Balls of Steel

As much as I like to be original, the above title is not my words.  Do you think that I would really use language like that (wink, wink)?  Nah, these were actually cut and pasted from a couple of messages I received this past week about some major, exciting changes I am making in my life.

As much as I hate it when people tell you what they are going to do instead of just doing it, I am about to become a massive hypocrite tonight and do just that.  Over the next 8 weeks, starting next Sunday, February 3, and culminating Friday, March 29, (with a brief intermission for my son’s birthday,  the NBA All-Star Game, and a trip to Cali) I am going to show and tell you about these changes.

At a minimum, it will seem unorthodox.  At a maximum, it may seem downright insane.  According to lots of folks this week, it is courageous…ballsy even.  From an outsider’s point of view, I can see it.  If you really know me, you know it ain’t no thang.  For me, yeah, it’s big, but it really ain’t no thang.

As I have been building out my vast library of golf photos for my new venture @abkgolf, I was reminded of a memory some 7 years ago that got me giggling.  It got me giggling because these major life changes don’t phase me, but on this day, I was nervous as hell.


The venue was Quail Hollow Club, site of the PGA Tour’s annual Wells Fargo Championship along with the 2017 PGA Championship.  It was Fall 2012, and I got the last minute text Sunday night to play in a corporate event the following morning.  No details, just are you available, and of course I was.  I have since played Quail some 5 or 6 times, but that morning was my first, and what an introduction.  I arrived at the valet, shell shocked that just months ago, some of the greatest players in the world were right here.  Immediately upon arrival, I learned who my playing partner would be, a kind, but intimidating presence that had me nervous throughout breakfast.  Soon after, we walked up to the tee box on hole number 1, and a short-ish but fit gentleman who I had not seen yet extended his hand.  “Good morning,” he said politely, “I am Charles Howell III.”

42010950-a33b-49fa-af78-95debdb05d09(For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Howell the third is a longtime PGA player with over $35MM in earnings.)  My stomach dropped.  I literally could not feel my arms.  I should have been excited, but the combination of Quail Hollow, the first tee box, and my playing partners had me rattled.  I think they could sense that, and they quickly offered some kind words about “relax, just a normal day, blah blah blah”.

To this day, I know this sounds absolutely absurd, I have never been more nervous in my entire life then when I grabbed my driver and approached my ball on that first tee.  I can still feel the feeling that I had in my arms during that moment as well as the thoughts racing through my head…”don’t embarrass yourself…don’t kill anyone”.  But as with most things in life, you handle your business.  I handled mine, a little right, but more than respectable.  (I didn’t lose my dignity until hole 14.)

And with these next life adventures, I expect to do the same.  Maybe a little left.  Maybe a little right.  Just not straight down the middle.

Because that would be boring.

Stay tuned, and have a great week.-Benj

Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and now @abkgolf.

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