By Charlie Blanchard
Ever wonder about luck? I mean the role that luck, good and bad, plays in sports, politics, careers, wars and even life.
Winning a big lottery is very good luck; going down in an airplane crash is very bad luck. We have no control over luck, or so it seems. As years go by, I realize that we actually have control over precious few things while were on this earth.
Were born into life. Then stuff happens. We try our best or may even give up. Parents, genetics relatives, status, color, ethnicity, money all have critical roles in our life, which is not actually well-planned at all, to use an ill-conceived term a big investment firm used.
How one senses the role luck plays in our life seems similar to how we view happiness in general. No one can define happiness or come up with a prescription for how to be happy. Robin Williams had it all; he wasnt at all happy.
Luck. Fate. Stars. God. Chance. Cultural views about luck vary from considering it a matter of chance to being a matter of superstition. The American Revolution luck? Paul Revere may have spread the word that the British were coming to a small few, but luckily enough people heeded the message, or our Revolution would now be a footnote in English history texts.
I contend that, just as in life, luck plays a prominent influence in sports. Im not arguing or implying that our destiny is written in the heavens, or even in our genes, for that matter. But birth heritage and upbringing count bigtime.
Tiger Woods was raised, taught and tutored by his dad and mom to be a champion golfer from the time he was a toddler. Most of todays marquee golf tour professionals start out young and are groomed for the part, like Jordan Spieth and Michelle Wie. As juniors they go to golf camps and even academies.
Even Arnold Palmer, the son of a greens superintendent, and Jack Nicklaus, with private club access, started at early ages and became accustomed to competing and winning in the spotlight while young.
The late author Ayn Rand once said, any success requires both talent and luck. And luck has to be helped along and provided by someone.
After sifting through a lot of research concerning luck in sports, and especially golf, I find that luck is a tricky and fickle thing to analyze.
If you are a Chicago Cubs or a Buffalo Bills fan, all you have to do is think back over the years to understand how luck figured into so many heartbreaks. And we wont go into the agony of many of the U.S.A. Ryder Cup matches.
Researchers have tried to measure and quantify the role luck plays in tour wins, to no avail. Many golfers attribute it to good luck when a rival holes a lot of improbable putts. But thats like saying blackjack dealers in Las Vegas are very lucky.
And golfers often blame bad luck for their failures. Or is it lack of (enough) talent. Its hard to detect luck when its good; it looks so much like something youve earned and prepared for. Luck?
Until recently Tiger Woods had so many lucky shots they would fill volumes. One of the really lucky moments was when he made the 12-footer on the 72nd hole in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines to tie Rocco Mediate, and then to win in the playoff. But the most unlucky thing was his drive into a fire hydrant a year later, which cost him dearly.
A lot of people think putting comes down to a matter of luck. Known as one of the best putters in his day, the late Jerry Barber said, [In putting],somewhere skill stops and luck takes over. The scoring range is probably from 15 feet in. Anything outside that is plenty of luck.
Many tour players, as they get older, including Ben Hogan and Sam Snead, view putting not as a matter of luck but as a game apart from actual golf.
If you want a fun read concerning the luck factor, try How to Make Luck: 7 Secrets Lucky People Use to Succeed, by Marc Myers, who says, lucky people take very specific steps to improve their odds of good things happening to them.
