Phil Mickelson stunned the golf world on Sunday when he finished off his win in the PGA Championship to become, at 50, the oldest golfer ever to win a major championship.
He finished the event shooting six under par. After his win, praise flooded in from across not just the golf community, but from other star athletes and celebrities across the world. His performance was truly inspiring.
What came after, was not so much an explanation of how Mickelson reached the finest achievement of his career, but insistence of how he never believed his time on golf’s frontline was over.
Mickelson admitted ”it is very possible that this is the last tournament I ever win. It’s also very possible that I may have had a little bit of a breakthrough in some of my focus and maybe I’ll go on a little bit of a run. But the point is, there’s no reason why I or anybody else can’t do it at a later age … it just takes a little bit more work.”
This immediately made me think of my father Michael.
At 83 years young, his passion for golf is a strong today as it was at the age of 7 when the Christian Brother monks would give him time off school from so he could caddy for American visitors at the course near his home in Lehinch, Co. Clare in Ireland. He received golf balls as payment and split the proceeds with the monks.
Last year, he won the senior singles competition at his club against a 55-year-old opponent.
He’d previously won the same title in 1996 – but he wasn’t going to let 24 years, two hip replacements, a knee replacement, and COPD get in his way!
Like Phil Mickelson, he believes that there’s no reason why you can’t keep going – and that one day, when the wind is on your back and the sun on your face … you might just get a win!
My dad really inspires me never to give up and to keep on learning. It’s a lesson I’ve taken from him and one I’ve passed to my two daughters and the countless leaders I’ve had the privilege to coach.
My colleague Pamela Kingsland at Orgshakers also talks and writes about how we can keep developing and learning all through our lives and age should never be a barrier.
As a woman who is now mid-life, I’m so encouraged by that.
And both Phil and my Dad are testament to the fact that for all the mid-lifers (and even those who’ve entered later-life) … now is our time!
As I was writing this, a poem I had read some time ago came into my head: ‘Don’t Let Anyone Mess With Your Swing’.
It wasn’t written for golf, but it could have been. It was written about a Boston baseball player called Ted Williams, and this verse is my favourite:
Enjoy your talents. Have your fling.
The seasons change. The years advance.
Watch the ball and do your thing.
And don’t let anybody mess with your swing.