Golf is one of those games where concentration is paramount to doing well at it. Any loud noise or distraction can make any stroke or putt an enormous failure. And anyone who has ever swung a golf club can relate to that.
During professional tournaments, the onlookers are expected to stay extremely silent when a golfer is preparing to make a swing or a putt. It’s just one of those things that goes without saying, even though some officials will still hold up signs that say, “Quiet.”
During the recent Visa Open de Argentina tournament in Buenos Aires, pro golfer Brandon Matthews was preparing to make a crucial putt… actually being in the backswing of that putt… when a loud yell came from the crowd near him. It shook Brandon and no doubt altered his putt, and he missed it.
Says Brandon: “I kind of flinched on the putt and immediately knew I missed it. I thought someone had done it intentionally. I was frustrated. Really, I was in shock that that just happened.”
Yes, he was understandably upset, and he ended up losing the match because of it. No pro golfer expects anyone from the crowd to blurt out a loud yell while playing. But shortly after that missed putt, Brandon was informed that the person in the crowd who yelled has Down Syndrome.
With that, Brandon completely let go of his frustration and asked to meet with that person. And when he did, he gave him a hug and signed a glove for him.
Says Brandon: “I was around mental disability growing up, and I have a soft spot in my heart for it. Those are really special people. I felt so terrible that I was even upset. I just wanted to make sure that he didn’t feel bad.”
So after Brandon hugged the man with Down Syndrome, he asked if he was OK, and if he was having fun. He wanted to make sure that the man did not feel bad about anything, especially regarding that missed putt.
Says Brandon: “I wanted to make sure he knew that I wasn’t mad… Some things are bigger than golf, and this was one of them.”
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