Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship Sunday. From his first Masters win in 1997and for years thereafter, Tiger enjoyed unprecedented hero worship. As his win list grew so did his legions of devoted followers. Yes, Tiger was our hero. And then he wasn’t.
The arc of his five year journey back to golf relevance is well documented. Personal scandal and health issues including four major back operations removed him from the game and from our favor. And his struggle to regain his game has been at times difficult to watch. But through perseverance, talent, herculean effort and a laser focus, Tiger has returned. And as the film clips and headlines reveal, he is our hero again.
So how then can we mere mortal golfers, us hackers, possibly find kinship with our hero?
After all, we share none of the attributes that make Tiger great.
Most of us will enter charity golf tournaments without victory even in our sights. We set the bar low- “just don’t let us be last”. We choose our foursome mates to share in the fun of playing an unwinnable game, and as we flail on the tees and toil in the bunkers, we’ll laugh at the occasional “whiff” and rejoice together in the rare birdie. Hopefully we’ll practice gratitude for the gift of standing on hallowed sod to pursue the game we both love and hate.
But mostly we enter these tournaments for the causes. In the course of a season our fees will help send high schoolers to college, help ease the pain of disease and support the hunt for their cures, help feed, house, employ, protect and otherwise improve the lives of the disadvantaged. Our presence in these tournaments will support the arts and animal welfare, preserve our precious places, build trails and fund our volunteer emergency services.
In their aggregate, these tournaments, and the weekend warriors who play in them, raise the quality of life for all of us.
So, who’s the hero now?
Everybody has a cause, at least one. In our lifetimes we will connect in one way or another with charities that have helped us or loved ones through difficult times, or have moved us by the work they do for others.
One of mine is the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).
Alzheimer’s disease took my father and two aunts. I think it took something from my mother and me as well. As we all know, the condition ravages a victim’s brain, progressively robbing them of their memory, thinking abilities and body control. The eventual debilitation is complete, the outcome fatal. Alzheimer’s is devastating to sufferers, and family/caregivers alike.
The Alzheimer’s Association both funds research to find a cure for this horrific disease and offers support for Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families and caregivers.
There are three Walks to End Alzheimer’s coming up. The Berkshire Walk will be held next Saturday, Sept. 22nd at the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire, MA; the Litchfield Walk on Sunday, Sept. 23rd at White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, CT and the Dutchess/Ulster Walk on Oct. 20th at the Walkway Over the Hudson.
The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is approaching 6 million, so the odds are good you probably know someone who has been effected by it. Next weekend and shortly thereafter, you will have an opportunity to help. You can either join one of the Walks to End Alzheimer’s or make a donation to someone who is walking.
The course for Sunday’s Josh Billings Runaground has changed because the water leg of the triathlon has been moved to Richmond Pond. Go to joshbillings.com for details.
The date for the Sharon Fire Dept. Annual Golf Tournament at the Sharon Country Club has been changed to Tuesday, Sept. 18th.
The BLN 18th Annual Charity Golf Tournament has been postponed to October 1st at the Torrington Country Club.
The VNA Northwest Golf Tournament, which is usually held in September, will not be held this year.
We noted several weeks ago that the Steve Blass Golf Tournament will not be held this year but will return in full force next year.
And the Go! PDC, Go! 5K (Pediatric Development Center) , normally held in October has been discontinued .
There are 14 events going on this Saturday and Sunday, so visit the sportingAcause calendars to find yours.