“You can choose a life of ease and comfort, or you can choose a life of service and adventure.”-Jeff Bezos
In fairness, I was informed from the jump that becoming a PGA member, or as I like to call it getting a PhD in golf, would be an enormous task. There would be no shortcuts. It would take a ton of time and effort. I would have to earn every inch.
Every now and again, someone interested in the program asks me how much work is involved. A lot, I say. A lot.
On Tuesday, my son had surgery on his toe, I had a dental appointment, and I took two PGA exams. Who would have ever thought going to the dentist would be the easiest, most pleasant part of the day?
The two PGA exams were the culmination of 17 months of grinding, and passing them would get me through Level 1 and on to Level 2. (It goes Qualifying Level, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Full PGA Member.) 215 questions over the span of three hours, my eyes were blurry and my brain was fried by the end.
But I passed.
When I started the golf journey just over four years ago, I had no idea where it might take me. I had no idea what was even available, quite frankly. But I knew one thing early on that I’ve repeated over and over. I had to learn how to play high level golf first, and then the golf world might open up.
For the first two years of the journey, while the perception may have been that I was horsing around playing golf, I was grinding my ass off to become a more than credible golfer. For the last two years of the journey, I have been grinding my ass off in additional ways: practicing, playing, learning how to run a golf course, teaching, coaching, and doing a boatload of outside work primarily on Mondays and Tuesdays, my days off.
I must say that the patience and discipline required is quite high. It’s both a simple and absurdly complex game that requires physical, mental, and emotional stamina moreso than any other sport I’ve ever played. I constantly debate whether raising kids, running marathons, or progressing along the golf journey is more difficult.
Level 1 is basically like your freshman and sophomore years in college. You have to show you are smart and well-rounded, so you take Marketing, Meteorology, and Badminton. For the past 17 months, I feel like I have taken every Intro To Golf class ever invented: teaching, coaching, business planning, and my favorite, growing grass. I kid, but seriously.
Now that I’ve passed Level 1, I get to specialize in my passion in Level 2, teaching and coaching. I formally signed up last night, but I plan to take a few week breather before I start back up. I know I’ll enjoy the learning, and I know I’ll enjoy my jaunt to Frisco, Texas, for a summer seminar. Most importantly, I know I’ll enjoy taking all of the things I’ll learn and applying it to all of my students’ games, as well as mine.
For all of the spiciness that I enjoy in my life, it has come down to boring words like process and patience to get to here and now. I want to be done with this by end of year 2024. Going from a 14 handicap golfer that didn’t know anything to a full PGA member in five and a half years would be pretty damn cool. It’s been an incredible journey. I anticipate it to continue to be an incredible journey.
But I’m over the bookwork on Mondays and Tuesdays. I’d rather write. I’d rather jet ski. I’d rather go to the dentist.
Have a great week.-Benj
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One thought on “The Process and Patience Required to do Something Big”
WoW! That is impressive. And you took the past ? years put them into a great understandable, enjoyable piece of your reading. I think you’re a really good writer. Anyways…thanks for sharing again.