Christian’s Blog

Goodbye 2012! Hello 2013! ( Part 2)

Fast Forward to July 1st- I have just started my new job as the Assistant Golf Professional  at Azalea City Golf Club in Mobile, AL. “Shop Life”  as I like to call it, is everything I expected it to be. Long days behind the counter, endless questions about the weather (people must think I have a degree in meteorology), and Jr golf lessons galore. But hey, its December 30th and after 7 months as an assistant golf pro I am not complaining. In fact, i’m beyond thankful. I am learning about the business of golf, i’m making money, and i’m getting the chance  to give back to the game I love! Is this what I want to do forever? Absolutely not. But at this point in time it IS exactly what I need.

I want  to finish this post with a list of 2012 “Firsts”- things that took place for the first time in my life and my friends and family’s lives:

2012

1) Took a ballroom dancing class with my mom

2) Took a wine tasting class with my mom

3) Got “suspended” from my cart staff job for losing a gigantic sales rack full of clothes

4) Teed it up in a Nationwide Tour Qualifier

5) Auditioned for a movie

6) Auditioned for a play ( got the part)

7) Hired for my first “real” job as an assistant pro

8) Won my PAT by 17 shots

9) Gave my first official one hour golf lesson, and got paid for it!

10) Saw several marriages of people who I really love and care about come to an end. ( 2013 will be a year of healing. And a year of fresh starts.)

11) Witnessed a close friend beat addiction and is now striving better than ever before.

12)Dead lifted 290lb  ( weak by any standard other than mine)

13) Saw my sister open her own business. Studio 32 Orthodontics. Not to shabby!

14) Accepted more and worried less. Simply said “Yes” to more experiences.

15) And a couple other things probably not intended for all audiences ears.

” 2013: No boundaries, ceilings, or walls. Obstacles become opportunities, Problems become Challenges. Reach for zero regrets.” – Apolo Ohno

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Goodbye 2012! Hello 2013! ( Part 1)

If there is one thing I have learned in the last 12 month, it’s that a whole lot can change in one year…

With just over 24 hours left in 2012, I feel compelled to write; to recap if you will, the amazing year that it has shaped up to be.  It has been a year that has brought a TON of change, a number of “Firsts”, great memories and stories, and has positioned 2013 as a year ripe for new opportunities!

I started 2012 full speed ahead on the golf course. I played 5 events and carried a 72.7 stroke average though the months of January to March. I earned around $1000 and spent around $2500. During those months I worked hard, learned a lot, and enjoyed competing. In my opinion, those are the three most important  things I can ask from myself. However, the results were not good enough to fund another five tournaments, so it was back to working cart staff, and putting together my “Quest for the Card” fundraiser.

As May approached, everything was in place for the Quest for the Card event, and what a turnout it was! Putting the amount of money that was raised aside ($3,500) the overflow of support and love I received from friends and family was truly inspiring! I will forever remember that day and the individuals who were their solely to help me succeed.

Weeks later I was back on the tournament grind, optimistic that this next stretch would be my best yet. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately…) , I couldn’t have played worse. I recorded four rounds of 75 or higher, spent nearly $2000 in just two weeks and felt sick to my stomach to say the least.  It was during a Monday qualifier for a Nationwide Tour event in Georgia, that a shift in my outlook took place. After shooting 78, I stood next to the scoreboard and stared through hazy eyes at 150 pro’s ( most of whom had beat me), and thought to myself, ” I have made it pretty damn far in this sport, but maybe now is the time to move on…”

Quest For The Card-Golf Scramble

Quest for the Card

Golf Scramble  

Date: May 5th, 2012

Time: 8:30 am

Location: Meadowbrook Golf Club

Format: 18 holes, Four (4) Person Scramble

Cost: $50/Person or $200/Team (limited to first 22 teams)

Prizes: Infamous “Prize Buffet” with

over $2500 in prizes to be won!!!

 

To sign up:

Email- Blanchetgolf@yahoo.com

Presented by:  Studio 32 Orthodontics   & Go Primal Fitness

January-February Tournament Recap

After four months away from tournament golf, I was able to compete again during a five tournament stretch that began January 14 and ended this past weekend with the Wildwood Open. Below is a recap of the five events:

1) Kissimmee Open 70 72—earnings $390

2)Volusia County Open 72,78—earnings $0

3) Indian River Open 73, 71—earnings $0

4) Azalea City Open 70, 75—earnings $0

5) Wildwood Open 76, 70—earnings $350

Scoring Average: 72.7

Total Earnings: $740

I want to give a special thanks to Gary Klopper from Corporate Marketing Solutions for providing me new golf shirts to start the year. If you or your company are looking for custom apparel or accessories he is the man to talk to!

