Friday, December 9, 2011


December 9, 2011

It’s a term all golfers are familiar with.  You’re playing with friends and find yourself kicking the ball along what looked to be a hole you could pencil in a reasonable number.  Fifteen minutes later your ball rests within the leather and your cohorts utter the term “It’s Good”.  Immediately you are overcome with a barrage of mixed emotions.  First relief…that the party hole is over…next the frustration with your game sets in and you question every element of your swing…finally you embrace the words that have given you a new lease on the game. 

These two simple words have become a staple in the lexicon of the game.  They have given hope to the everyday player that the game can go on and even at the highest level “it’s good” has been known to ease the pain of the game.  We all remember the late Payne Stewart’s historic gesture when declaring Colin Montgomerie’s twenty foot putt to win their match “good” once the 1999 Ryder Cup had been decided, taking the raucous crowd’s attention away from Montgomerie and placing it more appropriately on the reverence and traditions of the game.  A hand shake ensued and the game was preserved.

Recently, the “goodness” of the game again found its way into my life…and in a way that many experience every day.  Each year I make an effort to find and study exceptional golf...sometimes in places we are all familiar with and at other times simply within the landscape that surrounds our everyday life.  This year offered an exciting opportunity.  My father-in-law was celebrating his 70th birthday.  He has been a lifelong golfer, more avid in his retirement years, a club player, but not one to travel to the special courses of the world.  As a gift, my brothers-in-law and I brought him to Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, a Pete Dye gem set along the banks of Lake Michigan best known as the host course for recent PGA Championships.  The trip provided great inspiration for me artistically, but more importantly gave my father-in-law an unforgettable experience.  That experience was not only driven by the holes we played, but by the beautiful ever-present now!  It became an event in our lives where even the leaves strewn across the bridges we crossed seemed to be falling into place.


Walking along the fairways and trying to unravel the strategic battlefield laid out in front of us gave us pause.  We were faced with an uncommon thousands of sand hazards as well as a distracting view to the expanses of Lake Michigan.  How do we honor these places, these accomplishments...we play.  And we played.  As we approached our last putts on the last day there seemed to be only two words to concisely summarize the moment…and as I remember it we all pocketed our balls and uttered a resounding
“It’s Good” ….and it was Good.