Greg Lee, my golf instruction pro at Chicopee Woods Golf Course in Gainesville, Georgia has given many lessons, to me and other golfers. Yet I’m sure he gave his best lesson ever when he played in the PGA Professional National Championship in California a few days ago. The lesson:
Don’t quit, no matter how poorly you started.
Greg’s first nine holes in the tournament were dismal, by professional standards. He scored 42, six over par. Some other pros would have thought “Might as well quit now. I won’t have any chance to make the 36 hole cut.” Some might have claimed they had an injury or illness, and requested permission to withdraw.
But not Greg. For his second nine holes, he shot 34, two under par. His 18 hole total of 76 was far from what he had expected. However, his comeback had started on the tenth hole.
Second round: 70, two under par. After his awful opening nine, he had played the next 27 holes in four under par.
Miraculously, Greg made the 36 hole cut. At the end of the four round tournament, he tied for 40th place. As he walked off the 72nd hole, which he birdied, he was summoned to a TV interview, which many of his friends saw. Who would have expected that prominent recognition after round one?
Yes, I consider Greg’s comeback a grand lesson for every one of us, whatever we do professionally. A bad start doesn’t have to determine the outcome. We can recover, and perform at the skill level we’re accustomed to. You can bet I’ll include Greg’s courageous story in my motivational speeches.
Have you overcome a bad start in an important venture? Want to tell us about it? Greg and I invite you to share your story in the Comments section.
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