Side Note: If I take 1 shot off of each of my rounds played, my total earnings increases from $740 to $1,965, a $1,225 difference. ( Im very close) Also, I was between 6-12 shots away from the winning score per tournament. ( Plenty of room for improvement)

Kissimmee Open and Volusia County Open

I am only two events deep into 2012 and have already learned a ton. I teed it up for the first time in over five months at the Kissimmee Open January 14th and 15th. With rounds of 70 and 72, I finished 19th in a field of 133 players. Conditions were cold (Low’s in the 30’s) and windy (gusts up to 25mph) and required great patience to maneuver the golf ball around the course. My ball striking was not at its best entering the event and didn’t show up during it either. Hitting only 20 GIR (Greens in Regulation) over the 36 holes, I relied on my short game and ability to compete in the present to finish under par and earn a pay check. Overall, It felt great to be playing tournament golf again!

2012 Volusia County Open

The second event of the year brought me to New Smyrna Beach, FL to compete in the  Volusia County Open. I recorded rounds of 72 and 78 to finish T75th in a field of 96 players.  Obviously a poor finish, and below average scoring, but a great learning experience none the less. After shooting even par in round one, I was sitting around 40th place and three shots outside of the money. Course conditions were perfect; no wind, sunny skies, and great greens resulting in very low scores from the majority of the field. Knowing this, I mentally entered round two anxious to make birdies, focused on the result, and way ahead of myself in every aspect. After bogeying the par 5 opening hole, I followed it with a double bogey on number two. I pressed harder to make something happen on holes three and four and the result was poor decision making and sloppy mistakes. What I learned from this event is this: For me, it is key that i stick to my process (clear targets, clear shots, educated decesions, acceptance) and play in the present. When I do this, I not only shoot my best scores, but I also get the most enjoyment out of the game. This isn’t the first time and probably wont be the last time that I put the result ahead of the process, but thats okay, because I believe reminders like this help to strengthen me as a player in the long run.

 

EXCITING NEWS! In the next couple of days I will be partnering with a new sponsor, receiving some assistance with new apparel, and possibly taking on a new job that will greatly help fund my pursuit of the PGA Tour. More details to come!

 

2012

The start of 2012 brings with it a new opportunity to take your game (whether that’s golf, business, education, or some other venture) to new heights! The energy thats flowing through the air at  this time of year is exciting. People are setting goals, taking on new challenges, and enjoying life.  One of my favorite athletes, 6 time olympic medalist Apolo Ohno, sums up what I feel is the perfect attitude to carry into the new year: ” 2012: No boundaries, ceilings, or walls. Obstacles become opportunities, Problems become Challenges. Reach for zero regrets.”

It has been four months since my last update and even longer since my last tournament. In September,  I undertook the role of Coach Christian for the St. Francis Catholic High School golf team. Over the quick two month season, our team recorded a school best 12-2 record and three of our players were named to the Gainesville Sun Honorable Mention team. I walked away from the season feeling satisfied that I helped a group of kids learn and enjoy the game of golf. I also realized that I would consider pursuing a career in coaching at the collegiate level should the opportunity present itself.

The months of November and December brought a lot of changes and questions about the future. I hadn’t touched a golf club in a month and I didn’t have the means to compete in any tournaments even if I wanted to. I spent a lot of time soul-searching, if you will, to find out what I should do next. And then one day  it came to me. It didn’t take a crazy event or long inspirational speech to bring me clarity of what I needed to do, it simply took my mom asking me the deeply touching question, ” have you given up ?”  The answer didn’t come in words, but in the feeling-NO WAY.

January has arrived and I’m excited to say that my golf game, both mentally and physically, has never felt better. I owe a special thanks to Go Primal Fitness for sticking with me over these past few months and keeping me in shape. I have put together the necessary finances to play in four events over the next six weeks. The events are: The Kissimmee Open (January 14-15),  The Volusia County Open ( January 21-22), The Indian River Open (February 4-5), and The Wildwood Open (February 25-26).  On top of this, I have created a plan with the guidance of Bridgestone Golf to attract investors to help me accomplish my goal of competing on the PGA Tour. If you would like to find out more on how you can be a part of my quest for the PGA Tour, please email me at Blanchetgolf@yahoo.com.

Follow all of my upcoming tournament action here on my blog, or on the website, http://floridaprofessionalgolftour.sports.officelive.com/results.aspx.

Go Primal!

