This week we retuned to Atlanta National Golf Club in Alpharetta, GA for The Symetra Classic. I was in this same area just a few short weeks ago for the 4th Annual Teal Cup event. If you keep up with my blogs you would have read about that one a few weeks back.
For this Symetra Tour event I stayed with the same family that I stayed with for the Teal Cup Event, The Mages Family. If you didn’t read my last blog about them I will refresh on how we met.
Last year at this same event I volunteered to help with the junior clinic and two of the Mages children were in the clinic. One of the Mages girls happened to be my partner in a putting contest. They proceeded to come watch the event and kept in touch with me through social media throughout the following year leading up to now.
Last year at this event I did not stay with a host family but this year the Mages invited me to stay with them during the tournament. Andrea Mages (the mom) even offered to caddy for me! Normally I prefer to have someone caddy for me that I know I am 100% comfortable around but sometimes when you meet someone, or an entire family for that matter, that you just click with and immediately feel at home when you are around them. Well the Mages are that family for me.
I am known to be a silly individual who loves to laugh, hence my nickname being giggs (giggles), and the quote that best described the Mages and myself was when Andrea said, “your crazy matches our crazy.” There was not a lack of laughter or good times throughout the week.
Not only did the mages family provide me a caddy in Andrea but a workout buddy as well in their eldest Mckenzie who is 12 and also plays golf. Mckenzie and I have the same trainer that she met while she and her family were down in my area of FL for their winter break just a few short months ago. After my rounds we would go down into the basement and do our workouts together each night. During the day Drea (Andrea) caddied for me. I really enjoyed having Drea on the bag as she made sure I had fun and was relaxed while playing, which is something that I sometimes struggle with when playing in golf tournaments.
If you meet me off the golf course you see the silly jovial person that I am but if you meet me on the golf course my demeanor is a little bit different. The reason I play golf is because it is a sport I am passionate about and love to play! But sometime when I am competing I can be really hard on myself and lose the part of me that enjoys the game and has fun playing it. During the tournament I talked to Drea about this as she could tell I was very tense and frustrated. I had been struggling with putting and was reading all of the putts myself, when with 4 holes to play I asked her to read a putt for me. When Drea read the putt; what she saw and what I saw were two totally different lines. I asked her what she saw and at the same time that she answered I said what I saw and you heard “it moves left” out of my mouth and “it moves right” out of hers. This made both of us laugh and made me loosen up a little bit but I ended up playing my line and missed the putt but my speed was much better because I had relaxed a little. The next hole I had her read that putt as well. Because I had been struggling with putting for two days I automatically came to the green a little tense. The next hole was pretty evident which direction it was breaking and we made a joke about it, which again made me lose up, and I almost made the 35-foot putt that broke 6 feet. The next hole I had about a 10-foot putt for eagle and again both Drea and I read the putt. Drea told me the putt was breaking toward the water and I asked her how she new that, she replied with “my husband told me so one time.” The both of us were in stiches laughing over this comment and again I was relaxed and nearly made the putt lipping out.
This turn of events in green reading with Drea helped me realize something I have been struggling with internally for a while, that being, you can laugh and have fun on the golf course and not have in effect your game negatively. For a while I was thinking I needed to be more serious on the golf course and that if I was laughing and cutting up that I wasn’t being focused. But that isn’t the case with me. There are some people who are extremely intense on the golf course and others who have a ball while they play. Some of my best rounds of golf have been when I was laughing, cracking jokes and having a good time. It is almost as if I have to tell myself it is okay to have fun on the golf course.
When I was younger and playing junior golf my coach use to tell me I looked like a space cadet on the golf course and that he didn’t know how I focused and hit the shots I did or made the putts I did. But that’s just the thing, what works for another wont necessarily work for you. The game of golf is a constant work in progress where we are always striving for excellence. Each person’s path to their success is different and in mine, I have learned that it’s okay to have fun on the golf course and laugh and crack jokes. Some people may not be able to do that but that’s why there is no one way to play golf. Golf is an individual game and it is unique to each individual who plays.
Whether you are someone who is super intense on the golf course or someone who likes to have fun, do whatever it is that helps you the most. Its your golf game and no one else’s so do what you have to do to play well and enjoy the game!!