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The GrunkleGuru

Grunkle is a slang term for the thick rough on a golf course that I have been using for many years. Given my penchant for inaccurate tee balls, I have become a bit of a guru out of the thick stuff, hence the name. This is a site for my random thoughts about sports (espeically golf) and life in general. While nothing special, it will hopefully offer a break from the daily drudgery for both you and me.

December 22, 2005

Tradgedy Strikes The NFL

Word is coming across the wire that Tony Dungy's son has died at the age of 18. For those who don't know Tony is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. No other details are available at this time.

Forget about the football, my thoughts and prayers go out to the Dungy family as they deal with this tradgedy.

Parents should NEVER outlive their children. It's just not right.

December 16, 2005

It's Not About Golf ... Looking For Guidance

It’s funny how you cannot fight destiny. I remember back to high school when I would tutor fellow classmates in courses that I was having success in. Teachers would overhear how I was explaining a topic, and mention how I should consider teaching. I would just nod my head politely, while on the inside I would be mocking them. I had dreams, and goals, why would I ever want to be a teacher.

Then it was onto college where I remember where I majored in Sport Management with unknown aspirations. The one thing I do remember was that I actually enjoyed the opportunity to teach a subject for a day to my peers. It was different, and there was a feeling of accomplishment when I was told that people learned something they did not before.

After college I became a golf pro (not the touring kind), and during that time I really enjoyed my job, but now that I have had an opportunity to reflect back on that time in my life there were two things that I liked. The partying (of which I did too much), and the teaching. The feeling of satisfaction when a member would see their ball flight improve and their comprehension of the golf swing increase was a feeling that provided extreme satisfaction for me.

After that stint I went into the business world in various sales roles with varying degrees of success. Again, I found myself enjoying the experience not when I experienced the success of a sale, but rather the process of educating the client as to why they need to utilize the product or service I was offering. The opportunities that I had to speak to large groups were energizing. I found myself throwing my heart and soul into these educational programs.

But then I decided I needed to grow up. I went to graduate school and earned my MBA. It was during this time that I took a required personal development class. It was only pass / fail, but was probably the most important class that I took during the entire experience. I gained a better understanding of my personality, and with that knowledge comes power. It has helped me realize how I best handle situations, and what drives me to succeed. However, there was one aspect of the class that I had pushed aside until recently. One of the tests was designed to determine what your knowledge, skills, and abilities best suited you for. Ironically, 15 years after I was first told I should consider teaching, a computer printout told me that I might be successful as a teacher. I thought it was interesting, but just went about my life as a marketing manager, not giving it much thought.

Well, that was a few years ago, and life sure has changed. I went on to earn my MBA, I have become a respected voice in my industry, I got married, and my wife and I are blessed with a beautiful toddler who challenges me every day more then I ever could have imagined. But still with all that, there is something missing from my professional life. I have come to the conclusion that the part I like best about my job is that it gives me an opportunity to educate people. When I get to teach a seminar on our products, I look at it as a great challenge. I also have the opportunity to write articles, and teach classes on our more advanced products. So, I have reached a conclusion.
I want to be a teacher. I never would have thought about it until I sat back and looked at all I have done in my life, and what provided me the greatest challenge, but also the greatest sense of accomplishment. But now, here is the hard part.

How does one, who has no formal training as a teacher, get a job teaching? It seems like the same conundrum you see in business. You need to have experience to get a job, but you can’t get experience unless you have a job.

The one thing I do realize is that I want to teach in a college environment. It can be either at a college, university, or 2-year college. I just don’t think I have the make up to go the elementary or high school track.

So, is there anyone out there who can offer some advice on how to go about taking this next step in my life journey? I realize that sacrifice will be involved, but with everything I understand now, that is something that I am willing to make. I just need some guidance and advice.

Anyone? Anyone?

December 07, 2005

Rule of the Week - The Guru Gets Tripped Up

Once again, we find the Grunkle Guru in a situation where the rules are going to come into play.

In the middle of his round he finds himself with a 15 footer for birdie. After marking his ball and looking at the line from all possible angles he is confident of his read. Slightly uphill putt that will break about one cup to his left. This putt is in his wheelhouse, and he places the ball back on the green and picks up his mark with confidence. It is early in the morning and there is still some dew on the green.

As the Guru goes through his routine of looking at the ball and then back at the hole he notices a grain of sand right on his line about three feet away. While this particle might not have an effect on his putt, it has put doubt in his mind. He decides to remove the sand, as is his right.

He leans on his putter and bends down to remove the annoyance from his line, but since the green is still moist his putter slides on the green under the weight of the Guru. With the grace of a drunken sailor on his first shore leave in three months, the Guru stumbles around, twists, and falls to the ground in a heap of embarrassment. Suddenly he realizes that his foot struck his ball and has moved it.

With his face flush with humiliation, the Guru got up, dusted himself off and proceeded to replace the ball, and somehow manage to overcome the circumstances.

“Birdie” the Guru states as he strides to the hole to retrieve his ball.

“Actually,” says a smirking playing partner. “That was a par. You had a penalty stroke for moving your ball.”

“No I didn’t,” the Guru incredulously replies. “ I was removing a loose impediment from the green, and there is no penalty if the ball moves while conducting this action.”

The two stare at each other and decide to consult the rulebook.

Who was right?

If you guessed the Guru, you would be wrong this time. The Guru had the right rule in mind, but misinterpreted it. The waiver of the penalty stroke only happens if the movement is directly attributable to the removal of the loose impediment (example: a leaf falls on the ball, and in the process of removing it the ball moves). In this case the ball moved not because of the impediment, but rather due to the lack of coordination possessed by the Guru.

Nice par.