"Creativity is contagious, pass it on." ~Albert Einstein

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Go For It

Monday, October 8th, 2018.

Round 1 of the Nebraska High School Class B Girls State High School Golf Tournament.

Hole 12 at Quail Run Golf Course, Columbus, Nebraska.

A short Par 5 at 402 yards.  It's the ultimate risk-reward hole.  Hit great drive and you leave yourself a decision to make in going for the green in two over a massive lake OR taking the easiest route to par by laying up to 145 yards, and hitting your approach from a much more comfortable distance.

I stood next to my daughter Danica on the tee box as the assistant golf coach inquiring about what she wanted to do with her tee shot.   She chose to hit a strong hybrid and hit it better than she expected, leaving herself with a decision to make.   Take on the lake and go for the green in two or lay up, ensuring a relatively easy third shot.

After the other girls in her group hit their second shots to the lay-up area we walked up to Danica's ball to get yardages to the green.  "What do you get?" I asked as she pulled out her rangefinder to get the distance to the green.  "225 back, 215 middle, 198 front." she replied.   I haven't mentioned the weather yet.  It's a steady rain and the temperature is around 43 degrees.  Less than ideal conditions to hit a decent golf shot in this situation considering the lie is thin, tight and wet.

"What are you thinking here? I asked. "I'm going for it," my daughter exclaimed.  As a golf coach, I always encourage players to hit the shots they know they can execute successfully.  As a Dad, did I doubt my daughter in this pressure-packed moment?  No way. Was I nervous? Yes. But I knew that this was one of the biggest shots she was going to hit in her life.

I couldn't wait to watch.

 It's exactly why I introduced both of my children to the game of golf.

Let's flash-back to the year before at the state golf tournament.   Same hole, the same location in the fairway. Similar weather, minus the rain. Shot struck. Water. Wet.  Ball was hit well, just a pull draw and a splash leading to a big number.

 Life lesson.

Another reminder that golf owes us nothing regardless of the time that we spend trying to perfect the game.

Back to the shot at hand.  As my daughter was going through her pre-shot routine I walked ahead in the rough as I usually do.  I took a deep breath and embraced the moment.  I pulled out my binoculars and watched as my daughter struck the ball.  I didn't pick it up in the air right away but was able to track it as it reached its apex.   Land.  Dry. Safe. Front of the green.  Easy birdie.

Transitioning from golf coach to golf dad...

These are the moments that define you not only as a golfer but as a person.

The game of golf teaches one so much about life.  A round of golf is like life condensed into four hours.

Introduce your kids to the game of golf and enjoy every moment.

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