For those who don’t know Bobby Jones, he was the undisputed greatest amateur golfer of all time, and the only man to ever win the Grand Slam in a single season. His quote in this picture is the same attitude that I’ve developed through this process of trying to qualify for the Mid-Am.
Let’s get this out of the way, I didn’t make it. I wasn’t even that close. I was in the mix 2/3 of the way through, but collapsed coming down the stretch for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into here. But, failing to qualify is probably the thing I’ll remember least about this process. What will stick with me are the lessons I’ve learned and the ways I’ve improved personally.
To start off, I’m 15 lbs lighter than I was when I wrote my first blog about this, and I’m in much better shape. Anything that can help make you physically healthier is a positive experience. Also, my golf game is much better than it was before, which is nice. In addition to these personal improvements, there are two key things I learned about myself that really stick out to me.
First, golf is a much lower priority for me than it is for most of the men I was competing against. These guys travel across the state, and even country, almost every single weekend playing in tournaments. They’re staying in hotels, eating dinner at restaurants, paying hundreds of dollars for entry fees, and taking regular lessons when they’re home. Golf simply isn’t a high enough priority in my life for me to be able to devote that much time and money to the game. I’m not saying anything negative about anyone, and everybody makes their own choices, but for me, church, my wife, work, and several other things all come before golf.
Second, hard-core tournament golf just isn’t for me. Over this summer, golf became an extra job that I had to do. It was an obligation to go practice and weighed on my mind almost constantly. It wasn’t fun anymore. I didn’t enjoy the good things about the game, I just got angry and worried about the bad. I wasn’t able to just enjoy the competition and let it all go. Once I actually got to the event, my mind raced the entire time and I got angry at every mistake I made. I even got angry at a lot of things that were outside of my control like course set-up and the enforcement of some of the rules. It just wasn’t an enjoyable experience.
Because of those two things, I don’t see myself entering any more of these national qualifying tournaments in the near future. I’ll definitely continue to play on the B&O golf team and I still love the game, I just won’t be entering tournaments where golf turns into work. I’m glad that I went through this process because I really think it helped me solidify the role that golf has in my life. I’m also glad I could walk through it with all of you in these blogs because writing these really helped me think through the process myself. Hopefully y’all enjoyed reading them too.
If there’s one thing that I want everyone reading these blogs to remember, it’s to keep your life balanced. Trying to qualify for this tournament put my life out of balance when golf started competing with things prioritized above it. That is what kept it from being enjoyable. So whatever your priorities are, keep them in mind, keep them in line, and everything else will fall into place.
(Side-note and personal brag: I made my 4th hole-in-one three days before the qualifier, so it wasn’t an entirely bad golfing weekend! J)