It has been a little over a month since my last update, and a lot has taken place. I began the month of July in Arlington Texas visiting my beautiful girlfriend Rachael Hess. We celebrated the 4th with a Texas Rangers baseball game, which included hot dogs, lemonade, and an outrageous fireworks display! The ballpark honored our US troops stationed overseas with a very touching video tribute displayed on the Jumbotron. Rachael and I left the park that night feeling blessed and honored to be an American.
My plane touched down in Gainesville July 10th, and it was immediately back to business. I had a little over two weeks before my next tournament and less than a month before my Hooters Pro Golf Tour debut. I had to divide my time between working the pro-shop at Haile Plantation, and working on my golf game. I am fortunate to play and practice at Haile Plantation, but in exchange, I work about 20 hours per week in the shop. Those 20 hours, on top of guaranteed thunderstorms every afternoon, make each practice session very valuable.
The days leading up to my Florida Players Tour event in Jacksonville did everything but boost my confidence. I was hitting the ball the worse I had in over three months, the putter felt awkward in my hands, and I was fighting against bad weather and a busy work schedule. In my two years at Brevard one of the fundamental things I learned is the value of preparation and how to take full advantage of it. Twenty-four hours before my event I was cursing myself for feeling very unprepared. Insert learning experience here:
If you have ever had a steady job or career, odds are you’re good at it. Maybe you were somewhat lucky to get to where you are, maybe it took hard work and sacrifice, but either way you wouldn’t be doing it if you weren’t good at it. I shot 75 in the first round of my tournament, and for the five hours I was on the course it never occurred to me that I am good at golf. I fought my swing, didn’t trust my putter, and didn’t have the confidence to shoot a low score. Although 75 certainly isn’t a horrible score, it wont make a pay check. That night is when the realization occurred. I have been playing golf for ten years, I have honed my skills and prepared well for countless events in the past; my profession is golf because I am pretty good at it. I went out the next morning, trusted my game, and shot a solid 69. There are certainly no excuses for lack of preparation, and not everyday you show up to work are you going to be at your best, but its important to remember your there because you’re good at what you do.
NEXT UP: Hooters Professional Golf Tour at TimberCreek in Daphne, AL. This will be my first 72 hole event as a pro and offers the chance to play for a $200,000 purse. A pay check is much-needed as my bank account is drying up fast. You can follow live scoring on the Hooters Tour website beginning August 11th.