Kind, but no hero.

May 10, 2010

By Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO @ NYCA

I received this article from several associates. They know I am interested in integrity and golf so, in Avatar lexicon, thanks for “seeing me.”

This is the story of two collegiate golfers going into the playoffs; the winner would get into Nationals. One of the players was already going to the finals because his team had won. The other, though he’d had a wonderful golf career, had never gotten to the finals, and being a senior, this would be his last chance. The story tells how the player who was already going to the finals intentionally hit his tee shot out of bounds by 40 yards, suffering a penalty, and the other player went on to win the hole and get into the finals.

The Giving Trees by Terrance Osborne

I think my response to the article surprised the people who sent it to me. Here it is. I’d love to know what you think.

In my estimation, the player who purposely lost made it too obvious by hitting the ball out of bounds by 40 yards. My issue is one of intention. Hitting the ball so far off line brings attention to himself and his act, and so the gift is about the giver not the receiver. It’s like keeping the price tag on the present for all at the party to see one’s generosity.

The player could have simply three-putted to make it appear that the other guy won. This way the winner gets the pride of victory instead of knowing he was given charity. With this approach no one but the “giving” player would have known. That would take courage, humility and grace and would have earned my deep respect and gotten him no glory.

Imagine being the player who performed this act in such a selfless way, reading in the sports section, if it even made it being so mundane, how he blew it on the payoff hole. What a joyous story that would be!