“But the point is that there’s no reason why I or anybody else can’t do it at a later age. It just takes a little bit more work.”-Phil Mickelson
4/17/19- Day 1 of the golf journey as a 14 handicap, low 90s shooting, very average, amateur lover of golf
959 Days- Grinded my ass off
Black Friday 2021- Fulfilled the last requirement needed to apply for the PGA PGM Program
11/30/21- Officially became a PGA Associate, which means a handful of things, one of which is now playing as a professional instead of an amateur
12/6/21- Played in my first tournament as a professional, the Six Pro Scramble at beautiful Mossy Oak Golf Club
The 17th hole at Mossy Oak is a relatively short Par 5, measuring 523 yards from the tees I was playing. It was my team’s sixth hole on a quite chilly day. I had made a nice birdie putt on our 3rd hole of the day, but otherwise I had struggled on the first five holes with how far (or lack thereof) my ball was flying in the cold and windy air.
I stepped up to the 17th tee, knowing the exact line I needed to choose for the ball to funnel back to the middle of the fairway. I smoked it exactly where I wanted, only to be outdriven by a few yards by one of my teammates that was teeing off about sixty yards in front of me. As the six of us gathered around the ball that we chose to play, I quickly realized I did not have a club in my bag for the shot that we had. 230 yards, uphill, in the cold air was too far for my 3 iron, but my 3 wood would fly over the green. Determined not to be short for the sixth hole in a row, I grabbed my 3 wood, choked down, and manufactured a little skanky bullet that ended up on the green about 60 feet below the hole. It was the best of the bunch, an unlikely eagle try, but that’s why we play the game.
As we surveyed the putt, we didn’t all agree what it was doing. My first teammate sent it long and right, my second teammate went just a little long, and my third teammate stopped it a foot from the hole ensuring the team a tap in birdie. After watching those three putt, I knew that the putt started about a foot left and, if hit at the correct pace, would snap right at the very end. As soon as I hit it, as ridiculous as this sounds, I knew that it was in. Five seconds later, it hit the pin dead center and dropped into the cup for an eagle. My boss, standing behind me, went bananas. My four other teammates, all professionals, were whooping and hollering, hyped as hyped can be. I just stood there. Frozen. Taking it all in. They’ve been doing this stuff for decades, half centuries, lifetimes.
After 959 days, and after my 6th ever hole as a professional, I was right where I was supposed to be.
Have a great week.-Benj
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