Category Archives: Competition

Bellefontaine Vs. Urbana

One experience I had that has stuck with me, I believe, is based on the invisible connectivity of humans.  It’s also part of the whole competitive paradigm.  Let me explain. Bellefontaine and Urbana were arch rivals.  From the first games I remember playing in Junior High – those that had competition outside the city, Urbana was our fiercest foe.  We were well-matched, too. Towns were less than 20 miles apart. Social patterns were the same. Anyway, our basketball team won the district championship, and our trip to the regional event took us directly through Urbana.  When we got there, all the lights changed to flashing, a police cruiser escorted us … Continue reading

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NCAA Pun Champions

Charles and I first met at the Dalai’s abode.  Within the first several minutes, Chuck and I found ourselves deep in a punning exchange. I think it was about cameras (a topic that “lens” itself to puns), but over the years, the range has been wide, and as you can imagine, golfing can provide many opportunities. After all, isn’t it a “fairway” to pass the time? Anyway, the Dalai refrains from punning. But, he enjoys it and smiles. Dalai smiles a lot. Next: What you can learn, when you play against someone you can’t beat.

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GTWSOH and You Can’t Beat That!

Charles, more than the Dalai, and I had a competitive streak. The Dalai played the course, of course, except when he “had to” grind. Anyway, since the Dalai was typically a stroke or more better per hole than Chuck and I (even if we scrambled), we had to devise ways to compete against the Dalai.  Chuck and I had our own competitive nature outside of golfing, mostly in the confines of a racquetball court. At one point, we developed a set of rules intended to make sure “we” had an advantage over the Dalai.  Some of it was so foreign to the Dalai’s nature, that he had no choice but … Continue reading

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Thunderbirds from the Tee

One “event” that the Dalai, Chuck and I used to play was on a particular Par 5, which had a wide open fairway was the “Thunderbirds from the Tee.” Somewhere in the Dalai’s past, he had a passion to fly airplanes (not many people know that about the Lama).  He, I believe, actually had his license at one point.  But, I think the Dalai’s golf fanaticism only allowed him enough time for one focus (kind of a meditation).  However, I do see the single-focus meditation applying to both those avocations. Anyway, on the 14th hole, the three of us would tee it up together. Lined up in the center of … Continue reading

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Practice Church

Golf is the only sport I can think of that you can get better without practice. For instance, over the winter, when I’m not playing, just thinking about golf, watching it on T.V., and talking about it with others, has led to a better first time out of the box round. However, once that initial flow is over, then the golf mythos comes to be.  Practice, like going to church for some (get the dichotomy there?), takes us through the cycle.  Many of us need church to center us, so we can go back out into the world the rest of the week. Practicing golf prepares us for the round … Continue reading

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Putting is a “Feel”

When I putt, I try not to think of too much. In fact, the more I think, the worse I putt.  To me, it’s all about being comfortable. Heck, I don’t even really like to read the green much, or think about speed, or even worry where the water is (how the ball will turn towards it, I’m told). Nope, it’s all feel. Kind of like Chevy Chase on Caddy Shack. Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na. At one point, Dalai, Chuck and I would carry a Video Recorder (Beta) with us on the course.  It was fun reviewing the footage afterwards, plus giving commentary during the round.  Dalai would use it as an analysis … Continue reading

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Running One-Club

Golf is who you play and where you play – not the score. If you’re with friends and having fun, either the score will come, or you won’t care. At one point, when we were in shape, the Dalai Lama, our friend Charles, and I played “Running  One-Club.”  We’d choose a club, only one (and you had to putt with it), then jog around the course. Some interesting tid-bits – you needed to be careful about the club.  For instance, the Par 3 16th was about 185 over water.  Of course, you could play it to the right, if you wanted, but Par 3’s, of course, were opportunities to score. … Continue reading

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Competitive Nature of Golf

More on the differences in the competitive nature of the sports – one thing that I always found satisfying was recognizing how your body would move, sometimes reacting without your thinking, in basketball. Those were the best moves. Once, playing with my friend Brian Brady, I found a zone is basketball, at an outdoor court in Blue Ash. Making consecutive shots from the foul line, three point, half court, then three-quarter court. All while being watched by two guys about to play us two-on-two.  Fun stuff. With golf, at one point, trying to recreate the reactionary environment, I insisted on chatter when I was swinging. Of course, that’s a real … Continue reading

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The Art of Competition

People have always considered me a competitive person – maybe partly because of my athletic background (college baseball and gym rat for many years).  But, in particular, with both of those situations, competing never played a part. In baseball, for instance, being on the mound and performing – the art of pitching – was why I was there. Yes, I wanted to win, but I remember games I lost 1-0 and 2-1 that stand out. In basketball, the workout and the camaraderie were the main reasons to be involved. However, golf was different – it was an experience of being outdoors and being with the Dalai Lama. I was never … Continue reading

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