I started off this year by writing down 5 goals I wanted to achieve. One, I wanted to continue to grow in Christ and be more of a service to people around me. This goal definitely wavered at certain times when I was so golf-focused and “me” driven, that I failed to notice people around me or even my Higher Power. Two, I wanted to win 5 tournaments. Well I only won one, which I don’t know if you can count because it was a Pro-Am? Anyway I shot 64, I so I’m counting it! Three, I wanted to continue my fitness journey and eat healthier foods. This goal I hit out the park. My friend put me on this golf weight training book. I go to LA Fitness at least 3 times a week now, but in the beginning it was 5 times a week to train! This took my golf game and physical ability to the next level. I incorporated that with eating more fish and vegetables and taking supplements, it wasn’t hard to keep the “6-pack” after that. Four, I wanted to continue to read and write. I did a very good job in this category too. I think I read about 8 books this year and took notes on all of them. Especially, when I was starting my business I was taking a lot of notes about planning, and different business models. I started journaling all my tournament rounds which I think is starting to help too. Lastly, I said I wanted to stay focused all year. I would give myself a C in this category. Looking back now, I see where I should have continued to be productive and not hobbyhorse in a defeat. Which leads me to how this whole thing started in the first place.
After another failed attempt to get on the Web.com Tour I had no money left. Which has happened several times before, but my parents have always been there to help. However, this time my dad wasn’t very forgoing about giving me money to pay rent again. More out of frustration I told myself, “I am going to get out of my parents pockets.” So I started to think of different ways I could do that. I was working a lot with the First Tee at the time so I was making ends meet, and I got very proficient at getting kids attention and showing them a good time playing golf. Also, I starting to read books about finding a sponsor, being a leader, I attended seminars, I practiced pitching my business plan to people unmindful of my intentions, and I got a lot of people to help me through this process. What I came up with is a 16 page flip through including a tournament schedule and budget to name a few sections. Attached with that is 7 page contract, including all the provisions and legal documentation. I get exhausted thinking about how much time I put into this, not really knowing how long it would take or where it would take me.
I had a great opportunity once, to get a guy to pay for everything! This is a story I like to call, “The Billionaire.” I know a guy that knows a guy that got me in touch with this billionaire. They set it up for me to play golf with them out in Fort Worth, TX. The middle man comes to pick me up and the whole ride there telling me how this could be one of the best deals of my life. I was definitely excited and nervous at the same time. Once we got to the course I’m already examining it, rating it on my scale, and figuring out how I want to play it. I knew I had to play good today. We had to wait to tee off for three hours because of a tournament on the course, so that gave me plenty of time to calm down. As we are waiting to tee off, eating lunch with the billionaire, he invites two other guys to join us for golf and made it a match between us! These guys looked like they could play! I’m thinking, “this is great, not only do I have to impress the billionaire but I have to beat these guys too.” That feeling of nervousness in your stomach can be unbearable sometimes. I shot even par on the front nine, at the turn I told the billionaire, “I’m ready now.” Then proceeded to shoot three under on the back nine for a round of 69, beating the two guys, and pitching my business plan to the billionaire all at the same time. Needless to say he was impressed. I hit some big drives out there he said, “I’ve never seen somebody hit it in this spot off the tee.” He wanted to take pictures with me after the round and I got his number. We set up a time to meet the next week and he said he wanted to see my business plan. I hadn’t even started on the flip through at this point, so I crammed all I could to be ready. However, I wasn’t ready. I left him with too many questions after my visit there. He gave me a book to read, and I read it in a week determined to impress him, but the word never got back. I continued to call and leave voicemails, until finally he told the middleman to tell me that he has too much going on with work. Disappointed but I knew why. That made me dig deeper to answer the questions I didn’t know. I’m circling back to him.
After revising it some more, I went and pitched it to a family I’ve played golf with here in Dallas. They had already paid for a tournament for me in the past so I knew they would be receptive. I guess I did a good enough job to 10% of what I was asking, but they pretty much told me, I still don’t have it all together yet. They really helped me understand what I was missing, so then I went and presented it to another guy. This guy committed to give me 10k! I was astonished that it worked. I went back to the family and they committed to help again too. I called my dad to tell him what happened and he sounded so proud, and that’s when it hit me.
This whole thing has been about my parents and being a better son. They are getting older now, and I want to take some of those stresses off their lives. I’ve definitely added to those stresses at certain times in my life. However, to get out on my own, and build my golf business off investors’ money, making them money and providing a suitable living for myself, is what I am trying to do. So the last thing I did was went back and dedicated the whole thing to my dad. Both my parents have been my biggest supports with me chasing my dream, and I want to make them proud. I’m still looking for a couple more investors to reach my full amount of $60, 000, but I’m excited I can get started with my tournament schedule for next year. My ultimate goal is still to win on the PGA Tour. I know I can do it, I have it planned out now. I just had to write it down.