I was out shooting a few practice rounds of golf on the course last weekend, and I suddenly stared at the little white ball in a new way. Rather than seeing it as a target to be aimed, I began thinking about what a relaxing game this is, even in the midst of some pretty heated competitive tournament play. And when I send it soaring in the air, all the stresses of the day seem to fly away with it.
Spring means the return to all the local charity golf tournaments that I so greatly enjoy. In fact our team, Team Bulldog, is always delighted to support the charities and causes for our community.
So far in our early Spring, we’ve enjoyed playing the Robert Trent Jones designed course at beautiful Miramont Country Club to benefit the Boys & Girls Club. The beautiful new Newman-Adam Boys & Girls Club Unit of the Boys & Girls Club of the Brazos Valley is well under construction and on its way to helping the children in our community who will greatly benefit from all the positive experiences the life-changing opportunities they’ll have.
The following week, we played the great course at Traditions to benefit the Brazos Valley Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Click here to learn more about this great organization and what they do here. Next was the Gary Blair Tournament to raise funds for Coach Blair Charities, one of which is Special Olympics. Coach Blair started this nonprofit when he arrived at Texas A&M in 2003.
By participating in these tournaments, many of us on Team Bulldog get an opportunity to see some of our best friends that we don’t see every day. We also compete for all-important bragging rights—that last only until the next tourney.
It’s a chance for sons and daughters of first- and second-generation local business owners to meet, visit, and stay in touch. Over the years, our parents played in these contests and now it’s our turn. It has been the seniors among our local business owners who have served as our mentors, our judges as to how we’re doing, and to be the ones who recommend us for roles to serve in local volunteer organizations, such as the Bryan Rotary Club.
Golf is a game of patience; it requires much practice to keep up your skills, and in the end, the path and trajectory that little white ball takes makes or breaks our spirits of competition.
Chelsea seems to love it when I play golf—she gets plenty of time to be with her best friends, so she’s always very encouraging!
My Dad loved the game of golf and he was good at it. His attitude towards the game was always positive. If he muffed a shot, the next one was bound to be spectacular! That’s how he was encouraging our soccer team, too; we always, always wanted to win, and he was all about playing to win. He also said to be graceful in defeat because when you win the next game, you’re still going up against the same people. Part of competition is learning how to win, and how to lose, but most win! He had a good sense of humor.
Another lesson was to be patient, both with yourself and with others. A golf game often takes a lifetime to build, at least to perfect, and if you don’t enjoy the journey to getting to your best game, it’s best to take up another sport, or just watching a sport.
Play with people better than yourself. Now if you are the best golfer you know, check this box and know you’re the best. I don’t know anyone who can do that because you’re only the best one week and one game at a time. That’s another life lesson from my Dad. Victory is only temporary, and so is defeat. Each game is a fresh new chance to compete.
When you play in tournaments, there is going to be a full year between chances to retain or regain the championship trophy. This is a better kind of competition as you have a chance to measure, compare, shore up where you need work on your game, and to invest time in getting better and perhaps adding a new team member if other responsibilities take a current member out of play often. Always have a “fourth” or “fifth” backup in mind in preparing for competition play.
Another lesson was to appreciate your teammates for all they bring to the game for you. There may be a need to shift team members when people move out of town or have schedules that change due to work duties. This is where you get to be flexible and calm as you bring new teammates in. Make them feel at home quickly.
Finally, be grateful there’s a sport like golf where you have something to hit at the end of a long day or a tough week— it’s a great relief to hit something and make it fly through the air and not be destructive, ha. In all hobbies and sports, the purpose is to have fun, and if you find a way to have fun in everything you do, it’s never work. Happy golfing!
Cody D. Jones ’02