At this year’s, 2012 British Open, the Golf Channel did a short feature on Brandt Snedeker.
He was leading the tournament after the second round. They introduced him with a story explaining the background of his great attitude and easy going manner.
Growing up, he worked the counter of his mother’s pawn shop in Nashville.
He would see one sad soul after another come in with their “treasures” hoping to score enough cash to get them through another day. It was a motley parade that came through the door. One day his dad caught him and his brother snickering about a particularly down and out character who had come in the store.
His father wouldn’t tolerate it.
He told them to shape up. He said just because someone was down and out didn’t mean they didn’t deserve respect. He told them that they didn’t know the man or his story. They didn’t know what had happened that lead him to be in such bad shape. His dad told them that one bad break in life and that could be anyone, even one of them. All of a sudden they had a new perspective, one that shaped the young Brandt for the rest of his life.
Now he lives the pampered life of a Pro golfer.
People rush to solve his and all the other golfer’s every need. It would only be natural to become aloof and jaded. But Brandt still maintains his humbleness and friendly, encouraging attitude toward others. He hasn’t changed a bit.
I saw it myself, it’s genuine.
Two years ago, on a quiet afternoon on the back of the driving range at Trump International in West Palm Beach, I ran into him. We were the only two back there and eventually we struck up a conversation. He was there practicing for a skills competition to be held over in Palm Beach the next day. As we talked I was impressed by how humble and down to Earth he was. After all this was one of the top 50 players in the world taking time to have some small talk with a stranger – who obviously couldn’t play golf a lick.
I’m glad I happened to be watching when they played that segment.
It’s always nice to see a little of the back story that helps shape the character of people who turn into champions. It’s nice to see that when a dad takes the time to explain, coach and admonish them when they need it…that sometimes those lessons stick. Sometimes those “Dad talks” can help shape a young person’s whole future.