My Friend Bob Burns
My Friend Bob Burns
A while back, I began to golf. Actually, I began to swing at yellow round things that were pock marked the same way a fifteen year old chocolate eater is. I swung and I chased, then I swung some more and I chased some more these until I either lost them or fell in the water where I thought the yellow golf ball demons had placed them. I love golf! Really.
In 2010 I had the fortunate opportunity of becoming Bionic, thanks to a hip replacement. Fortunate because I was able to rehab pretty much on a golf course. Understand that at 50 I couldn’t scoot or keep up with the seventy year olds, but I was good enough to play nine holes in nine hours. A good round for me was coming back with some balls in my bag. Eventually I ran in to a retired airline pilot. I know now, why people have drivers licences. In any event, my liability and collision paid for most of the damage to this guy’s Lexus golf cart. I received some great advice. “Go see Bob Burns”
My response… “Who’s Bob Burns?” Turns out that Bob Burns is a Master PGA Golf Teaching Professional. One of about 100 in the US of A. I’m thinking to myself, “I can’t go in here. Who will he think I am? He’s going to laugh me out of the shop.” You know what I mean? The duffer walks in to the pro shop and is greeted by Fabio in a golf shirt.
After driving by- in a cab- remember the Lexus golf cart and the hip replacement? seven or eight times, armed with my trusty seven iron, I crawled in to Bob’s shop. From behind a work room walked an angel of a man with gold hair and glasses that hid owl wise eyes. “How can I help you? I’m Bob Burns”.
Two hours later, after talking about everything except golf, I realized why this man deserves the title “The Great Bob Burns”. Mr. Burns, I still call him that, is a believer. Ask him about kids. Ask him about why he teaches. You won’t hear the word “money” or fame. You’ll hear “I want to share my love of the game”. “I’m here to help you enjoy”. “I’ll listen to your ideas and try to help you make sense out of them”.
When I walk in to the shop with my Sam, there is never a “watch what he’s doing” attitude. The atmosphere is closer to “Let him have fun. Here, Sam, woodja like to hit some balls? Tell me about school. Is your pops taking you golfing these days? I think the fish might need feeding a little later.” Sam will ask me twice a week at least- “can we go golfing?” which really means can we go feed the fish in the pond and visit with Mr. Burns.
Bob, Mr. Burns, speaks with the whisper authority of a soul who has seen more than most people. Talking to him and he can talk, is reminiscent of talking to a Catholic Zen master. Bob listens. He really listens. Have you ever had the experience of going to an old time hair salon, where the gals all tell their secrets to the stylist? Bob’s hair salon is really a golf shop.
There is a quietude surrounding Mr. Burns. Peacefulness is a cliché, how about centeredness? Yup! Mr. Burns is centered on whoever he is talking to at the time. It’s really an extraordinary gift. Sure, he sells golf stuff. He makes great clubs! I can vouch for that. But anybody can construct inanimate objects.
When you play with Bob’s equipment, one feels the love that is put into every stitch and every grip. Bob gifts with compassion. He presents people with the attitude that they can do things beyond what is dreamed possible. He whispers. He listens. He encourages. He hears. Mr. Burns does lots more than teach golf or make clubs. With his example, he teaches life and crafts better people.
Keep dreaming big dreams and you will see miracles.
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