ever is, and it does take time. That will be true of The Masters for me. They no longer hold the highest level of honor and credibility they did Thursday for me. I hope that does return but it will take some time if it does.

Until then, The Masters has now become a tradition like many others, a sad day for golf.

Maybe I will watch, Bobby Jones, A Stroke of Genius to remind me of the integrity of the man who started this tournament. Maybe The Masters Rules Committee and Tiger Woods should re-watch this too.

Those are my thoughts on the subject. I would love to hear yours in the comments.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 04/13/2013

Early to bed, Early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy and blog?

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” 

This proverb is most often attributed to Benjamin Franklin since it appeared in his Poor Richards Almanack but was really just a proverb he was repeating.  He never took credit for being the originator of this proverb.  In any case there is wisdom contained within this proverb that many of us who like to think we are “smart” often do not follow.

I am a prime and very stubborn example of this as for most of my 51 years on this earth from high school until about a week or so ago I have stubbornly been trying to disprove this truth.

For the past 8 days though I have been trying something new, going to bed early and getting up early.  To me going to be early is any time before midnight and I have done that on 7 of the last eight nights.  I have been up anywhere between 5:00 and 6:05 AM every morning.

Healthy

As for healthy I have been blessed so far in my life with good health but rising early allows me to get some exercise, what would be considered very low impact weight training on a Total Gym and Ab lounger, the early models of both.  It is something I have been able to do regularly and earlier in the day before life, work, and excuses “force” me to postpone this for another day.

Another health benefit is rising early allows me to get my daily Bible reading and quiet time done and done regularly which improves my spiritual health and builds spiritual muscle which benefits me in everything else I attempt to do.

Wealthy

As for wealthy, rising early allows me to get my physical and spiritual exercises done so I am not feeling guilty for not doing them all day when I am working on my day job.  This makes me much more productive at work and, in time (once I get a handle on the current project I am working on) will allow me to spend more time with my family after work.  Many days there seems to be no “after work” time (working from home is another subject for another day) and I want to change this.  I am not there yet but I can see the “getting there” now.

Being more productive at work might not make me wealthy but will allow me to perform at a level that should keep me employed and allow for me to provide for my family.  Obviously, there are no guarantees here though.

Rising early has provided me with the courage to start this blog, something I have been contemplating for months if not years.  I don’t expect it to “change the world” but I do expect it to change my world by allowing me the opportunity and platform to write and express some of my thoughts and ideas.  I am selfish in that I am writing for me. My secondary hope is that something I write will resonate with anyone who reads the words I string together and make them laugh, cry, go hmm…”why didn’t I think of that” or trigger another thought that really has nothing to do with the words they read.

Wise or Bloggier?

So for me,“Early to bed, Early to rise” does make me healthier, wealthier, and bloggier” (not sure that is a real word).  I hope the wisdom will come someday too.

What Triggered This Change?

My parents often told me I should get more sleep and that not getting enough sleep was going to catch up with me some day.  My wife and even my children have all told me on numerous occasions for many years I should go to bed and get more sleep.  So you can see I have been told, warned, cautioned that this was a good idea.  I guess that proves I just ‘might be’ one of those “stiff-necked people” that God talks about.  I am sure those who know me would have no trouble believing this.

What has triggered this change for me you might ask?  Well, since you did ask…while reading a guest post by Andy Traub on Chris LoCurto’s Leadership and Business blog  I learned about his book Early To Rise: Learn to rise early in 30 days.  He was also giving away a free copy.  The title of the book intrigued me.  His post and thoughts validated, reinforced, and reiterated what I had been told many times before.  I did not win a copy of his book but bought my own copy a few days (actually 3 weeks in people time) later and decided it was time to take action on what I have known and have been told for years. So the book was not ‘the’ reason I decided to make this change.  It was a culmination of what I had been told and really known for years.  The book was just the trigger or catalyst or “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

So that is how I got to where I am today with this new discipline I am trying to cultivate into a habit.  It is still a work in progress as am I and there are still kinks to be worked out but I “finally” believe it is a discipline that is worthy of pursuit. Maybe I am getting wiser too.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 03/09/2013

A Peculiar Perspective begins!

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailWelcome to my blog called Peculiar Perspective.  More about the title I chose in a moment.

“THE END!”  This is how Zig Ziglar begins his most published and read book, which also happens to be my favorite See You At The Top.  This was an effective and attention grabbing way to start this book, which gave me a new perspective on life and changed my life for the better.  I am glad I didn’t stop reading there.

Steven Covey tells us in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to

“Begin with the end in mind” and “Seek first to understand, Then to be understood.”

His points are valid when taken in the context they are given.

I understand the points these authors are making in their books but if interpreted or used in the wrong way, or just taken out of context, one could use these as excuses for never getting started whether that be in writing a blog, changing jobs, exercising more, losing weight or running for president.  I have been doing that for too long in regards to writing and that has delayed the debut of this blog but that ends today!

(Wait for applause here…)

Thank you, thank you.  Please be seated.  Thank you for that warm welcome to the blogoshpere. 🙂

Peculiar by definition means odd, strange, weird, unusual, irregular, abnormal, unconventional, curious, or atypical, to name a few synonyms.  I have been referred to as all of the above at one time or another.  Some have told me I have a warped sense of humor.  I don’t understand that.  To me everyone else is warped and I am normal.  God called the Israelites a “peculiar people”.  He also called them “stiff-necked” (or stubborn) on multiple occasions but I will not go there right now.

Perspective is just someone, anyone’s viewpoint, outlook, perception or point of view.  Everyone has one of these and since everyone includes me, I do too.

Peculiar Perspective is what I chose as my blog title since I am a peculiar person, either by God’s or man’s definition, and I do have a perspective or point of view.  I am of the belief that my peculiar perspective on things is similar to many others and really is not peculiar at all but is what was known in an earlier time as common sense.  As this blog develops over time this theory will either be validated or disproved.  Time will tell.

I really do not know what this blog is going to look like as it develops.  I have a lot of ideas rattling around in my brain and this may take many different directions before it becomes focused or it may never become focused on one theme or topic.  I have been on this earth for a little over half a century (that sounds like a long time when quantified that way) so I have many experiences and lessons learned that should be appropriate, interesting and helpful to someone.

I am also not going to try to pin down a specific frequency for new posts.  I expect it will be weekly or maybe 2-3 times a week to start and then will be adjusted based on how that goes.

Jeff Goins says in You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One),

“You don’t have to have it all figured out yet. You just need to begin. You’ll figure out the rest as you go.”

That is what I am doing, beginning and figuring it out as I go.

Jon Acuff says in his new book START: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters ,

“the only line that you can control is the START line.”

Zig Ziglar often said, 

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

That doesn’t mean my blog is going to be great.  That is my intention.  However, I will never know unless I start.

So, I am starting right now, right here, today.  No more questions to get answered, books or blogs to read on writing or blogging, over-analysis of whether I should or should not write and what I should or should not write about.  No more trying to make it “perfect” before I publish it.  My delaying tactics are done.  This blog has begun.  Hey, that rhymes. 🙂

Thank you for joining me on this journey into odd logic, or common sense, from a somewhat atypical angle.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 03/08/2013