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TOYS AND GAMES: Wonderful Perspective

Maverick McNealy is a junior at Stanford University and the world is most definitely his oyster.

At age 20, he is considered one of the top amateur golfers in the world. He’ll also graduate with a degree in management science and engineering. So he’s faced with a delightful fork in the road: PGA Tour or take his Stanford degree out for a spin?

Most anybody possessing McNealy’s ability to swing a golf club would be out on the PGA Tour before the ink dried on their first Titleist contract, right? Not McNealy. The lad is going rogue, assuming a Robert Frost-ish persona by considering the road less traveled: He might not play on the Tour.

Maverick’s stance is unusual for anybody who has won the Haskins Award, which annually recognizes the nation’s best collegiate male golfer. Since 1990, those who have been bestowed that honor have lined their pockets with cash, winning more than $600 million in PGA Tour prize money and who knows what through endorsements.

Now, as Paul Harvey would have said, the rest of the story.

McNealy’s father, Scott, co-founded Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corp. acquired Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion in 2010. Which means… Yes, Maverick’s father is loaded.

To the kid’s credit, he recognizes that he has come from a life of privilege, and as such, he understands the obligation that comes with the life he’s been afforded, as he told the Wall Street Journal:

“My dad always tells me, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ I’m given a huge amount of opportunities, and I feel like it’s my duty to do the most that I can with them. I’m still trying to figure out how.”

In addition, think about this: Would electing to remain a weekend golfer demonstrate a greater love for the game than electing to play for a living?

In Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi, he wrote about the romance and beauty being gone from the river after working his dream job as a river pilot. He further wondered about the plight of the pilot by writing.

Does he ever see her beauty at all, or doesn’t he simply view her professionally, and comment upon her unwholesome condition all to himself? And doesn’t he sometimes wonder whether he has gained most or lost most by learning his trade?

Perspective? Young Maverick McNeally seems to have it. I love this kid and look forward to finding out what he decides. No matter which way he elects to go, he will at least have given the matter some thought.

bchastain19@gmail.com

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Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bobby Ross. The former college and pro football coach led Georgia Tech to a share of the national championship in 1990 and later led the San Diego Chargers

©2020 by Bill Chastain. Photo credits: Jill Doty Photography