It is with some sadness that I note the death of Byron Nelson earlier this week. Everything I heard and saw and read about him spoke of his immense gentleness and humility.
Born on a farm. Worked as a caddy while still a teenager. Worked as an accounts clerk. Thrown out of work during the Great Depression, found himself working temporarily for a banker’s magazine some time later. Turned pro because he couldn’t find work. Rewrote the record books. Retired to all intents and purposes at the age of 34, to run his ranch. Which he did for sixty years.
Here are some of the things he said:
I don’t know very much. I know a little bit about golf. I know how to make a stew. And I know how to be a decent man.
When I was playing regularly, I had a goal. I could see the prize money going into the ranch, buying a tractor, or a cow. It gave me an incentive.
Shades of Peter Drucker and Making Shoes Not Money.
Byron Nelson was hewn from stones we rarely see today. He will be missed. My condolences to his family.