My First Tee
- exhibited by -
Many thanks to John and Lori for hosting the tourney and friends weekend. Indeed, friendship, fun, and integrity, go together well!
The 2023 IntegriTEE tourney, hosted by the JP Bellis Foundation in Conway, South Carolina, represents a decades-long friendship including many wonderful golf outings played across the country.
My name is Brett. I've been a university professor for almost 20 years. For most of that time, I have been teaching about clinical research and the spatial integrity, security and reuse of healthcare data. That is the tagline of my site. Next year, I will retire from academia and shift to other passions. One of my projects will be to volunteer as a mentor for the First Tee. I have a great deal of interest in continuing the education of our youth, but instead of college students, I will teach kids. Under the auspices of the First Tee, this teaching is about translating the integrity of the game of golf, into the integrity of life...
Sadly, the isolation factors of the pandemic, negative effects of social media and even flagrant, highly publicized lies from our political leadership, have sent messages of dishonesty, rule-bending, shamelessness, and a lack of accountability to our kids. Apparently, this is translating to actions on the golf course. My aim as a First Tee mentor, will be to help align the moral compass of these kids aptly through the principles of the game of golf.
Indeed, integrity goes hand-in-hand with sportsmanship. Players must know how to conduct themselves in a kind and respectful manner towards others. Thus, the concept behind 2023 IntegriTEE, exemplified by these four long-time friends, is to demonstrate the integrity of the game of golf, which reflects the integrity of you - as a person.
This is underscored in competitive scenarios - whether a sanctioned event or just between friends - you must learn to lose with dignity and win with honor. Giving yourself any advantage over others is simple disrespect for your peers and a breach of the Rules.
Golf is a different kind of sport… Unlike others, golf presents opportunities to easily act fraudulently, and is therefore called the game of honor. There are two guiding principles behind the Rules of Golf: To play the ball as it lies and to play the course as you find it. Translation: Once a ball is 'put in play', it cannot be inappropriately touched or replaced without penalty.
Indeed, it's rough out there. An article by Golf Digest published in 2021 titled "Caught in the act: 13 cringeworthy stories of cheating on the golf course" playfully describes the various methods devised by unethical golfers to improve their scores. This article is hilarious and disturbing at the same time. The overall tone is USGA Golf Rule Number 1.
While we introduce a new classification of bonus points (what we refer to as 'Junk') called "The Bellis" (in honor of John), we will also integrate a demonstration of sportsmanship and integrity (to help Brett's cause). The four amigos will exhibit the concept by a stamping a unique image of the tournament logo on the ball they will put in play, at the tee. To ensure compliance, only one ball is stamped at a time. If one loses a ball, it will be clearly evident as another ball will need to be stamped at the next tee. This said, I guarantee you there is no funny business with these pals, but it simply is an example of what integrity looks like.
We will acquire photos, video clips and a few corny quotes that I can share when I apply to, and hopefully begin my role with the First Tee organization. I thank my fellow players for participating in this lighthearted demonstration of integrity.