One of the weirdest phone calls
I received in my temporary career as a city manager was a distraught golfer. It was late on a lazy Sunday afternoon in April. “I am so mad at you,” the caller complained. “A man had a heart attack on the sixteenth fairway of the city golf course, and it stopped play for 45 minutes.”
“Sir,” I responded, “do you know that the man died?”
“That’s my point. If he had been declared a fairway hazard, we could have played around him. He was dead!”
On the surface, golf looks like a lot of time. There you are in a picturesque setting with your best friends enjoying the whimsical pleasure of knocking a little white ball into a hole with a colorful flag sticking out of it. Below the surface, however, golf is a game that tests one’s patience, emotional equilibrium, inner strength, and ethical core. Such tests tend to reveal serious and profound personal flaws. That is the dark side of golf. Watching someone confronting his own weaknesses and inadequacies in public with a club in his hands is often not a pretty sight.