The First Tee of Pine Mountain

Working with a “Go-To-Team” helps you become a better student, better citizen, better golfer, and better prepared for life. How has working with a “Go-To-Team” had a positive impact on one of these areas for you?

Working with a “Go-To-Team” has definitely helped me in so many aspects of my life. If I had to pick the one that it has impacted me the most it would be better prepared for life. It’s been a positive impact in my life, because I am not a very open person when it comes to discussing my feelings. When The First Tee taught me about a “Go-To-Team” I realized that it was okay to talk to people about things. I use to hold everything inside that would make me upset, and then something small would make me completely blow up. So now that I have a “Go-To-Team” if something bothers me I’ll go talk to them. That makes me feel so much better. Learning about this from The First Tee could be one of the best things I’ve learned about in my life. Donnie Caldwell is someone I really trust and that I can talk to about anything. He always gives me advice that I need. The best advice is not always what you want to hear but what you need to hear. Something Donnie told me was “make choices today that you’ll be proud of tomorrow” I think about that with any decision that I have to make. It is one of the truest things I’ve ever heard.

Discuss a time you were part of someone’s “Go-To-Team.” How did you help them become better at achieving their goal or goals?

A time that’s I was a part of someone’s “Go-To-Team” was when one of my buddies was just starting to play golf. He knew that I’d been playing my whole life and he came up to me one day during school and said “Hey man I know you’re good at golf, is there any way you can help me out? I am interested in playing.” I told him I would help him. So we set some goals up for him to try to achieve by the end of fall. He wanted to be able to break 100 by the end of the fall. So I first taught him the fundamentals of short game. I helped him every day after school with his golf. I taught him how to read greens, how to play certain shots, how to handle things when something doesn’t go the way you want it, and how to shape shots. I remember like it was yesterday. It was almost the end of fall and we were playing 18 and I was just letting him play and we kept score. He shot a 94 and he was so happy and proud of how far he’d come. I was so happy for him. He thanked me for helping him so much. I was so proud of him too, he went from barely being able to hit the ball to shooting 94 in less than a year. That is one of those most proud moments of my life was helping him achieve his goals.

Tell us about a mentor or role model with whom you have built a quality relationship. How had this individual helped you achieve your personal goals?

A mentor that I have built a quality relationship with would be Donnie Caldwell. He has helped me tremendously in all areas of my life. He has help me become a better golfer, a better student, and most importantly a better person. My biological mother is in prison, and that makes some things difficult. With my step-mother she doesn’t really take something’s withnis very well and she gets upset when I talk to her. I got really upset about it so I went and talked to Donnie about it and he told me some stuff to do and to just pray about it and everything would get better. Things got better and it is because of the advice Donnie gave me. He pushes me really hard. He knows the person, student and golfer that I can be if I really work at it. He helps me with my studies, he gives me advice on how to handle situations, he helps me with my swing. He gives me drills today and tells me what I need to work on. He tells me that “you’re only as strong as your biggest weakness.” Donnie helps me with everything in my life, because of him I am the golfer, student, and person that I am today.