When you think of athletes that play football, basketball, soccer, etc. you probably envision some of the most elite physical specimens on the planet. These are men and women who train extremely hard in order to give themselves a competitive edge on the playing field. But what about golfers? The game of golf is unique in that almost anyone of any size, shape, and age can play it, and often at the elite levels. However, I have found  that strength and conditioning for golf opens the door to an entire new means of improvement.

It wasn’t until the spring of my senior  year of high school that I gave any thought to physical fitness. On a recruiting trip to Brevard Community College, Coach Howell brought to my attention that I needed to gain more distance, and one way could be through strength training. I certainly didn’t want to be the shortest hitter entering college, so I figured I would give it a try. In the first few months of training I was clueless to say the least…five years later I am at an all time fit.

Last week I partnered with Go Primal Fitness and Training Institute here in Gainesville, FL. The trainers at Go Primal provide me with exactly what I look for in my training: A mental and physical workout that forces me to be in the present and push past negativity and doubt. I see a huge payoff on the golf course by training my mind to operate in the present in the gym. There may be limitations to the amount of size (muscle mass) a golfer can have, but there are certainly no limitations on strength, flexibility, stamina, or mental toughness.

 

 

Off Season

It has been several weeks since my last post, and a ton of positive changes have begun to take place. I am approaching the months of September and October as my off season. This is not necessarily by choice, but more due to a temporary lack of funding. However, I am embracing these months away from tournament golf to accomplish several important objectives:

1) Set my goals for the 2011-2012 season

2) Improve several key areas of my golf game

3) Improve my fitness levels

4) Partner with potential sponsors and investors

5) Coach the St. Francis Catholic High school golf team

At this point in the year most Nationwide and PGA Tour players are either competing in the Fedex Cup Playoffs or winding down the season with the Fall Series. The majority of Hooters Tour Players and other mini tour guys are beginning to prepare for PGA Tour Qualifying School. Q-School as it is called, is a four stage process towards earning your PGA or Nationwide tour card. Anyone can enter Q-School, providing that they have the $5,000 to sign up, and to advance through each stage requires a top 25 finish. Players who advance to the fourth and final stage, must finish inside the top 25 to earn their PGA tour card and inside the top 50 to earn their Nationwide tour card. One year from now, my goal is to be entered into Q-School and ready to earn my our card. I will use all 365 days between now and then to improve both on and off the course.

Below is a quick break down of my first three months as a professional: 6/1/11- 9/1/11

Tournaments Played: 7

Rounds Played:10

Rounds @ even par or better: 7

Scoring Average: 70.10

Low Score: 62 (9 under)

High Score: 76 (4 over)

Money Earned: $1,025

 

NGA Hooters Professional Golf Tour

This past week I competed in my first Hooters Professional Golf Tour event (named after its sponsor, Hooters of America Restaurants) at Timbercreek GC in Daphne AL. The Hooters tour conducts around 25 events between the months of March to October, each 72 holes with a guaranteed $200,000 purse. The field size of each event is approximately 150 players, which after two rounds (36 holes) gets cut to the low 65 players and ties. These 65 players then compete in the final two rounds for all the money ($28,000 for first, decreasing  down to $1,000 for 65th place). 

I began my preparation bright and early Monday, playing a practice round at 7:00am with the course all to myself. I played again Tuesday and practiced Wednesday before the first round of the event at 8:50am Thursday morning.

On the first tee I was greeted by the very familiar mix of nerves and excitement flowing through my body which always helps me get focused to play. My first round began with 14 strait pars before I made my one and only bogey on the fifteenth hole. I finished with three more pars on the closing holes for a one over par, 72. It was a round that consisted of solid and safe golf. I never hit a shot in trouble, nor did I hit a shot close to the hole. I made all of my three and four-foot par putts, but didn’t make any fifteen or twenty-foot putts for birdie.

Round two began at 1:50pm Friday afternoon. My game plan for the day was to be more aggressive with my iron shots into the greens in order to make more birdies. My scorecard consisted of twelve pars, three birdies, and three bogeys for an even-par round of 71. My 36 hole total of 143 put me in 78th place and two shots outside of the cut line. I was “packing the bags and slamming the trunk” as my buddy Bill likes to say.

However, this was the best week of my professional golf career thus far. The atmosphere and setup of the Hooters Tour is very similar to that of the Nationwide and PGA Tours, and I loved it! I felt as comfortable and confident out on the course this week as I ever have. My demeanor and focus was exactly how I want and need it to be in order to be successful. I realized this week that competing in golf is what I truly love and want to continue to do as my career. I believe now more than ever that through golf I can accomplish my goals and inspire others in the way that I play the game; free of ego and selfishness, and from a place of presence and consciousness.

NEXT UP: The Gator Open, August 20-21st, University of Florida GC.