Dr. Charlie Blanchard is a licensed psychologist specializing in sports and leadership. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- THE TEACHER'S DESK: We're almost there | Columns | thetimestribune.com - Times Tribune of Corbin - April 11th, 2021
- Allison Hanes: Laissez-faire fatalism seems to have infected Legault - Montreal Gazette - March 31st, 2021
- Letter: Re: Ethan Orr's Article on the Middle Class - Arizona Daily Star - March 31st, 2021
- Reaching Active Minds: Ayn Rand and the Ford Hall Forum - New Ideal - March 25th, 2021
- In Mosaic's darkly funny 'Inherit the Windbag,' an epic bickerfest (ep. 3) - DC Metro Theater Arts - March 25th, 2021
- Ralph Nader on Corporatism's Threat to Democracy - Progressive.org - March 25th, 2021
- There is such a thing as society: it has overcome Covid and restored the truth - TheArticle - March 20th, 2021
- Letter to the editor | UPJ nowhere to be found on Outlier site - TribDem.com - March 20th, 2021
- Talks of replacing Woody Allen in Ann Arbor mural reignited after new documentary - MLive.com - March 20th, 2021
- We wince; therefore, we are | Our Readers Speak | register-herald.com - Beckley Register-Herald - March 20th, 2021
- Why We Need Shakespeare and Beethoven - The Dispatch - March 20th, 2021
- B1G tourney preview: After 20 wins in NCAA regular season, Gophers still have something to prove in playoffs - Brainerd Dispatch - March 20th, 2021
- The Worst Ted Cruz Moments in History - Dallas Observer - March 20th, 2021
- The Books That Shaped Tina Howard and Teas to Pair With Them - Fort Worth Magazine - March 7th, 2021
- Are You Bullish or Bearish on America and Wall Street? - Stock Investor - March 7th, 2021
- Satire: Why two beers is the perfect amount - The State Press - March 7th, 2021
- Elon Musk and Amber Heard: How Did the Two Celebrities Meet? - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - March 7th, 2021
- CPAC Exposed the GOP's Fight for the Working Class as Just Another Culture War | Opinion - Newsweek - March 7th, 2021
- An Excerpt From 'Peter and the Wolves' by Adele Bertei on the Brief, Brilliant Life of Peter Laughner - Cleveland Scene - February 10th, 2021
- Our nation has never fully agreed on much, but it hasn't always torn itself apart | TheHill - The Hill - February 8th, 2021
- Paul and Romney embarrass themselves by lashing out at trans athletes - Outsports - February 8th, 2021
- Why Telling Students to 'Trust the Experts' Is Poor Advice | Caroline Breashears - Foundation for Economic Education - February 8th, 2021
- Liz was Isolated as a Felon on the Run, Transitioning Alone: Nick Cammilleri and Zackary Drucker on Their HBO Docuseries The Lady and the Dale -... - February 8th, 2021
- Letter: Pleased that Newhouse defended Constitution | Letters To Editor | yakimaherald.com - Yakima Herald-Republic - January 29th, 2021
- Geddy Lee on the Genius of Neil Peart - Rolling Stone - January 29th, 2021
- The Lady and The Dale | Review - The GATE - January 29th, 2021
- Ayn Rand on Morality and the Misuse of Political Power - New Ideal - January 27th, 2021
- 'The Lady and the Dale': TV Review - Hollywood Reporter - January 27th, 2021
- Closer to the park: St. Catharines commissions artwork to honour Rush drummer Neil Peart - The Globe and Mail - January 27th, 2021
- No more echo chambers: the internet's best left-wing thinkers - Spectator.co.uk - January 27th, 2021
- Currencies get back to the task at hand - FXStreet - January 27th, 2021
- Wikipedia is the last bastion of idealism on the internet Prospect Magazine - Prospect Magazine - January 27th, 2021
- article image Op-Ed: Investors making big money, but where are the trillions going? - Digital Journal - January 19th, 2021
- Unmasking the Deceased Programmer Who Donated 28 Bitcoin to Capitol Hill Rioters - Crypto Briefing - January 19th, 2021
- An Expert Explains the US Capitol Hill riot: anatomy of an insurrection - The Indian Express - January 15th, 2021
- PERRY: Mayor Coffman's mock-homeless close-up highlights the danger of unreality TV - Sentinel Colorado - January 15th, 2021
- The Meaning Of Work For A Happy Life (And New Year) - Forbes - January 15th, 2021
- Is It Selfish to Never Wear a Mask? - New Ideal - October 22nd, 2020
- Ayn Rands power isnt dimmed by the collectivist age of the pandemic - Telegraph.co.uk - October 20th, 2020
