From the beginning it was drilled into me that a golf course was a place where character fully reveals itself -- both its strengths and its flaws. As a result, I learned early not only to fix my ball marks but also to congratulate an opponent on a good shot, avoid walking ahead of a player preparing to shoot, remain perfectly still when someone else was playing, and a score of other small courtesies that revealed, in my father's mind, one's abiding respect for the game.
The whole secret to mastering the game of golf - and this applies to the beginner as well as the pro - is to cultivate a mental approach to the game that will enable you to shrug off the bad days, keep patient and know in your heart that sooner or later you will be back on top.
Golf challenges you mentally at any age, and when you become my age, it's a challenge physically to try to make your game work as well as it ever did. That's close to impossible, but that doesn't keep you from trying to hit the ball where you used to hit it and make the putts you used to make all the time.
I would urge the government to allocate more funds toward fighting cancer. My own situation, it made me think. It made me think about the potential of dying. I wouldn't say I was scared. I'm more scared of how it will happen than of it happening. I'm not scared that I'm going to die. I think of how I'm going to die ... I don't want to linger. That scares me a little. The idea of lingering.
I guess most of us would rather not discuss cancer because we are all afraid we might be told we have it. It's hard for people to even say the word, and that's the first obstacle you have to overcome when you are diagnosed with the disease. I think once you understand a little more about it ... I don't mean it gets any easier ... but I think you give it more in-depth thought about how you're going to deal with it.
I was playing golf in Palm Springs and after a round I asked the waitress in a restaurant to bring me a glass of iced tea and lemonade. A lady sitting nearby heard me and asked the waitress to bring her a "Palmer," too. The name caught on and the beverage quickly spread around the country.