Subscribe to ThaWilsonBlock Magazine $2.99/mo

WilsonBlock1000 Radio

LIV Golf, Temptation and The Masters

It's not often a person has their day is made by 0600, but it's possible. I arrived at my weekly Hour of Power group fitness class to hear my friend share a story about his daughter, who happens to be my student. As we were warming up, he told me,  I asked her if she knew what this weekend was. She said, "Dad! Yes! It's Easter." I replied "of course." Before I could reframe the question, she said "well, it's also The Masters." I asked her, "How did you know that?" She replied "Anne talked about it in class and integrated it into a couple of our lessons too." I told him "this so awesome. You made my day."

Cheers to that! Day made at 6:00 on Day 2 of The Masters

It's true. There will be no "forgive me Father for I have sinned" on this one. I won't even apologize. In fact, I'm proud of the fact my sophomores are already picking up on Spirituality and Sports. My friend added, "see, she's listening." 

In the event I need to defend my curriculum to the Vice Principal of Academics, parents or student for that matter, here' but one example of Sports and Spirituality: Case Study—The Masters is relevant in RS 201: Sophomore Scripture.

In Matthew's Gospel, before Jesus begins His public ministry, He is baptized by John the Baptist. In the very next chapter he is tempted by Satan. We spend time with the same question: Why? Why does Jesus get baptized? Why is He tempted? In both actions, Jesus stands in solidarity with us. His baptism is a radical act of humility. Furthermore, every human faces temptation. Jesus understood the challenge of not giving in to sin. 

We discuss what the scripture reveals. In what particular ways was Jesus tempted? How did he avoid it? What does he do after the moral battle is finished? 

Following an assessment of the unit, my students said they would have like talk more about ways that we can overcome temptation. I was glad to read their input. I decided to spend a little more time with the topic, so I asked them to list three tactics for avoiding temptation on their own, We listed these on the board. 
I did the same....for multiple reasons. One, I taught ethics for close to twenty years and two, this afforded me the chance to talk about The Masters.

One of the hot topics at this year's Masters is the inclusion of players from the LIV tour.  I was amazed to see how many students were familiar with what it is and what it's about. For those who don't follow golf, I had a student explain to their peers what LIV is and why it's controversial. NB: I have a good number of enthusiastic golf fans in every section. They were happy to teach this topic! #lovethem!

These students gave enough context that I didn't really need to say much more for how and why LIV relates to temptation. I mentioned that I had recently read an article from The New Yorker that offered a case study. In "Sand Trap," by Zach Helfand writes

The enormous sums had a way of revealing priorities to the players themselves. Johnson told friends he had rebuffed LIV offers until he couldn't anymore. "A lot of guys say D.J. isn't smart—he's street smart," the golfer Davis Love III said. "He told me, 'I got to a number where I'm willing to take the consequences'." One day at East Lake, while practicing his chipping, Max Homa, a firm Tour loyalist, said that his strategy was to avoid temptation entirely. "I got an e-mail," he told me. He didn't read it. "I don't want to know. My wife told me if I got offered x she'd kill me if I said no."

I asked my students to analyze how both Dustin Johnson and Max Homa handled temptation. Both are real. Each man ends up on a different path in real time. How true in life. How true for all of us. I added, "you can follow each in The Masters. I love their games, respectively." This was an interesting way to further our discussion and understanding...and of course preach Masters.

Educators at Jesuit institutions are taught to use the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm. The IPP is a method that suggest that lessons begin with both context and experience. It is important that we meet young people where they are at. We ought to know their culture, their passions and priorities. In referencing that information and those experiences we can draw them in to engage, dialogue and learn. I would like to add that sometimes it's ok for the teacher to share their own. 

What I have found is that what I am enthusiastic about and what brings me joy doesn't alway go unnoticed. Especially when it comes to an event with history, culture, and beauty. Jim Nantz doesn't say it for nothing, "The Masters is a tradition unlike any other." I hope you're tempted to watch it.

Photo Credits
DJ and Phil
Max Homa




Show more