- What Tech Calls Thinking: Book Review | by Joshua Adams | Oct, 2020 - Medium - October 20th, 2020
- Welcome to Dystopia: 45 Visions of What Lies Ahead - Morning Star Online - October 20th, 2020
- The Dictatorial Impulse Behind the Shaming of PPP Recipients - New Ideal - July 21st, 2020
- Instead Of Open Or Closed, Dial Your Mind To Active - Forbes - July 21st, 2020
- Big problems with the Paycheck Protection Program? - The Week - July 21st, 2020
- Finally: Diamond and Silk are releasing a book - The Spectator USA - July 21st, 2020
- Tagore's Gora to Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan: Add these regional language books to your reading list - India Today - July 21st, 2020
- When MGM and the FBI Chased 'The Father of the Atomic Bomb' - WhoWhatWhy - July 21st, 2020
- What's Wrong With Ayn Rand's Philosophy? - The Objective ... - July 13th, 2020
- In sign of the times, Ayn Rand Institute approved for PPP loan - Reuters - July 13th, 2020
- 'We Took PPP Funds and Would Do It Again' - New Ideal - July 13th, 2020
- Auchter's Art: The confusing narrative of Betsy DeVos - Michigan Radio - July 13th, 2020
- Wisconsin school board member asked to resign after posting that 'George Floyd is drug free for 2 months' - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - July 13th, 2020
- St. Joseph reaps short-lived cash infusion - News-Press Now - July 13th, 2020
- Tips and Murmurs: Ayn Rand Institute gets government handout - Crikey - July 13th, 2020
- Local anti-tax groups find even they need big government aid sometimes - Seattle Times - July 13th, 2020
- Climbing aboard the PPP train | Opinion | citizensvoice.com - Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice - July 13th, 2020
- Prominent and politically connected Austin firms among those getting bailout loans - Austin American-Statesman - July 13th, 2020
- Indiana PPP loan recipients: See the full searchable list of who received them - Courier & Press - July 13th, 2020
- Mississippi PPP loan recipients: See the full searchable list of who received them - Hattiesburg American - July 13th, 2020
- Paycheck Protection Payouts Give Taxpayers Plenty To Ponder | K. Lloyd Billingsley - The Beacon - July 13th, 2020
- Whats the Deal With Parler and its Rising Popularity? - The Wire - July 13th, 2020
- We Talked With the Cast of 'Brave New World'! - The Mary Sue - July 13th, 2020
- Remember to find a reason to smile - News from southeastern Connecticut - theday.com - June 24th, 2020
- Shockingly, Law School Named For Affirmative Action Opponent Bad At Race And Diversity - Above the Law - June 24th, 2020
- When Tribal Journalists Try to 'Cancel' Ayn Rand (Part 2) - New Ideal - June 20th, 2020
- Understanding the Reactionary Outlook - Merion West - June 20th, 2020
- I visited the secret lair of the Ayn Rand cult - Haaretz - April 18th, 2020
- Ayn Rand's dystopia is here right now and 'Atlas' is shrugging - Fox Business - April 18th, 2020
- Rugged Individualism in Times of Pandemic Endangers Human Life Everywhere - The Good Men Project - April 18th, 2020
- The very American conflict between liberty and lockdown - The Week - April 18th, 2020
- Kelly Loeffler Knows What Socialism Is, And It Is 'Opposing Insider Trading' - Wonkette - April 18th, 2020
- OP-ED | The Era of Small Government is Over - CT News Junkie - April 18th, 2020
- Facebook's Libra Association tries again at this digi-cash game, with more modest ambitions after global flop - The Register - April 18th, 2020
- Gangster in the White House: Noam Chomsky on COVID-19, WHO, China, Gaza and Global Capitalism - Democracy Now! - April 18th, 2020
- Experts Assess Pandemic's Damage to the Economy - New Ideal - March 31st, 2020
- Yaron Brook Talks Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED, FOUNTAINHEAD & Covid-19 On Tom Needham's SOUNDS OF FILM - Broadway World - March 31st, 2020
- Sen. Rand Paul's reply to why he risked exposing people, or Selfish is as selfish does - Louisville Eccentric Observer - March 31st, 2020
- The Social-Distancing Culture War Has Begun - The Atlantic - March 31st, 2020
- How Coronavirus is shaking up the moral universe - Economic Times - March 31st, 2020
- Society's 'invisible bonds' come into the light - Newsroom - March 31st, 2020