Over the last couple of months, I have been working, practicing, training, and competing just like normal. I have not been as active on social media because throughout my time creating content to post I get distracted and consume content already out there. Sometimes it can be beneficial, but for the most part, it leads me to compare myself to others and waste time that could be spent in much more valuable ways. I want to continue sharing my journey and using social media as a tool, but I don’t want to get wrapped up in the game of trying to catch people's attention for a moment of fame or chasing follows, likes, and comments as if they bring great self-worth. My objective from the beginning of E. Smith Golf was simply to share my journey providing insight and hopefully inspiration to someone else who is chasing a dream that scares them and that's what I will continue to do!
Since July, I have played a handful of events including some small weekend single-round handicap tournaments and the Oklahoma Open. Unfortunately, I have not produced great success in competition, but I have continued to gain knowledge and experience every time I tee it up.
Throughout my last few events, I have seen some consistencies in weaknesses and in strengths. My weaknesses have been in attitude and compounded mistakes. After hitting a poor shot, I have had trouble letting go of the frustration causing me to tense up and lose a pure focus on the next shot. Instead, I begin to focus on my score and get ahead of myself trying to force birdies that will cover the damage of compounded mistakes. My strengths have been in course management, commitment to strategy, and a slowly growing confidence from each tournament.
The highlight event was a small tournament at High Meadow Ranch put on by the Fairway Golf Tour. I had played this golf course only one time before, but using that knowledge and the hole-by-hole flyovers on their website I was able to establish a game plan for the course. I had not played for 4 days before teeing it up in this tournament, so I knew my ball striking would likely be loose making mental strength and acceptance a big part in the day's success. As I got warmed up and into the first few holes, I was able to establish some rhythm hitting shots. It certainly wasn’t my best ball-striking, but it was something I could work with and it would be good enough to get the job done as long as I was committed. On each hole, I stuck to my game plan and took one shot at a time. I played a very steady round of golf with patience, confidence, and peace of mind. I ended up shooting even par (72) and although I finished outside of the money, I walked away from that event with great motivation in my game.
Playing professional golf is HARD. I have not had a lot of success in competition this year. That's a simple fact and although it's disappointing, I am not discouraged because I can see the ways I have grown on and off the course. I have also made some big life decisions within the last year that outweigh the importance of shooting in the 60s. I’m getting married at the end of October to my beautiful fiancee who supports me and makes me a better man. I am thankful for the encouragement she has given me and I am excited to do life with her! God has continued to open the doors of pro golf through places to practice, available tournaments, and enough money to play in them, so I will continue to chase this dream! At the end of the day, the journey is the destination. I am thankful for what I get to do and I love every part of it!
I’m not sure what I will be playing in next. There are some events coming up, but between my work schedule as a caddie and the upcoming wedding, I may only play a couple more tournaments to close out the 2021 season. I am also considering a new membership at a club that will be much more convenient to practice at, but money spent for a membership there will leave less money to compete with for the rest of the year so I am still thinking through the details. The journey continues!