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October 4th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Letters to the President #1354: 'A golf lesson'

Reporter's Note: President Obama is back to campaigning after his first debate last night with Mitt Romney.

Dear Mr. President,

I was watching a golf tournament the other day. Well, to be honest I just happened to walk by a TV showing a golf tournament and I stopped to check it out. In any event, at the very moment I looked at the screen, a gentleman was trying to get out of the deep rough. The ball was nestled in the high grass with tall trees hovering around, and he was trying to thread the needle by popping it back onto the fairway somewhere near the green.

He lined up, eyed the shot, and then with the smooth confidence of a true professional, he whacked it. For a brief moment he raised his eyes to his targeted landing area with a look of hope, then the ball slammed into a tree trunk and came firing back his way. By the time it stopped it looked as if it was a good forty feet behind where he had started.

I’ve seen this sort of thing a good many times in my life. Heck, I’ve done it myself.

Now, I’m no professional golfer so it’s no surprise when I wind up caroming a ball off of a tree, a house, a car, or even a wayward pedestrian. But when I watch the pros do it, I’m always surprised.

A friend of mine, who is a very good golfer, used to lose his temper… throwing clubs, cursing, carrying on like a crazy man… every time he hit such a shot. Then one spring, he didn't get upset anymore, and his game improved substantially. I asked him why. He said, “It occurred to me that everyone makes mistakes, even the pros. Sometimes we all hit bad shots. What matters is the next shot; how you recover.”

Just something you might want to think about as you storm back to the campaign trail.

I hope all is well. Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom

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