Most of my childhood could be described as memorable. My mom and dad were excellent parents and were very involved in my life. My most memorable childhood experience most definitely has to be winning my first golf tournament. My dad spent countless hours on the practice range and green with me, playing with me and preparing me for competition at the next level. Without his constant support and energy for helping me become better I wouldn’t have won any tournaments.
For many years i spent my summers and after school at the golf course. i would spend hours upon hours on the driving range pounding golf balls trying to perfect my golf swing. During the summer months my dad would take me to the course early in the morning on his way to work, then in the evenings he would show back up and we would fine tune the things that went wrong during my playing that day. After the range we would go to the putting green and work on my chipping and putting. One of my dads favorite sayings was “You drive for show and you putt for dough!” I was very competitive and kept coming up short in tournaments, but my dad was convinced that with work i’d win, “Practice makes perfects,” as he loved saying to me. There no telling how many hours I spent practicing or how many golf balls we hit to achieve that first victory.
My dad was a scratch golfer for a long time. A scratch golfer means you play the course at whatever par, which is different from course to course. We used to play almost every weekend and i would always come up short beating him. Usually not by much and if it was close he would get into my head and talk into hitting a bad shot and messing up on the last hole. Muleshoe Country Cub last hole was a par 3 which played 140 yards with a tee shot that was over water the whole way. It was by far the hardest hole at the course and was always my enemy when the game was close between me and my dad. On this particular day, it was very cold and into the wind. I was beating my dad by one shot going into the finishing hole.
I remember or conversation to the tee as clear today as that day. He kept saying, “Its along way over that water son, don’t get wet.” Needless to say, I hit my first ball in the water as i normally did when the pressure was on and my dad hit his ball on the green. Knowing that the game was on the line, i tee the next ball up and having a one stroke lead i basically need to hole this shot. I hit the prettiest shot that day, and when i hit it i knew it was close. I holed it! On the way to the green my dad couldn’t believe that the shot went in until we get to the green and I remove the ball from the hole. I had finally beaten my dad in a round of golf and while I didn’t realize it at the time it was the one event that propelled me to winning my first golf tournament.
Every experience I’ve talked about lead up to me becoming capable of winning my first golf tournament. Just a few months have passed by since the victory over my dad. I’m a sophomore in high school and had made a name for myself a competitor on the golf team but couldn’t seem to get a outright win. We play three golf tournaments in district and the lowest team total and the three lowest individual totals go on to regionals. After two events my team was in first place and i was in fifth place individually. It’s March in west Texas, maybe fifty degrees and the wind is blowing twenty to thirty miles a hours.
Miserable conditions to play a golf tournament in. Before we start, my dad tells me to concentrate on hitting the fairways and the greens because its a hard day to score low and par will win. For me to say that day was magical for me would be a understatement, for the first time in my life i was in total control of the golf ball and my emotions. I shot 36 on the front nine, which was one over par. At the time I didn’t realize how good of a front nine that was and that was a good thing. The magic continues and i shoot a 37 on the back nine. That’s a total of 73 for the round. As the tournament officials are postings the days scores form all the players i start to realize the significance of the round of golf i had just posted and that there was a possibility i might win this tournament and qualify for regionals individually too. The closest score to mine was a 81, and a 8 shot difference.
I had just won my first tournament and qualified first in district and was on my way to regionals not just with the team but individually too. All the hard work, sweat and tears had finally pain off not just for me, but for my dad also. I worked extremely hard through out my childhood and teens to be the best golfer i could be. It took years of dedication and practice and many failures in tournaments for me to finally achieve my first victory.It was all worth it. My happiest childhood memories are with my dad at the golf course either practicing or playing a round of golf. Without my fathers love and support i don’t think i could have ever won a tournament or even been competitive. All the hours we spent together practicing, playing he molded me into a winner and I am forever great full that he was willing to share it with me.