A college teammate sent me an e-mail — one of those reminder lists about life choices. I usually delete those immediately, but I opened it, and one of the nuggets was: “Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.”
Last week CBS announcer Ian Baker-Finch returned to competitive golf after an eight-year hiatus, marking the 20th anniversary of his first PGA Tour win, which was at Colonial. He’s one of those players (myself included) who tried to be too perfect, fix a game that wasn’t broken and beat balls until injuries became more numerous than birdies. In the process golf became a demon. Like Ian, I have the good fortune to still be around this demon we love, talking about the principles of the game that we know to be true through our own good and bad experiences.
I’ve worked with Ian, hung out with his family and played golf with him. You’d think that someone (a major champion, no less) chased away from the game at 34 might be sour or hung up on “what could have been.” Not Ian. He has never let his golf struggles affect his real life. Everyone has offered the guy a solution to his competitive woes, and many had high hopes when Finchy opened with a 68 last Thursday. The driver got the best of him on Friday and he shot a score 10 strokes higher, but that didn’t matter. He had the guts to show up, and as he said in a text on Friday, “I buried a lot of demons yesterday.”
In the record books it’ll be a missed cut, but on the life list it’ll show that he made the most of it.