The Price of Greatness May 8, 2010Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Fiction, Humor, People.
Tags: Fiction, Golf, Short Story, St. Andrews, Winston Churchill
Quotes come in all shapes and sizes. Some are inspirational or motivational; others are humorous or sarcastic.
Let’s look, by way of example, at an oft-quoted quote:
The price of greatness is responsibility. ~ Winston Churchill
While many people are familiar with this quote, few are aware that Churchill uttered these words while speaking at St. Andrews during the 287th Annual Golfing Greats Banquet. Here, after meticulous research on my part, is the rest of Churchill’s speech from that auspicious occasion:
Of course, as soon as you step off the course, you are, at best, merely adequate human beings.
Applause and laughter quickly filled the room, fueled by the liquid libations being quaffed by the Golfing Greats in attendance.
After a swig of his own drink, Churchill continued:
As many of you undoubtedly realize, there are parallels between drinking and driving . . . as well as drinking and putting.
Just as drinking is a privilege which should be pursued in moderation, so too with golf. Please keep it on the course. Don’t wander around cocktail parties inanely sharing that on the final nine you shot, and I quote, “bogey ~ bogey ~ par ~ par ~ eagle ~ bogey ~ hole in one . . ..”
If you want the Prime Minister of Great Britain to admire your score, please enclose your unadulterated score card in your next written correspondence to him.
Loud guffaws, and embarrassed chuckles, as people recognized other golfers, or themselves, in Churchill’s commentary.
Similarly, just as you have been admonished, by civilian and barrister alike, to “drink responsibly,” I am here to remind you that, as golfers in the upper echelon of the sport, you should always golf responsibly.
Second: It is poor sportsmanship, and even poorer etiquette, to laugh, snicker, point fingers, or otherwise call attention to the less proficient golfers in your foursome . . . no matter how many times they slice, dice, or wedge the ball.
Third: Never wrap your golf club around a tree in a fit of anger or pique . . . no matter how poorly ”it” has performed its intended function on the hole in question.
Every truly great golfer, even the most frugal Scot, has a concommitant responsibility to spring for the Scotch after a great day on the links.
With that, Churchill drained his glass, paused to light a cigar, and concluded, “The price of greatness is responsibility.”