1 Lesson We All Need From A Masters Champ’s Dad

This is a father-son story that carries a big lesson for any working parent.

Scott was a Lead Dad who devoted all his time to his children – Scottie plus three daughters. He supported his wife, Diane, who was the chief operating officer of a big law firm. He was an O.G. Lead Dad.

His son Scottie is the best golfer in the world, and just won his second Masters title. He’s won three of the last four tournaments he’s entered. (In the other one, he finished second.) He’s as far ahead of No. 2 in the world rankings as anyone since Tiger Woods at his prime. Yet Scottie made it clear during the tournament that if his wife, who is 9 months pregnant with their first child, went into labor, he had a plan to leave Augusta and get home. You only get to see your first child born once, he said.

In a world of parents pushing their kids as much for their own personal glory as their children’s success, this isn’t what Scott Scheffler, the Lead Dad, did. Nor did he neglect his other children for the glory of the stand-out athlete, Scottie. Sisters were in attendance, beaming; and they were thanked repeatedly by their champion brother.

When Scott was interviewed by ESPN at The Masters, he said: “I’m just happy he’s a good person. All that other stuff, that never mattered to me. I’m just so proud that he treats people the right way. That he treats people with kindness.”

At a press conference before his victory, Scottie said of this father: “You know, my dad — the way I was raised — my dad stayed home with us. My mom worked. And my dad never really looked at me as a golfer. He never pushed me to become a good golfer. That was never what he wanted for me. My parents pushed more education and being kind to people. So, I think playing junior golf, I think sometimes you see a lot of parents who really want their kid to become really, really good at something, and they think that’s what’s going to bring them joy. But becoming a really good golfer may bring you a little bit of momentary joy, but it doesn’t sustain it for very long. Winning a tournament makes me happy for about five minutes, and then you go do a bunch of other things that are a little bit more difficult than winning the tournament.”
What can we draw from this?

The focus in the Scheffler House was clearly on parenting and raising good kids. It was not on the outcome or elevating one child to an exalted perch above the others. (Scottie apologized at least twice to his sisters for dragging them around to golf tournaments.)

The focus was on the process, which is what parenting is supposed to be. It’s not about what grades you get, what sport you excel in or what college you go to. It’s about growing up to be a good person who works hard and cares about others.

Now, that that person is self-motivated and successful and kind is what every parent hopes for. But far better to get there with support and encouragement than from listening to someone yell from the sidelines.