The ESPY Golf Coach APP – Sportsmanship & Character in the Game of Golf

ESPY APP Highlighted the 2016 Women’s US Open

ESPY APP Sportsmanship

The main lesson in Golf teaches sportsmanship on and off the course.

The ESPY APP would like to focus on The 2016 Women’s U.S. Open, played at CordeValle Reserve Golf Course in San Martin, California. The 2016 U.S. Open ended in a three-hole aggregate play-off on Sunday, 10Jul2016. The playoff was between Brittany Lang and Anna Nordqvist, who played holes 16, 17, and 18. These are two well-seasoned players, who are also great friends. The outcome of the playoff was decided on a two-stroke penalty on the intermediate golf shot, out of the left fairway bunker on 17. While addressing the ball in the sand bunker (considered a hazard), Anna unintentionally grounded her club. The sole of Anna’s club ever so lightly touched a few grains of sand that were caught on video. To the observer, this was not apparent, unless the viewer freeze-  framed, zoomed in on the incident, then advanced the video in slow motion, to show how minor of an infraction this was.

The rules of golf and the sportsmanship that golf instills is the critical character and integrity, especially in young people. This is demonstrated from the highest level of play in the U.S. Open to the match between friends. Win or lose, the round always ends with players shaking hands on the 18th green.

Under Rule 13-4b, The player must not touch the ground in the hazard or water with the players hand or club.

If a player touches the ground in a hazard, while preparing to take a shot with their hand or club, the player incurs either a two-stroke penalty under stroke play or loses the match in match play. There are exceptions: one is actually making the golf shot, and another exception is allowing the player to brace themselves in case of a fall.

Slow motion golf swing photos, What the Eye Could not detect

slow motion golf swing photos

In the bunker, considered a hazard, the club can’t make contact with the sand at address.

After the camera crew replayed the video of Anna preparing to take her golf shot, it was clear that the sole of the club made contact with the sand, ever so lightly. After this, Anna was first to play her third shot into the green on 17. After her third shot on 17th, Anna was informed of the infraction of Rule 13-4b. This was before Brittany made her approach shot into the 17th green.

Brittany Lang won the Women’s U.S. Open, but this wasn’t what was significant about the competition between two great players. It was Anna Nordqvist’s response. She took responsibility for the infraction of the rules, revealing an important lesson that this great game teaches players, the importance of sportsmanship, the centerpiece of the ESPY APP.

Anna demonstrated her sportsmanship and character after the tournament. This was shown in her statement to Golf Channel where she said, “Nobody should feel sorry for me! I’m proud of how I played my round and the tournament.” This goes directly to the idea that successful people are more concerned about their processes than their results. The ESPY APP focuses on the process that you have control over, rather than the results you have less control over.

The Lessons Young People Can Take from Golf

If young people want to take something from this Women’s U.S. Open, it is not so much who won the tournament, but how it was played. Wins fade away with time, but character and reputation endure. Ten years from now, if you ask a fan of golf who won the 2016 Women’s U.S. Open, they might have to think, if they could remember at all. But they would remember Anna Nordqvist’s response to the playoff. This is why sports and especially golf is important to build character and instill sportsmanship, as noted in my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, in Section 5.5.

5.5     True grit, with sportsmanship, is easier for most people to grasp and understand than terms like conviction and integrity. Sportsmanship centers on athletes taking responsibility for their own actions. When athletes take responsibility for their actions, the separation between perception and reality closes. True grit is being able to exhibit the quiet strength of perseverance, self- reliance, confidence, and integrity. Athletes understand that confidence is derived from the quiet strength of faith, referenced in Isaiah 30:15: In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. Keep in mind that more can be learned from a loss or failure than from a win, especially if the lesson from the loss is used to build confidence and gain experience.

Why in ESPY APP I Push the Values of Golf


Golf a great way to incorporate golf into homeschool setting to teach skills for life.

The reason that the ESPY APP is significant is because there are no favorites in golf. The rules are equally applied to all. And the golf course does not show particularity between players. This is what is pure about the game of golf and sports competition, in general. The person is tested, based on what Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., stated in his I have a Dream Speech, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I would add to Rev. King’s statement, as it applies to sports– …..character, determination, and hard work.”

Anna Nordqvist, the golf world did not judge you, based on the results of the tournament, but on the basis of your character. Every young person and athlete learned a valuable lesson from you! It was that character does matter! Thank you for reminding us of this!

To have a positive influence on others, while improving your golf swing and game, get your copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach from the following links:

Golf Books

The ESPY Golf Swing Coach



My book can also be purchased at Edwin Watts Golf Store in Jackson, Mississippi. Phone No. 601-956-8784
820 East County Line Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157

ESPY GRIT- Developing Golf Swing Coach App