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Henry Walker, CEO Farmers & Merchants Bank  

Click Here for Henry Walker's Bio

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Make sure your bank is safe
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Bear Sterns' scandal's deeper impact
Tiger serves to inspire
I stood on the sidelines at the U.S. Open last week and was captivated as Tiger Woods fought through the course with an injured knee. While the beginning looked dismal for Tiger and the crowd started to lose confidence, he swung a 12-foot birdie putt that bumped along toward the hole and swirled into the bump without an inch to spare. You could not help but be inspired, as his performance was one of the all-time epic moments in his golfing career, winning his third U.S. Open title. The victory is being lauded as a story of true perseverance and triumph over daunting obstacles.

In fact, Tiger's win is an ideal opportunity for all Americans to be inspired. It's true, the housing market is particularly gritty, feels like we are stuck in a sand trap. And gas and food prices are the country's triple bogey: it's scary each day just driving by the posted gas prices at the corner station. As a country, we are enduring the pain of an injured economy just as Tiger's sore knee gave him a slight limp and made him grimace each time he took a swing.  

So, what can we learn from this? How can we be inspired? While a sudden death round may not sound like an appealing comparison, the important thing to remember is that there are 18 holes in a course. A game that starts out badly can turn around at any point along the way. Although many business owners may feel pressure on the first few holes, we should remember that a few extra strokes at the start may not always determine the outcome. Sure, the course may be filled with slopes, water hazards and bunkers. Most of us have ridden rough waters before. Fortunately, careful planning, calculated moves and patience can pull us through. Tiger's win was not a miracle, but a result of training, concentration and tenacity. When times are tough, it's great to look for inspiration wherever we can find it, even on the golf course.