“Live” from The Masters 2017…(Part 2 – Big Decision) Par 5

I would hazard a guess that many of you who are forty or older, remember—as do I—the voice of legendary radio newscaster Paul Harvey and his booming basso voice coming through the speaker to announce his noonday broadcast with a welcoming “Hello Americans, this is Paul Harvey and THIS is ‘the rest of the story’.”  Having listened to Mr. Harvey for many years and getting a feel for the stories he relished to cover…

April 6, 2017 AUGUSTA Dustin Johnson walks off the 1st tee after deciding not to play in the opening round of the 81st Masters tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club, Thursday April 6, 2017. Johnson was reportedly injured Wednesday afternoon at his residence. BRANT SANDERLIN / SPECIAL


…I am confident he would have been delighted to share “the rest of the story” of “The Dilemma” Dustin Johnson faced and “The Decision” he made regarding his participation in this year’s Masters tournament.

Some time has now passed since Johnson made the big and agonizing decision to withdraw from competition for this year’s Masters. Made in a fairly short, yet orderly manner, it brought to light the tremendous growth and maturity that has accrued in his life and career since his return to playing status in January 2015 following a 6 month self imposed hiatus from golf for “personal reasons.”

Golf and life are reflective sports. I was super-impressed with the patience and thoroughness with which he “reflected” on his options prior to making his decision. Not only was he thorough and patient, he sought help both physical and advisory.  In essence, whether we concede to the term or not, he applied a team approach to dealing with a decision with potentially life altering consequences and as a result came out with a well reasoned decision.

While potentially costly in the short term—remember, the winners share of the purse was just $20,000 short of $2,000,000, and, he was on a roll, having won the last three tournaments he entered—I am confident that his decision—long term focused as it was—will net him significantly greater dividends throughout the rest of his career for his body, his family, and his financial wellbeing.

Way To go Dustin, way to go.


Food for thought –

I could not help but take a moment to reflect on another set of questions Johnson’s approach brought “front and center” to my attention—questions I wrestle with when faced with significant (Big) decisions in my life:

  • Do I opt for immediate gratification, regardless of the consequences, or do I keep the bigger picture in mind? What are my priorities?
  • What are the potential impact and consequences of my decision—near and long term?
  • When faced with big decisions do I adopt a team approach in dealing with the situation or do I CHOOSE to go it alone.
  • DO I HAVE A TEAM of trusted advisors to help me make well-advised decisions—including My Maker— or will I HAVE NO CHOICE but to “go it alone”?
  • And finally, if I have a group of trusted advisor’s, do they know who they are and the role they play in my life?

How about you? Do you have answers to these questions? Have you positioned yourself to be Reflective (reasoned) or Responsive (rushed)?


Editors thoughts on this blog:

When Suzanne—my wife, partner and editor of each blog I publish—read the above piece her initial response was, “…I hate this piece!” But later, after further reflection on why she experienced her initial reaction, she said, “…I came to the conclusion that my negative response was generated by the let down of NO FAIRYTALE ENDING or BIG HAPPY FINISH.

In essence, what she was not saying, but what I heard her say was, “…I expected some ZING and all I got was a flat, mundane, boringly responsible decision. Perhaps I wanted more ROMANCE or EXCITEMENT from the moment. My mind was shouting—you mean that’s it? Where is the BIG BANG FINISH? After the big build up in your last blog, I expected a big finish in this piece and you (Larry) left me with a deflated balloon. You let me down.”

Her observation was fair and directly on point. Doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason does not guarantee immediate satisfaction!  Just ask Mr. Johnson.  During his post decision press interview Dustin was asked how he felt about his decision. His response was:

“…It sucks, I really wanted to play. I am playing at the peak of my game and this just sucks.”

This episode brought forcefully home to me the reality that from time to time, whether in the dark of night behind closed doors, under the glaring lights of a global press, or anywhere between those extremes, we are all confronted with making Big Decisions which—in the moment—are not necessarily gratifying. We still, of necessity, get to make those “Big Kid” decisions.

In my mind and heart that makes Dustin’s decision even more admirable. He let wisdom prevail in spite of his feelings. That to me is a victory that deserves our applause.

It takes a “big kid” to make “Big Kid Decisions.”  Thanks for providing a great example Dustin.        

4 responses to this post.

  1. I am loving this (sorry Suzanne) because this is a real life example of something I really want my kids to grab hold of. I will be telling this story to them.


  2. Jan – Thanks for seeing what I was so moved to share.


  3. Posted by Rudolf Hebling on April 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Balanced and Reflective….. nice counterpoint from Suzanne.

    Rudi >


  4. Thanks Rudi.


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