Over the last year and a half I’ve told so many people about my plans to move on from my pursuit of playing professional golf. I had a plethora of reasons for setting that dream aside, from personal to professional to financial, but the most palpable of all reasons came in the weeks leading up to, and during the week of, the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
If you’ve followed along with my golfing career, you know about the 2017 U.S. Mid-Am. It was of course the peak of my playing career, and to this day I’m still reaping the benefits of finishing runner-up (in the form of exemptions into the biggest amateur tournaments in the country). Even though I haven’t been able to play in much, I’ve been invited to play in numerous events, and even got to play in the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach!
But what I learned during that month in 2017 was that playing professional golf wasn’t for me. I spent 9 days there in Milton, Georgia, every one of them tougher than the one before it. I was tired, lonely, and mentally exhausted. The physical fatigue, the pressure every shot held, and the time away from loved ones simply wore me out. I realized in the midst of the best moments of my golfing life that playing golf professionally was not what I was called to do. I’m glad it happened this way, that I was able to realize my priorities at the peak of my game, rather than at a low point. This has given me so much peace about the decision.
Right around the time I played in the Mid-Am in October of 2017 was when my swing instructor Robert Linville and I began discussing where I would go next. Since I had spent the previous 15 years pursuing one thing and one thing only, I didn’t have a backup plan to comfortably land on. Robert introduced the idea of continuing to do something golf-related, perhaps coaching or swing instruction, but there was one thought that I always had ever since I started playing golf: “If I can’t be playing golf, then I don’t want to be anywhere near it.” So I fully let golf go. I began submitting applications for jobs that lined up with my business degree, got some interviews, and even got licensed as an insurance agent and started working at an insurance company. But I quickly (I mean REALLY quickly) realized this wasn’t for me. I felt the pull of golf again.
But this pull didn’t mean it was right back to the course grinding to play professionally. I still had a lot to work out in my mind. I still wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing.
So I’ve been living in Apex with my beautiful wife Kayla, and working for my parents’ wedding venue and their refrigeration company, and my aunt’s catering company. But starting a handful of months ago I began researching and learning about golf mental coaching. I pretty soon realized that this is what I feel like I’m supposed to do as a career. I have all of this past experience in golf and at least a little bit of success, so this is an area where I can be of help to others.
This doesn’t mean I’m going to launch some Mental Coaching company and immediately be some massive success. I don’t know the ins and outs of mental coaching yet, the science of the mind, the most effective ways to coach. But I’m going to learn as much as I can so that I can help as many people as I can.
So I will be starting out in April at Robert Linville’s Precision Golf School helping some of his students. It will be an awesome journey that I’m so excited to embark on.