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Game of Change

The 1963 national semi-final game between Loyola-Chicago and Mississippi State, that is.  In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, the Loyola Ramblers men’s basketball team made history in the NCAA Round of 16 when they played the all-white Mississippi State Bulldogs. The team was banned by state legislative order from playing against an integrated team.

Then again - change, adaptation, and acceptance are such integral parts of playing the game of golf at the highest level.  But you already know that, right?  You just talking the talk - or you walking the walk - like the participants in this historic game did?

During the 1962-63 season, Coach George Ireland (pictured above with his players) defied the unspoken rule to not have more than three black players on the court at one time. Of Loyola University Chicago’s five starters—Ron Miller, Jerry Harkness, Vic Rouse, Les Hunter, and John Egan—only Egan was white. And when he was subbed out, Loyola would have five black players on the court. The team faced discrimination and harassment throughout the season.

The Game of Change was a historic moment not only for Loyola basketball, but for college basketball and this country—ushering in a dismantling of racial barriers in college athletics. For many, the Game of Change demonstrates the impact of sports, how it brings people together, and how it can create change when those involved challenge the status quo.

Irrelevant when it comes to you, your precious golf game (and that other game you're playing - life), and improving?  I respectfully disagree...

- "Dismantling of barriers."  Like the ones some wanna-be smarty pants is telling you about how you MUST swing a golf club.  You been watching some ball & stick on TV (or at your local linksy hangout) lately, in addition to March Madness?  If so, you've undoubtedly noticed that the best male and female players in the world have swings & styles far more diverse than the hoopsters pictured above. 

Oh, and that 'life' thing: you leveraging left and right whomever you can, in search of the almighty $?  Or following your passion, heart and gut, in order to make a difference?

- "Bringing people together."  Instead of apart.  Golf experts arguing about their tech and techniques being better than someone else's - instead of joining forces to help you just play better, in whatever fashion.

"We did it together. To me, that's why it's so important. We showed you could do it together, without a fight.”

-- Loyola-Chicago's Jerry Harkness

- "Creating change and challenging the status quo."  Amen.  It's how we grow, progress and evolve as golfers, and human beings.  You stuck in equipment and ideas older than Sister Jean (just below, when the Ramblers won their last title) or the latest (the good Sister and team chaplain in color, a few days ago, below below) and greatest swing method?  I understand.  But Jean Dolores Schmidt, born in 1919, would not...

Jon Tattersall

Longtime colleague and amigo Jon Tattersall is a master at creating positive change in golf swings, and games.  He'll be with me for several days this week (openings still available!), as the keynote speaker at the Oregon Chapter PGA Spring Teaching and Coaching Summit at Royal Oaks CC, tomorrow, March 28, and available at Eugene CC on March 29 & 30 for individual or small group instruction.  Don't miss the opportunity to spend some time with one of the very best in the business.  Let me know if you'd like to partake in any, or all. 

Jon's a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, has coached winners on the PGA, LPGA and Tours, NCAA medalists, as well as Ryder Cup winning team members, a Player of the Year, a PGA Tour Vardon Trophy Winner, and an Open Champion.  Suffice to say he knows his 'stuff,' and all about this game that requires constant change. 


"Let's talk about the way they played basketball, not their color,"

--  Mississippi State Coach James "Babe" McCarthy, after the 1963 game




          ~ CS ~
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