Inspiration

Inspiration comes in many forms and the game of golf is one form of inspiration for many. Erik Compton and Mike Gibson share their stories of inspiration and how golf has changed their lives.

ericcomptontitle ericcompton

At the age of nine, Erik Compton was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an enlarging of the heart that hinders its ability to pump blood. Three years later, in 1992, he received his first heart transplant. Several years after that, Compton was the no. 1-ranked junior golfer in the country. He attended the University of Georgia where he was an All-American and a member of the 2001 Walker Cup team.

In 2007, while playing a Nationwide Tour event, Compton suffered a major heart attack on the golf course. In mid-2008, he underwent a 14-hour surgery to implant a second new heart. Just five and a half months after his surgery, Compton participated in the Disney Children’s Miracle Network Classic where he shocked the golf world by making the cut. More...

transplantfoundationlogo

Erik Compton has teamed up with the Transplant Foundation, Inc (TF) which is a public 501 (c) (3) organization. Established in 1987 by thankful transplant recipients,

Transplant Foundation has grown tremendously over the years to focus on providing both financial and emotional support to transplant patients. Organ donation and transplantation saves lives, so it is also within their mission to educate the community on the importance of organ donation and to fund transplant research.

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mikegibsontitle mikegibson

The eldest of seven brothers growing up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Mike Gibson was 14 years old when he moved with his family to Arkansas. Mike played several sports, but was only a casual golfer. When he was 17, between his junior and senior years in high school, a tragic boating accident resulted in a left arm amputation above the elbow and the possibility of losing a leg. Three years after the accident, Gibson reintroduced himself to golf. That's how long it took before he was able to put weight on both feet. Mike regained his leg strength by relentlessly training on a stationary bike. More...

worldteamsportslogo

Mike Gibson supports World Team (The Exceptional Athlete Matters) which uses the universal power of sports to create soul-stirring experiences by teaming disabled athletes with able-bodied athletes, forming a true TEAM.

The organization's principal aspirations and objectives are to: Increase and promote inclusive sports opportunities for all people, especially reaching out to disabled people; to organize and host innovative and challenging sporting events that encourage all individuals, especially those with disabilities, to participate in lifetime sports; and to promote diversity and increase awareness, acceptance and integration of those with disabilities.

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  1. "Change takes a little bit more of a push, you really have to bust through it even if you’re making mistakes along the way. So knock the challenges down one at a time."
    Mike Gibson
  2. "You need a clear vision of where you want to go."
    Erik Compton
  3. "I ask myself how can I help this person get over who they are so they can get better at what they’re doing."
    Mike Gibson
  4. "Set your own goals and don’t let others impose limits on you."
    Erik Compton
  5. "I’ve learned from teaching golf that the answers were pretty much here in your heart and the ball doesn’t care who you are, what you’re wearing, how many arms you have, whether you’re tall or short."
    Mike Gibson
  6. "Adversity can make you a better person."
    Erik Compton
  7. "Find something you’re passionate about, doesn’t matter what it is. Enjoy what you’re doing."
    Mike Gibson
  8. "Live in the present and every step will get you closer to where you want to go."
    Erik Compton
  9. "Golf gives me that opportunity - each hole has a start and an end. So does life – once you start the race, you must finish it."
    Mike Gibson
  10. "You have to believe you can achieve any goal."
    Erik Compton
  11. "There’s nobody saying you can’t do it, so get out there and go for it."
    Mike Gibson
  12. "People put limits on themselves too much in life, and if you just have a vision you can achieve it."
    Erik Compton
  13. "Get out of your own way, get up off the couch, whatever it is you’re doing make it a passionate plea. Be successful at it. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking."
    Mike Gibson
  14. "Try not to let life pass you by and grow at your own pace and get out there and go do it absolutely."
    Erik Compton
  15. "Put yourself in the mind of a child who doesn’t have any recollection of coaching or what a swing should look like. They look at it as an opportunity and just making the ball fly is ultimately what it’s all about."
    Mike Gibson
  16. "Set your sights on the future. Most people live in the past, but life is today. Set goals. Aim high. Set your sights on something down the road that’s really going to pay off."
    Erik Compton
  17. "I try to explain to my students that it doesn’t have to be complicated. People show up with this anticipation that it’s going to be hard and in actuality the ball doesn’t really care whether you’re a disabled or able bodied."
    Mike Gibson
  18. "If you believe you can achieve your goals you’ve already doing it."
    Erik Compton
  19. "People are sometimes just holding themselves back. The first thing I try to figure out is - how do I help this person get over themselves and get out of their own way."
    Mike Gibson
  20. "In golf as in life, it’s about believing in yourself and getting better."
    Mike Gibson
  21. "People respect you more when you’re not depressed and down about things. Getting over your physical limitations is a really important part of a healing process."
    Erik Compton
  22. "If I can give my students the opportunity to go to another level and challenge them to become better not only in golf, but in life, then it’s a pretty good positive experience."
    Mike Gibson
  23. "Like life, in golf you want to advance the ball and keep it in play. Have a path. Try not to stray from it."
    Erik Compton
  24. "I look at it like you have choices: you have the choice of being a very positive and outgoing individual or pessimistic."
    Mike Gibson
  25. "Adversity has made me a better person. I wouldn’t want to change my life . . . golf really got me hooked."
    Erik Compton
  26. "I’m always looking to help an individual through his or her own process to get up and try something new."
    Mike Gibson
  27. "The game of golf has helped me at many different intervals of my life. .. I don’t think without the game of golf I would be alive today."
    Erik Compton
  28. "Golf is great. You get to go outside and play on beautiful grounds with friendly people. It’s not a difficult sport. Work through your disabilities by seeking a PGA professional’s help and get out of your own way!"
    Mike Gibson
  29. "Regardless of what your handicap is in golf, whether you’re a scratch golfer or a 36 handicap, if you can shave one shot on your game that is enough to make people forget about their problems."
    Erik Compton
  30. "If you dwell in your past or on something that isn’t very positive, 'getting over it' helps you step through that window of life that gives you an incredible feeling and opportunity that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to share."
    Mike Gibson
  31. "You have to make the best out of what you have today. Today is life."
    Erik Compton
  32. "Get inspired by people who challenge themselves – those who try hard to overcome."
    Mike Gibson
  33. "In sports and in life – if you fear standing up on a tee and duck hooking it out of bounds, you probably will. It’s kind of like you fight it, but if you can embrace it, look it straight in the eye and say, you know what? I’m going to beat this."
    Erik Compton
  34. "There are parallels between life and golf that are very similar because there are challenges and hurdles on both sides."
    Mike Gibson
  35. "This crazy game has saved my life."
    Erik Compton
  36. "If you’re feeling challenged about what you’re doing and looking for a way to put yourself back into the mainstream of life don’t let anybody hold you back. Go out there and create something fun and unique that you can actually take to the end."
    Mike Gibson
  37. "Two life lessons are to address your fears and get out of your own way."
    Mike Gibson
  38. "It’s about having a resolve and a tenacious spirit."
    Mike Gibson
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