I am thankful for the great game we love, the only game truly worthy of us human beings, a game that tests us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I am thankful for the all the extraordinary topographies on all the lands across God’s great world: the shore lines, the marshlands, the forests, the plains, the deserts, the foothills, the mountains.
I am thankful for all the golf course architects who look at those lands and see a masterpiece, somehow reduce the vision to a routing on paper, speak their vision to life though others and then polish it with the real-time eye of an artist.
I am thankful for all the masters on bulldozers who can tame 500 horsepower to shape the land to be as aesthetically pleasing as a fender on a classic car.
I am thankful for the investors who saw the opportunity and risked real money, sometimes a lot of it, to bring the creation into existence.
I am thankful for all the superintendents who worry incessantly about their babies, see details none of us see and coax their crews to provide the best playing conditions they can.
I am thankful for all of the reliable grounds crews who start work before dawn to give us pristine courses to play on each day.
I am thankful for all the guys who set the range, pick the balls, wash the balls and set the range again…and again.
I am thankful for all of the cart barn guys who set them up, roll them out, wish us well, welcome us back, clean them out, hose them off and charge them up again.
I am thankful for all the professionals and assistants who work so hard to process the incessant stream that flows through the shop doors each day.
I am thankful for all the starters whose tact and ability to juggle change-on-the-fly gets us on our way without having to negotiate for our place on the tee.
I am thankful for all the teaching professionals who invested so much in themselves that they are able to bring excitement and accomplishment to curious newcomers, polish to the experienced, another level to experts and nuance to tour pros.
I am thankful for all the students who trusted the coaches, invested themselves in the play and practice of the game, fell in love with it and made it bigger.
I am thankful for the thousands of amazing people I have played with over the years; the tour pros, the excellent players, the fun players, the earnest players, the athletes, the players who bring themselves fully to the game and to the moment, however they play.
I am thankful for all the warm, clear, still, to-die-for mornings…and all the cool, cloudy, blustery ones that help me appreciate the warm ones.
I am thankful to be able to witness the many shots of genius and wizardry that cause me to stop in wonder and celebration of whoever hit them.
I am thankful for the visual aesthetics of a towering, majestic tee shot and the crisp sound of a well-struck iron headed straight for the flag.
I am thankful for the artist’s eye in each of us that allows us to see the meandering, subtle breaks on a green and then somehow putt a ball on the exact line at the precise speed to match that imagery in our mind’s eye.
I am thankful for the wonder of all the wildlife we see on our playgrounds and the immediate connection they provide to our higher selves.
I am thankful for the contrast between fine white sand and lush green grass.
I am thankful for enveloping forests that you can’t see through and swaying marsh grasses no one walks on.
I am thankful for the grandeur, excitement and drama of elevated tees.
I am thankful for those parts of me that get called upon in the face of the challenge–and success–of a great shot.
I am thankful for the lessons in grace all the bad shots provide.
I am thankful for the laboratory of self-discovery and mastery the game provides on every shot.
I am thankful for the history of the game, the traditions of the game, the honor and integrity in the game, the camaraderie in the game, the gathering with others in the glow of a great day.
I am thankful for all the masters of the game who came before us and generously chose to share their hard-earned knowledge and wisdom.
And finally, I’m thankful that I get to be one of the millions of people who get to play this wonderful game.