Dr Rich Speaks in Tampa
Last week Dr Rich left the cold Northeast to coach and speak at a charity golf event, hosted by the Pink Dragon Ladies, an organization of breast cancer survivors devoting time to “sport and support.” It was inspiring to see their positive attitudes, camaraderie, and commitment to recovery for themselves and others. Dr Rich provided some doses of coaching on the putting green, and tried out my new “short version” Ted talk - the core message being that “your golf will improve when you play golf to be a better person and not just a better golfer.” After landing in Tampa, I had just enough time to stop at Temple Terrace Golf Course, since I wanted to share in some interesting and important golf history. Temple Terrace (now prt of Tampa) was planned and develop in the 1920s as a Mediterranean Revival golf course community (you can still see the homes). The city is named after William Chase Temple, who at the time owned the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was the first president of the Florida Citrus Exchange. The largest orange grove in the world, 5000 acres, surrounded the original development. During the Great Depression, the Floirida Bible Institute bought the original Temple Terrace Country Club clubhouse. Flash forward to 1937, when a young (age 19) bible college student, Billy Graham was struggling with finding his way. Billy was an avid golfer and knew the course well. One evening, perhaps inspired by the Beauty of the moonlight, the moss, the breeze, and (as he says) the golf course and the green, Billy heard “from above” his calling to preach - the rest is history. Billy remained a devoted golfer, sometimes criticized by his peers for missing church on Sunday, though he reminded them he was spending time in a holy place. Many of us have been had occasion to take up the same defense. And why not? When engaged as an art of self-discovery, the best challenges on the golf course can be psychologically and spiritually transformational.