Integrity of the Game

Integrity of the Game

This week, Tiffany Roth introduces a poem that has deeply influenced her outlook on life and the essence of integrity. Whether facing sports or life's trials, upholding integrity involves embracing virtues such as accountability, courage, and humility, nurturing ethical conduct and trustworthiness in all pursuits.
Corporate Golf Spotlight: Alexia Heist Reading Integrity of the Game 4 minutes Next Mindset

This week on the blog, I want to share a poem introduced to me during my collegiate golf years by our strength and conditioning coach. This poem has profoundly altered my perspective on life as it remarkably personifies integrity.

Golf offers endless opportunities to demonstrate one’s character. At its very core, golf is a game of integrity. For example, there are many instances where you must call a penalty on yourself. If you touch the sand in a bunker without striking the ball or move a leaf that no one else saw, it’s up to you to declare the penalty.

Another example is showing respect to the course and your playing partners. This includes repairing ball marks or fixing divots, standing on the correct side of the golfer (right for right-handed players or left for left-handed players), or allowing the person who scored better on the previous hole to have the honor of hitting the next tee shot first. You don’t have to do these things, but it’s the integrity of the game that elevates the sport. Integrity encompasses more than just telling the truth; it includes virtues and strong moral principles such as accountability, authenticity, courage, humility, self-awareness, and understanding, which together create a foundation for ethical behavior and trustworthiness.

Golf is also a game where you may encounter more “losses” than wins, but can you still congratulate the winner and shake their hand with the respect they deserve? The same applies to competitive situations you may find in a working or corporate environment. Through life’s successes and failures – may you treat both with equal grace and dignity.


Tiffany Roth

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“If—” By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!