abk Golf: Process, Progress, and Drowning Out Noise

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”-Kurt Vonnegut

It’s been nearly two months since I played in my first real golf tournament, the Mississippi State Amateur. I started big, because that’s what I do.

If you don’t follow along regularly, let me catch you up.

Almost two and a half years ago, I made a major life change, to put it mildly. One aspect of that change was that I wanted to get really good at golf, to put it simply. At the time, I was a roughly 14 handicap with an average score of 93, give or take. I am athletic as hell, I had fallen in love with the game late, but I had a lot of fundamental flaws. Fast forward to almost two months ago, and I had gotten pretty damn decent, hovering somewhere in the low single digit handicaps with an average score of 76/77.

But I had zero experience playing in real tournament golf, which is a totally different beast, I learned. There’s golf that means nothing, and then there’s golf that means everything. Forget skill, practice, and determination. It is hard to anticipate how you are going to feel when you have never done something before, and I had no idea what to do when I got an incredible jolt of adrenaline on the first tee, day one. Hell, I had no idea what to do when my arms went limp on the first tee, day two.

After a rough scoring tournament full of welcome to moments, most people had kind words to say to me, but one person took a jab. A basically you’re not as good as you think you are kind of thing. I just smiled, said it was a great learning experience, and got back to it. Like immediately. There was lots of work to be done.

After a wild 3 under par 69 on Saturday night, I have now shot every score between 67 and 101 (except for 68) along my two year plus golf journey. How’s that for steady progress?

After that wake up call two months ago, I have been doing my best work and playing my best golf ever. Just for statistical purposes, I’m carrying a 0.6 handicap, and my scoring average of my last twenty rounds is 74.5, lowest ever. I’ve still got lots of work to do on my driver, but everything else is cooking. The mental game feels more focused, the confidence is higher, AND I’ve got a real tournament, with all of its wild emotions, under my belt.

I’m almost halfway through a five year process full of grinding, building, and investing. Interestingly, I’m learning that this five year process is just the beginning, just the foundation. How dare I be so impatient.

I have to experience what things feel like to take next steps. Wasn’t prepared here. Need to do better there. Pretty good here. Wasn’t comfortable there.

The hard-ass David Goggins hit me with a great quote this week: Life requires an abundant amount of action. Not talk. Not excuses. Action. Damn straight. The peanut gallery’s words are essentially useless. Get in the game. Play your first tournament. If you shit the bed, learn from it. Grind. Then line up a full slate of tournaments, and go do it again.

And remember, two and a half years. This is just the beginning.

Have a great week.-Benj

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