• Alistair Tait

Battling the fairways of life

Maybe we’re too fixated on trophies, major victories, tournament wins, Ryder and Solheim Cup appearances when it comes to golf's biggest stars. If the last two days have taught us anything, it’s not what happens on the fairways that really counts, but the battles won off it that truly matter.

How do we measure an individual’s true worth without looking at the golf record books? That might be the pertinent question.

As Tiger Woods lay in a Los Angeles hospital bed “lucky to be alive” after a horrific car accident, social media was awash with all sorts of theories about why it happened, and when/if he would return to the fairways.

There were even those speculating on if whether he will win again, whether he’ll play in the Masters.



Who cares about that right now?

It was left to saner voices to remind people that what matters most is Tiger’s health and wellbeing, his children and what they were going through right now.

As Ron Green Jr. put it so poignantly on Global Golf Post,

“Literally and figuratively, Tiger Woods only comes along once and we’ve been blessed to watch him, to stand awestruck by the shots he hit, the putts he made, the ways he won.
“Woods has reshaped the game’s story and his legacy will be his achievements but he’s also a son, a father, a leader, a person whose life transcends the game he plays and, despite the enormity of his accomplishments, is just as human as the rest of us.
The Masters in April isn’t a priority now. It’s whether Woods can recover from the injuries he sustained to regain his quality of life.”

No end of players sent thoughts, well wishes, prayer emojis. They had no cares about Tiger getting back between the ropes, just about getting back on his feet, back to his family, getting on with his life. The really important stuff when compared to hitting a wee white ball.

Madelene Sagström knows just how insignificant chasing that white orb really is in the grand scheme of life. She has yet to win on the LPGA Tour, but just the fact she’s actually on the world’s best circuit is a testament to the biggest triumph of her life: overcoming sexual abuse at the age of seven. As I wrote yesterday, her greatest triumph will be in convincing others to come forward and get help if they’ve had similar experiences. That’s a far nobler and worthwhile victory than picking up a piece of silver, or even earning a nice fat cheque.

Tiger’s career will no doubt be measured by how many majors he wins, his PGA Tour victories, but perhaps his life should be judged by his comebacks from injury, from addiction, from mistakes in his personal life to become a better person, a better father. Those are far greater achievements than any conflict he’s been involved in between the gallery ropes.

Battling the fairways of life is what's really important. The golf stuff is just secondary.

#JustSaying: “Strive not to be a success, but to be of value.” Albert Einstein

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