Ethics Whisperer

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Golf and Ethics

I think I am in a good position to comment on the much hypothesized link between golf and ethics. There is no such link. It is total poppycock. Shivas Irons - nice try and you did sell some books. You are as likely to meet a cheating scumbag on the golf course as you are in your the investment banking interest group of the Young Presidents Organization. In fact, you will meet many of the same folks. That does not mean that young people can not learn something about ethics from golf; they just can not learn to BE ethical. I have played golf for more than 50 years and practiced ethics for 36 years. I learned the most about ethics from golf between the ages of 12 and 16. At this age, I weighed 90 pounds max and grew to the startling height of 5 feet, five inches. I played a muni called Sylvan Heights that was run by the city and populated by blue collar golfers, my dad (a certifiable golf nut), hoods, my high school golf team, professional gamblers - amongst others. I played golf everyday of the short summer with anyone who would play with me. I was a very good golfer and a fantastic golfer for my munchkin-like size. And I gambled with everyone because that is what golfers do to add fun to the game. Once I had a guy named "Beak" Mirani down $3,000 and I learned fast that winning too much can be dangerous- especially if you take advantage of someone else's gullibility - Beak did not believe that such a little spud could be so good and so mean at the same time. I learned a lot of other things. I played golf with a guy who married vulnerable women for their money. I played with a woman who sought rich men for the same reason. I learned how adults think and act and I have carried the lessons with me to this day. Did I learn to be ethical? No. I learned to be tougher than anyone who thinks I treated them unethically. Now to my golfer friends, I do not wish to offend thee. But to pretend you are engaged in a mystical activity when you are really only contributing to chiropractic is silly business. I did learn about ethics at some point I hope but not from golf.

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