Psyched Online

An Interview with George Lopez, Host of The Bob Hope Dessert Golf Classic for 2007

With Paul Schienberg, PhD

Schienberg: Golf can play an enormous part in children’s development and personality development. What role has it played in your life?

Lopez: You know I grew up not having a father. Golf is the father I never had. It taught me honesty and respect and discipline and it taught me to control my temperament. I never got that advice from a human being or from anyone in my family. I hit lemons in the backyard as a kid. I had Christmas and played golf for the first time in 1981. I have not put a golf club down since. It is the tissue that keeps my body connected and I don’t ever imagine living without playing.

Schienberg: Did it turn something about you around?

Lopez: Oh yeah, everything we play when we are growing up, is team related. In this game (of golf) you can find all the answers yourself. You don’t need to throw the ball in the air and play catch with yourself. You get a bucket of balls and go out there with your clubs, and you hit and learn and you get better. And there’s no top. You can be as good and continue to get better and the reward is in every swing. There’s a possible reward in every swing.

Schienberg: There’s a new chance?

Lopez: There’s a new chance! Exactly! And that’s why I’ve gotten very involved with promoting the “First Tee.” The “First Tee” was not around when I was growing up.

Those core values were everything I learned from playing golf. And if the kids learn it at a better age, maybe one or two will ever be professional golfers, but they will become better people. And that’s what golf teaches that no other sport does teach as well.

Schienberg: And it clearly did that for you?

Lopez: Absolutely! I am living and breathing proof. Great temperament! I am a Taurus. I was a hot head as a kid. And that’s all gone. Whether I’m playing good or bad you can never tell because I’m always happy.

Schienberg: You can never be a hot head and play great golf?

Lopez: You can, man! It’s like life. You got to see where the trouble is in every shot and you look at it the course and the shots as a series of challenges.

Schienberg: And how to meet and fix the challenges of life tasks? And that’s how you got here!

Lopez: And I love it! And I wouldn’t have achieved so much if I had not started to play golf. I’m playing man. I’m playing. Life is great and golf has been one of the great parts of it for me.

Schienberg: What do you think of the demographics of golf?

Lopez: We got more people from diverse backgrounds that are younger than ever coming to watch golfers play and play themselves.