Yesterday I was fortunate enough to play a round of golf. Golf is an emotional game, and it seems that those who have control over their emotions rise to the top. I was reminded of this as I slumped into a chair in the club house and dissected my scorecard. The round had started with such great promise. I finished the front with one of my best nines in a long time (41). But the pressure built, and the wheels eventually came off, leaving me with a sulking brow and a 93 on the scorecard.
As I reflected on, and analyzed putts that could have been, I sipped a cold beer, joined my foursome around a table, and began to watch the final round of The Players Championship (with a little more empathy, as one does have after playing a round of golf).
The longstanding golf tournament, sometimes referred to as the fifth, and "unofficial" major on the PGA Tour, The Players is a favorite of players and fans alike, especially the iconic "Island Green" on the 17th hole, that rewards the bold, and taunts the conquered. This year, the final round fell on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day.
Green is the customary color worn on St. Patrick's Day, as a nod to the Emerald Isle. Many players (and fans) participated, ranging from a subtle show of olive socks to an amplified yell of bright green Go To Hell pants. But it was the shoes of Mr. Justin Thomas–the 25 year old winner of the PGA Championship and FedEx Cup Championship–that caught my eye.
I first saw them on the Instagram stories of the PGA Tour account. He was standing with one shoe one his foot, the other in his hand, he signed it, and gave it to a young fan. Class act.
The shoe in the young man's hand was a white Foot Joy with sections of broguing around the toe, eyelets, and quarters. The brogued sections were filled with a plaid pattern, and the pattern was covered with a printed shamrock, like a Vineyards Vine tie. See the picture in the thumbnail from Mr. Thomas' Instagram story shows the shoe in greater detail.
Professional golf can be a grueling grind. But it's great to see players enjoying the moment. Even if it's only a fun, specialized shoe, for a special day. And it's even better to see them share it with the fans.