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Golf is fierce professional competition mixed with friendly personal compassion

golf is professional competition

The life of a professional golfer can often seem like a solitary experience. Players are known to dedicate countless days and weeks honing their talents, practicing every swing and every putt, aiming to reach the pinnacle of their game. When things don’t go so well during tournaments, with a stray drive into the rough or when the ball drops into a bunker, the pained expressions of frustration are always clear to see.

However, while golf is an ultra-competitive sport on the fairways and greens, peel back that veneer of sporting rivalry and you will find this is also a deeply compassionate sport. Nobody understands the trials and tribulations of a professional golfer, better than other professional golfers. For this reason, there is a strong sense of community amongst the most famous players on the PGA Tour.

As one of the most successful golfers the sport has ever seen, Tiger Woods has become a legend in his own lifetime, his achievements forever changing the way golf is perceived and played. Indeed, his exploits on the most famous golf courses inspired others to try their hand at the game, helping to make the sport more popular than ever before. Amongst those inspired were fellow professionals, who grew up watching Tiger in action.

Following an unfortunate car accident recently, Tiger suffered multiple leg fractures and other serious injuries, which raised serious doubts about whether the 45-year-old will ever play again. While adoring fans lamented the possibility that he might never stride the fairways again, fellow players were more concerned about his health and wellbeing, rather than whether he would get to play golf again.

Many professional golfers have established close personal friendships with Tiger over the years, including Justin Thomas, who won the 2020 PGA Player of the Year award. He was visibly shaken by the news when it broke and since then, has maintained vigilant contact as his great friend recovers. Everyone in the golfing world has shown their support, which underlines just how strong the sense of community is amongst players.

After winning the Players Championship recently, Justin Thomas is now amongst the golf betting favourites ahead of the 2021 US Masters in April, widely tipped to enjoy what could be a spectacular year of achievement. The 27-year-old is part of the new generation of young golfers, having enjoyed a swift and successful rise to prominence during the last decade. 

Nevertheless, this year started out as anything but one that painted a picture of success. Thomas lost his much-loved grandfather, and if the death of a close family member wasn’t enough, the golfer was then also mired in controversy for an off-the-cuff homophobic slur, uttered in frustration after missing a putt and caught by a microphone near the green. The combination of personal grief and critical backlash inevitably took their toll.

Essentially, professional golfers are humans too. They have the same emotions and feelings as everyone else, they make mistakes and sometimes do things they regret, which leads them to apologize and seek redemption. Thankfully, help and support from the golfing community helped him get through the tough times. Much more than just fellow golfers and competitors, these are compassionate friends who stick together beyond the course

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