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Flashback to one of the most significant Life Lessons in Golf

I stumbled upon this old post in my other blog:

Losing With Honor In the Game of Golf
March 31, 2009

I am proud of this 6 year old boy, Joaquin. Thanks to the game of golf, he has learned an important lesson in honesty and honor.

I cannot fully elaborate the details on this post as we are still awaiting the results of an inquiry on a recent event which took place.

In a nutshell, Joaquin did not win any honors in the latest tournament he joined. There was a clear winner in his class. That was Team Philippines teammate Alex Bernard Trinos who played so well for two days. As for Joaquin, he was edged out for the subsequent honors.

Day 1 of the tournament, other boys submitted incorrect scorecards. An investigation was made by tournament officials on the second day and swiftly as the rulebook dictates, disqualification was meted out to the players who submitted incorrect scorecards.

Alas, from the time the disqualification was declared to the time of the awarding ceremonies, magic began to take place. In a span of 30 minutes, the disqualification ruling was reversed and changed into a two stroke penalty.

The two stroke penalty to the player with an incorrect scorecard was a mere slap on the wrist and could not make up for Joaquin's deficit of at least 9 strokes (the number of strokes unrecorded in the incorrect scorecard). For those of you who are golfers, this conversion from a disqualification to a two stroke penalty is hardly heard of. It should always be an outright DQ.

Because of the incident, Joaquin and I had a great man-to-man talk at Jollibee Rockwell at the end of the day when we got back to Manila, about honesty and honor. A discussion I never expected to have with a 6 year old.

I told him about how proud I was for him being able to play his best and playing courageously against the sandtrap-ridden Canlubang North Course.

Most of all, I told him how proud I was for him having his honor intact and scoring honestly.

He may have lost the honors at the awarding ceremony, and did not have the chance to pose for a photo op onstage with a breakable glass trophy. What was more important was that he had his honor intact and that it was not in the least bit prone to be broken.

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