The First Tee of Green Valley Ranch

Which of The First Tee Nine Core Values has helped you the most on your personal journey to become a better student, citizen, golfer or better prepared for life?

The First Tee Core Value of Honesty (my personal favorite) has helped me the most on my journey to become a better student, citizen, golfer, and being better prepared for life by building morale within me. When I am honest all the time it builds up a certain feeling of self-pride which builds confidence in me to be a role model and a leader to my peers, especially my younger peers who are getting into the game of golf. A prime example of using honesty on the golf course is when I was placed in a situation where my playing partner who had my scorecard marked me down for a lower score than I had actually hit. While this situation was beneficial towards me, I knew I had to do the right thing by informing him that he had marked me down for an inaccurate score. While some would think this was not wise on my part, it actually helped me play better because the relief of doing the right thing gave me the confidence to play one of my best rounds ever.

Which core value have you employed to help someone else achieve their goals?

I used The First Tee’s 9 Core Value of Perseverance to help my sister achieve her goal of qualifying at the local Drive Chip and Putt qualifier. Makaela (my sister) has followed me around all of the Drive Chip and Putt tournaments when it was my turn to qualify a couple of years ago. Last Summer, she asked if I would help her get ready to go to the Drive Chip and Putt qualifier. At first, she was very open-minded about practicing techniques required for competing at Drive Chip and Putt qualifiers, but I soon realized that she has little patience for practicing. Although this is a negative, I persevered by turning the practice sessions, into fun mini-games to make it more interesting for her. This would soon lead to Makaela successfully qualifying for her local Drive Chip and Putt qualifier.

Identify a lesson that you have learned from a mentor, peer or role model that you have translated into your daily life.

One of the greatest lessons I have ever been taught, from my swing coach, Jason Witczak, was “Pressure is only something you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing.” This has helped me in my daily life by teaching me that if I work hard and prepare properly, I can do anything. Picture this, there was a three-way tie for first place, me being the youngest and smallest of the three. One would think that I would feel pressured and intimidated by the other players, but I was unphased. I thought back to what my swing coach had told me, and all my anxiety disappeared because I knew I had just as good of a chance as both of them. His words instilled the confidence within me to go win in the playoff at Coal Creek Golf Club. These motivating words will be forever ingrained in my mind, to empower me through each and every day.