Interview with Dawn Lewis


How the "Game of Golf" Relates to the "Game of Life"


October 2009




Dawn Lewis

Dawn Lewis is the wife and business manager for J.L. Lewis. J.L. and Dawn have traveled the PGA TOUR as a family and Dawn homeschooled their children, Cole and Sherry, while traveling the PGA TOUR for 7 years prior to their entrance into college.  Dawn was an athlete who competed in gymnastics at the University of Texas, as well as competed in golf, gymnastics and track and field in high school. She has created a strong support system for J.L. in his golf career. Dawn has a passion for learning and has spent much of her life studying the physical, spiritual and mental aspects of top performance in sports and life.



Q: What are the parallels between the “game of golf” and the “game of life?”


A: This is a big question.  The first step here is to look at life as a game.  I think many people go through life thinking that life happens to them. Taking the viewpoint that life is a game adds interesting dimensions of choice and control.  Ask yourself these questions:  'What game am I playing in life?'  'What is my purpose?'  'What position am I playing?'  'What are the rules?'  'Who are my playing partners?' 'Am I winning this game of life?' If we look at life as a game then our different roles in life are games within the game. On the golf course, the goals, challenges, attitude, competition, enjoyment, and all aspects of the game are opportunities to practice and advance the life game we are playing. For example, if I have a life purpose of being the best I can be and making a difference in the world through demonstrating the core principles of love, mastery and harmony, then my actions on the golf course are a direct correlation of how I am playing that bigger game. Am I appreciating the beauty of the golf course and the company of my playing partners? Am I improving my golf game and moving toward mastery of the game?  At the end of this life you want to look back on it and say I won this game of life.  I’ve done my best, was successful, and served my life purpose well.


Q: Can you give a couple of examples of how principles which are put into practice on the golf course can be applied to everyday life?

A: Mastering the game of golf starts with learning the fundamentals of the golf swing. Just like golf, if you understand the fundamental principles of life then you can move toward success. Examples of key life fundamentals are love, integrity, truth, knowledge, harmony, joy, presence and mastery. Living a life based on your fundamental principles sets a solid foundation for success in life. 

Positive intention is another principle which can be applied in golf as well as life. When standing on the tee box looking down the fairway, it is important to pick a spot in the middle of the fairway and intend for your ball to land there. Oftentimes attention is put on what is not wanted rather than on what is wanted on the golf course, for example; worrying about the ball going into the water rather than hitting a good shot down the middle of the fairway. Intend where you want the ball to go and focus on that result. We get in life what we put our attention on. Practicing this principle on the golf course will transfer to the same positive habits in life.


Q: What did you learn from competing in sports throughout high school and college that has helped you to be supportive of J.L. in his career?

A: Being an athlete myself, it has been very easy to support J.L. in becoming a successful professional golfer. I learned a very important lesson as an athlete competing in gymnastics that has transferred well to the golf course. In competition, my junior year in high school, I fell off of the balance beam after a front walkover at the same spot in the routine each time. My father, who was the track and cross country coach at Emporia State University at the time, took me aside and had me visualize my balance beam routine. Surprisingly, I found that I would fall off the beam at the same place in the routine in my mind!  I practiced visualizing the routine until I could visualize a perfect routine.  After beginning this mental practice I did not fall from the beam in competition the remainder of the season. The lesson taken from this experience is that to achieve a perfect performance you must be able to visualize a perfect performance.  This lesson has transferred to the golf course and has contributed to our success on the PGA TOUR. It is important to focus on the positive and visualize a perfect result. 

There are many other things I've learned as an athlete including: perseverance, a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, and that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. 

Q: You and J.L. homeschooled your children and traveled on the PGA TOUR together.  What lessons were you able to pass on to your children about the "game of life?"

A: As a home school mom, there are many things that I wanted to pass on to our children, one of which is a passion for learning. Education does not just happen in a classroom. We learn every minute of every day. There are new and exciting things to discover all around us. All we need to do is to look around and have a healthy curiosity about our environment.



October edition of News from J.L. Sports, LLC