April 3, 2013
The five man lineup that traveled to Florida Atlantic's home tournament in Lake Worth, Florida was excited to get the spring season started. There were positive vibes right from the start as we flew JetBlue airlines equipped with DirecTV and XM radio. Prior to the practice round on Thursday, each team was introduced during an extensive opening ceremonies presentation with Florida Atlantic cheerleaders present, something we have and hopefully will never see again. Everybody hit the ball well during the practice round and we were anxious and excited to end our winter drought.
We played beyond our expectations for our first competitive round of the spring, sitting in an impressive fifth place after 18 holes. It felt awesome to beat out many southern schools who had already the opportunity to practice and play in a number of tournaments so far. We look to improve on our performance and defend our past win last spring at Bradley University's home tournament this weekend at Weaver Ridge Golf Club in Peoria, Illinois.
There is nothing that can truly simulate a tournament round because there are so many factors that go into playing well. Hitting fairways, greens and putts are just a part of the sport. The moment any bit of nervous energy or doubt start to enter one's mind is when this punishing and sometimes unfair game starts to become extraordinarily difficult: missed five footers, errant tee balls and failure to get up and down when missing the green are some examples I have experience with.
I have learned throughout my career that when the pressure is on, you have to learn to tell yourself that having butterflies in your stomach is actually a positive thing because you are in sole possession of your future success. If you are not experiencing some kind of nervous energy and adrenaline, then you are not playing for anything meaningful. You must have confidence that you will succeed when given a chance, assuming your practice and preparation is productive. This game can be the most rewarding sport when playing well, and be demoralizing when playing poorly. If you do not truly love the game, this game is not for you.