In the movie A Beautiful Mind, Russel Crowe’s character is at the bar with all his other colleagues when they notice a beautiful blond. The group discussion leads to the comment of Adam Smith’s “the individual ambition serves the common good.” Nash turns and says “Adam Smith needs a revision. If we all go for the blonde, we block each other, and not a single one of us is goin’ to get her. So then we go for her friends, but they will all give us the cold shoulder because nobody likes to be second choice. But what if no one goes for the blonde? We don’t get in each other’s way, and we don’t insult the other girls. That’s the only way we win. That’s the only way we all get laid.” Adam Smith said, “the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what’s best for himself, right? That’s what he said, right? Incomplete. Incomplete! Because the best result would come from everyone in the group doing what’s best for himself and the group. “
Dr. Norris gave this example when I mentioned about the groups needing to come together first if this is going to work. All the parties that have a part in the future of the game need to decide whether they are going to work together and grow the game for the greater good, or maintain the dysfunctional status quo. This is why I have been bugging the RCGA and Score and other publications about putting on a summit on the state of the game – it is the best chance to begin the dialogue necessary to bring the parties back to the same table.
The next stage for the LPTD is getting people to take this road map and make the facilities, start the programs, and get everybody involved. If they don’t all come together and pull in the same direction then this is just a plan – a very good plan – but a plan all the same. The problem we currently have is the individual egos involved, some hurt feelings generated along the way – and two entities that don’t like to sit at the table together.
The key ending this nonsense – at least on this one crucial issue – is to begin a dialogue on the subject. We need to bring all the parties to the same table and begin communication facilitated by someone who will keep the focus only on the future of the game. Dr Norris is definitely the ideal choice. His technique of getting people to first understand what other people at the table would like help break down the barriers and open up a fruitful discussion on what is best for all involved.
Dr Norris said, “passion and feeling make change, otherwise you only get short term change.” Right now this guide has great momentum, but this can all stall without a commitment from the golf industry as a whole. The Swedish system works because it is a joint venture between the key bodies that run golf which removes all the fiefdoms and individual egos that ruin sport. The hard work starts now. While I don’t expect the two bickering associations to get along, isn’t this worth giving an honest effort for the betterment of the game.