At the beginning of my junior year, I knew I had to play well. Adults and fellow competitors had told me that if I wanted to play collegiate golf, I had to be at the top of my game and impress. I came into the season wanting and hoping to play my best. As I began the season, thoughts raced through my head. Will I get a scholarship? Will I make it to State? What will people think of me? I was all business.
This was my year, no time for fun only focus. One week in, I shot a 41 then a 44. What was wrong? I’d been doing everything right hadn’t I? How could this be happening? Then it hit me. What had Jeff been telling me all these years? All those things he said that I nodded my head in agreement, tried for a few rounds and gave up finally made sense. It took some of my worst play for me to play my best. I had to ask myself “what is a game worth playing”?
The answer was easy, it had been right in front of me the whole time. Jeff was shoving the answer in my face every month. He told me to play with joy and passion. I had to be free and not worry about any outcomes, but to focus on the process. I needed to let go of everything and approach this game with new eyes. I had to see it as a game and that no amount of stress or wishing would help me play any better. I had to play unburdened by any past or future event affecting my game. Jeff told me to play as if I were not attached to any outcome.
Once I fully understood what Jeff had taught me, I could now trust my game and commit to each and every shot. I was finally a patient golfer who didn’t care how I started or ended up. I was having fun again. This was all thanks to Jeff. I finished my season with 5 straight matches under par winning 6 overall and shooting a 71 at Districts to qualify for State. It was all so easy and I owe it all to the man with his name on the sign.
Joe Worley high school golfer March 21, 2017