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Lessons to be learned

“Oh, Lord, it’s hard to be humble

When you’re perfect in every way.

I can’t wait to look in the mirror

‘Cause I get better lookin’ each day.”

— From “It’s Hard To Be Humble”

by Mac Davis

Humility is an interesting concept. Some folks of noted accomplishment believe showing a touch of humility betrays a lack of confidence.

For example, some modern-day pundits believe that today’s sports stars have no obligation to be role models to youngsters. There are also quite a few sports stars who share those pundits’ views on this subject.

Others believe that being extremely proficient in an art, profession or sport does not give license to treat other lesser-accomplished folks like dirt. Or for that matter, to even consider them less accomplished.

That is one of the reasons we like the PGA Tour. They have always had superstars like Jack Nicklaus and the late Arnold Palmer who would sign autographs till the sun goes down.

Some years ago at Kapalua in what is now the SBS Tournament of Champions, we watched Jesper Parnivik hit a terrible shot on the last hole into the gully next to the green. He finished with a seven — a score that cost him several thousand dollars. But, one would never know it by watching the man. He signed hats, programs, golf balls and visors for over half an hour — laughing and joking with kids and adults as he did so.

It was as fine an example of sportsmanship and being a role model as we have ever seen.

Maybe the reason the PGA Tour has men like this is because golf is such a humbling game. Even the best hit shots into gullies and out of bounds. Perhaps the nature of the game — where players call penalties on themselves — also has something to do with it.

Whatever the reasons, it is the time of the year when Maui gets to see the best golfers in the world close up. As the PGA Tour kicks off the New Year later this week with the TOC at Kapalua, we’d urge parents to take their kids out to see these golfing giants play. They’ll see young guns like defending champion Jordan Spieth, world No. 1 Jason Day, Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed and U.S. Open Champion Dustin Johnson.

The golf will be spectacular. And, oh yeah, the lessons in sportsmanship — and just being a nice person — are priceless.

(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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