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Calvin Peete’s Lesson

Former professional golfer Calvin Peete passed away last week at the age of 71. Legacy.com listed the details of his life in his obituary.

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Peete won 12 tournaments on the PGA tour and was known specifically for his accuracy. He was also on two Ryder Cup teams.

I am writing about him in the blog because, more impressive than his skills in golf was his tenacity to overcome and to compete.

He was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1943. He began to make money for his family by picking beans and corn in the fields of Florida. He eventually bought a station wagon to sell vegetables to migrant workers.

Initially, he had no interest in golf because he didn’t like being out in the hot sun. Then, he became interested when he learned how much money golfers were making. He began playing at age 24. Within six months he was shooting in the 80’s and a year later he was regularly shooting under par.

As a kid, he had fallen out of a tree and broken his left arm. As a result, he could not fully extend it because it had never properly been set . So, on his swings, he had to compensate. That caused him to swing differently than other golfers. He practiced and developed a repeatable swing that regularly put him in the fairway.

He didn’t look at his left arm as a limitation. Instead, he viewed it as a benefit. He said that, “Some of the players drive farther than I do, but I’m always in the fairway and they’re sometimes in the trees”.

He was known for his positive attitude on the tour. As he put it when discussing golf, “I love this game”, he said in a NY Times profile. “You’re out in the fresh air and you can meet good people, like the President of the United States. I once played a round of golf with President Ford, and you have a chance to make $400,000 a year”.

Calvin Peete is a reminder of tenacity; not being effected by something that others would view as a hindrance or an excuse; and, most importantly, the consistency of just staying in the fairway. The fundamentals of life!

And for pic o’ day… another crazy cat.

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