It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete, businessperson, actor or politician.
Brian Kilmeade, cohost of Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel, interviewed me and 90 other people for his new book, It’s How You Play The Game: The Powerful Sports Moments That Taught Lasting Values to America’s Finest. Kilmeade, author of the New York Times bestseller The Games Do Count, writes about how a defining moment in sports changed each individual’s life. Many talk about how the discipline and rules they learned on the field, prepared them to handle life and overcome adversity with dignity and sportsmanship.
Individuals featured include Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, Mia Hamm, Dorothy Hamill, Richard Nixon, Bob Dole, Gene Kelly, John Wayne, Simon Cowell, Jeff Immelt, Rush Limbaugh and many others.
My story starts on page 257 and goes back to when I was 15 years old playing in the St. Paul Open golf tournaments, which was one of the top tournaments in the country at the time.
I was having an incredible experience and was playing well when I reached the 18th hole. I looked up and saw 20,000 people – including my family and friends – standing there, watching me. It was a par five. I had a 2 iron in my hand, and I rimmed the cup for what could’ve been a double eagle. I couldn’t even see the ball. I just saw the crowd’s reaction, and I knew that something special had happened. When I got up there, I saw that the ball was just 10 inches from the cup. I couldn’t believe it. With all those people watching me, I didn’t want to seem like I had to think through a shot like that, so I just went for the tap-in, and I missed it.
I still think about that moment today. But it taught me a lesson that I still adhere to today: Never take anything for granted.