If you’re a sports fan, you have most likely witnessed what I call a “game-changing” moment, you know, where the momentum shifts and suddenly a different outcome is clear. Sometimes it’s planned, but more often it’s the unexpected, the result of someone who sizes up a situation in a blink of an eye and goes for it. The hero is hugged, lifted and paraded while the rush of exultation consumes friends and strangers alike. As fans we gasp, we cheer, we high five, and for that moment it’s the sweetest feeling in the world and nothing can top it.
Except when it’s on your turf, with your team and with one of your players. It’s a moment that reflects all the practice, skill, training and what we call at Topgolf the “X-factor.” This particular moment happened when one of our very own Associates, Taylor Keyes, a Platinum Host, greeted one of his familiar guests, Platinum Member Rocky, who introduced him that day to a special guest, his dad Jackie.
A lifetime golfer in his own right, Jackie was not sure how he felt about this outing with his son to the new Topgolf OKC. Rocky explained, “I just wanted to get dad out of the house and thought he would enjoy the atmosphere.” And while Jackie normally watched his son play, there was no doubt in Taylor’s mind that Jackie wouldn’t mind taking a few swings himself. Just one hitch though: Jackie is a double amputee who uses a wheelchair. That didn’t deter Taylor as he saw the situation, owned the responsibility for a Platinum experience, and solved it with a quick response by getting a chair that could maneuver Jackie into game play position.
What happened next was truly a game-changing moment for Jackie, for Rocky and Taylor. Jackie hit that golf ball, once then twice and again and again. Rocky said to Taylor, “Thank you for not being afraid to step out there and making that moment possible. We never even imagined that it would be possible.” Jackie expressed with great gratitude, “I never thought I would be able to hit a golf ball again. You don't know what this means to me.”
When I asked Taylor to replay the moment, he said, “It just puts into perspective what life is really about. It made me realize that we can either choose to sit still and fear, and be bound by our circumstances, or we can choose to do something in order to overcome whatever our circumstances may be.”
So you see, it just takes one play to change the momentum, and for a father and son team, it’s a victory of the sweetest kind. As Rocky summed it up, "Now we have something we can do together instead of him just watching me. I just have to step up my game now because he won't let me live it down, when -- not if -- he beats me.”
Now that’s a Topgolf game-changing moment!