Many people, given the chance to examine the lives they have
led, might well buckle under the weight of introspection. I was
given that chance when I began to write my memoirs. This was my
chance to vent the frustrations of spending four years in golf
purgatory. My book was a medium over which I had complete
autonomy. I would finally control the end of the story. But then
something amazing happened. The pen that I thought would write
this tale, a pen that had been dripping acid from my bitterness,
was unconsciously replaced by one filled with honest reflection
and sincere gratitude. Good Bounces & Bad Lies (Sleeping Bear
Press, $24.95) became a therapeutic exercise that exorcised the
demons I had become far too comfortable embracing. It is too
easy to blame others for misfortunes that plague a life. To
quote Francis Bacon: "A man that studieth revenge keeps his own
wounds green, which would otherwise heal and do well."
I realize now that the prevailing image of Ben Wright was
created by some members of the media and has been maintained by
unexamined repetition. This fact is undeniable, but I can't
blame the media for the way I am perceived. I must accept full
responsibility. Obviously it's my fault this image has had a
chance to exist, since the damning words that created it came
from my mouth.
I made my return TV appearance on the Golf Channel during the
Ryder Cup, which brought back dear memories. I related
historical essays on the Cup, and my love for that event and the
medium itself overtook me. I found myself in tears at the
conclusion of taping. The last few months have reminded me that
I do not have to define myself by the last four years of my
life. Golf has taken good care of me over the years, and to the
incomparable sport I owe my deepest esteem. Mine has, indeed,
been a charmed life.
Ben Wright is writing, speaking, touring and designing courses.
COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND