“In the deepest sense of the word, a friend is someone who sees more potential in you than you see in yourself, someone who helps you become the best version of yourself”
- Sheryl Sandburg
The importance of mentors in my life can not be understated. I believe that I owe my many of my successes (past, present, and future) to a group of PGA Professionals who saw something in me, gave me a chance, and helped me to become "the best version of myself".
I received a phone call a few months ago from one of them. He called to tell me that the cancer he has been fighting for 20 years was finally going to win. He called because he has heard that I have been doing great things for the PGA and it's members. And he called to tell me that he was proud of me.
Bob was the consummate PGA Professional. Affectionately referred to him as "The Book of Knowledge", he possessed both an engaging personality and a sharp mind. In addition to being an accomplished teacher and player, Bob was a southern gentleman with a servants heart. Finally, he was a friend to all, and a mentor to most of them in some way.
In that phone call, I was able to tell him how much he has meant to me and that the lessons I learned from him had made me a better Golf Professional. I neglected to mention that those same lessons have also made me a better husband, father, and human being, though I assume he knew.
That is the inherent beauty of mentors...they have the ability to change someone else's life in beautiful ways by doing nothing more than being kind, honest, and above all, caring. And that is a good lesson for us all.
Rest in peace Bob.