Continuing my introduction and what kinds of topics you can expect to see me talk about over the life of this blog, I wanted to talk about the interesting relationship I have with the sport of golf.
I played golf sporadically through High School with my dad or my friends, but when I was Community College, I met a golf coach who was willing to teach me for free if I was willing to put the time in every week. I quickly became quite good at the sport. So much so that when I was 22, I moved to Orlando, Florida and started playing on a series of professional mini-tours as an amateur. My first competition was a U.S. Open qualifier and that didn’t go very well. So I decided that instead of shooting for the top, right away, I would just immerse myself in the sport for a period of time and see how it all went I worked at a golf course where I got free practice and play, as well as made enough money to pay the basic bills. It was a rough existence with a lot of 6am (and sometimes much earlier) wake-up calls and lots of time spent until the sun went down, working on honing my skills. Unfortunately, I overdid it and ended up separating my shoulder from playing too much. I put my career on hold as I went and got my Bachelor’s Degree at college, but had the opportunity to try again. This time, though, I played on a mini-tour out in Arizona…as a professional. It was time to sink or swim and if I swam, I figured I should be able to get paid for it. It also gave me the opportunity to get free stuff from manufacturer’s and not invalidate my amateur status. Which was awesome, cause I eventually got a closet-full of clothes and at least 2 sets of clubs. I would advertise their gear and they would give me free gear from time to time. Not really a sponsorship, more of an informal thing.
But I ran afoul of stupid decision making. I skimped on the quality of coaching, and that just seemed to snowball into all kinds of problems that eventually wound up with me quitting the game for good (or so I thought) because I couldn’t even hit a driver anymore. It was so frustrating to not be able to play the game I loved at even an average level, let alone at a professional level. It was about that time that I met my, now, wife, and I decided to try and go back and get a master’s degree, and eventually moved to Canada to be with her. Golf would come up every so often, because I still enjoyed watching it from time to time and my wife tried to encourage me to make peace with the sport that I had once loved.
It wasn’t until we moved from Canada to the U.S. that I took an interest in getting back into golf. I tried to use it as a way to get away from the stresses and everything surrounding my mom’s poor health. I could leave everything at home and just get back to learning how to get better at Golf, and eventually learn to get back out on the golf course with some ability.
We ended finding an instructor who has been really amazing. Within a couple of months, all of the problems that I had, back in Arizona, were just about gone. By the end of last summer, I even thought about wanting to take everything a step further and take a few more lessons in the hopes of playing a lot more. But before I could take that step, my mother passed away. She had been dealing with Cancer for over 26 years and her body finally couldn’t do it anymore. It was a big loss.
When the winter started coming to an end, my wife and I wanted to get back in the saddle and take some more lessons with our coach. I was surprised how much I was still able to do, and the direction we went forward with got me thinking about maybe playing amateur tournaments, if I could find the time to get out and play more, and hone my skills. And that’s kind of where I am currently, with this crazy game.
My wife and I watch as many tournaments on TV as we can, always trying to process as much as we can from what we see, into our own games. And whenever we meet up again with our coach, we spend a couple of hours really grinding out the necessary things to continue to get better and have fun.
So if I bring up anything about golf, from time to time, now you have the knowledge about what kind of impact it has had in my life. It really is something that has been a major part of my life at various times, and I hope you won’t mind me talking about it every now and again.
Thanks for putting up with this.
See you soon!!