The Joy & Peace Of Phil vs. The Striving Of Tiger
April 14, 2010 by Matthew Gillogly
As I sat on my couch on Sunday, I was more curious to watch the contrasts of the golfers than I was rooting for any one golfer.
You see, having played golf for many years, been a golf professional, attended a number of Masters (and as a former member of the PGA of America) I carry a unique perspective to the game. Golf is the closest thing to watching life unfold in front of us in a sporting event as we can get. Other events are hard hitting, athletic based.
Golf is mental based and it is the only sport that stops and starts so many times. The mental side of the game is like nothing you can imagine. You hit a bad shot and the voices in your head start multiplying. You hit a good shot and you think you have it all figured out, only to whack it in the woods on the next swing. It is a solitary game that requires the player to be all alone. With very little input from a caddy. No coaching can go on during the round.
If you strive in golf, you are screwed. If you walk the course with joy and peace no matter what the outcome, then more often than not, you’ll have a good round.
This played out perfectly in the contrasts of Tiger vs. Phil.
For all of Tigers striving he ended his round, frustrated, alone and without a title. You could tell ‘team Tiger’ was still a one man show, trying to manipulated the outcome of our perceptions of him.
As Phil missed a put for birdie, he smiled. Snap hook it into the other fairway? Smile and give a thumbs up. Not have a shot? No problem, just enjoy the moment. Phil walked the course with love in his heart for the moment. His adversity of his wife’s and mothers breast cancer in the past 11 months a stairway to joy.
Tiger’s self imposed adversity, a ladder to the pits of loneliness and frustration.
I don’t know, nor does it matter, if Phil Mickleson is a believer. I have many friends in the golf business who know Phil personally and he has always walked with love in his heart for the fellow man. He is as you see him on the course.
Phil is a real person, with real issues and challenges. He is not afraid to share those emotions with others he does not know. He is a real person with real emotions. Tiger is still worried about his perception and legacy.
Phil was greeted by a throng of supporters when he walked off the 18th green. His family, his friends and the patrons of Augusta. People who have walked through life together with him, cheering him on, through thick and thin.
Tiger on the other hand, walked off the 18th green alone. His wife somewhere else, his mother no where to be seen. A broken man, still searching for the solutions to his problems all by himself.
Phil may never win another major, but it doesn’t matter. Tiger will gain the whole world. Phil will walk with joy and peace and love in his heart.
My take away from this Masters is simple. No matter if you are in the fairway or snap hooking it into the trees, walk with joy and peace and love in your heart.
Now that’s the gospel on display.