As luck would have it, the first really warm temperatures

Rochester has seen this year and the final round of the Masters Golf Tournament took place on the same day.

Why is this such a big issue?

Well, let?s just say I didn?t want to miss the sunshine, but I didn?t want to miss Tiger Woods? triumphant crusade to make golfing history.

After his win at the Masters this past Sunday, Tiger became the first person in over 70 years to hold all four major titles at one time. The last person to accomplish the feat was Bobby Jones in 1930.

But thinking over what happened Sunday brought my mind to a different point, one that has nothing to do with the sport of golf and more to do with the cultural lesson that we can learn from the fairways and greens.

Recently there has been a rash of intolerant acts on campus. For instance, time and time again some graffiti ?artist? wielding a spray can has taken it upon himself to transform what would normally be jubilant statements from campus groups and organizations into venomous tracts seething with prejudice and hate.

Deplorable, to say the least, but also a telling sign that this person was never introduced to the cultural understanding that we can learn from golf.

Several of you are probably saying to yourselves that golf is a game for rich white people ? but you would be wrong. Golf has changed in recent decades.

It is true that there was a time when a black man couldn?t even set foot near the first tee at most golf courses. Now one dominates the sport.

Skill and athleticism

Tiger dominates because he practices and he has a champion?s competitive spirit that makes him strive to be the best.

He doesn?t dominate because cultural stereotypes say that blacks are supposed to be superior athletes. Golf is a combined effort of skill and athleticism, of which Tiger has both.

But the skills that Tiger has are not only limited to him. Any person, whether they be female, senior citizen, teenager, Asian, Latino, gay or from any other group, has the ability to succeed on the golf course, if they set their mind to it.

Once you step foot on the links, everyone is equal and the only thing that separates them is their skill level, not their skin color or where their family came from. This is a major lesson that golf has to offer, but the game can teach us so much more. Golf teaches patience in the face of adversity.

Consider the recent racist and sexist tunnel paintings mentioned above. Now think of these problems in golf terms.

The solution of a more tolerant campus community is the hole, and you are trying to get there at or under par. This means not answering hate speech with more intolerance thus creating greater problems.

Instead of getting all flustered and slicing your shot ? the reverse hate speech ? take your time, line up the shot, follow through on your swing and the ball will go on target and tolerance will be achieved.

It may seem like a stretch, but the patience and determination needed to produce a round of par on the course are the same characteristics that people must incorporate in the fight against intolerance.

Golf, it would seem, is not the nice walk spoiled that many say that it is. Instead, it is a walk that can teach us all how to be more tolerant toward others.



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