The First Tee of Greater Charleston

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?

Building a “Go-To-Team” before I needed to rely on one helped me through the hardest part of my life. In July of 2016, my father passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident. I was in shock when I found out, and I will continue to deal with the grief that the loss of a parent causes. However, I knew immediately that, due to the support system I had already built up, I would get through this tragedy. A year before my father’s accident, I became a member of my church. In my church, the youth portion is split into “Small Groups,” where each week you meet with people who are the same age and gender as you. These girls that I was put in a group with, and the leaders of the group, became a part of my “Go-To Team.” Although when I met them I’d no idea how much I was going to need them, I’m so thankful that I was able to connect with them and build my foundation of support. I know that my relationship with my Small Group and the strength of my faith continues to keep me focused on the future despite of the loss.

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?

I was the first person to volunteer to become a mentor through my chapter’s mentoring program, and I was paired with a Par-level participant named Karla, whom I’d never met before. Through the three years we’ve known each other, Karla and I have pushed each other on and off the golf course. I helped her study her yardage book and I practiced with her for her assessment. After all of our preparations, Karla passed her assessment the first time she took it! I also encouraged her to play in her first national tournament, and I caddied for her, often giving her shot advice. Although she did not win that first tournament, later that year she received MVP on her golf team and was recognized for the all-state team. Karla and I have also worked on school work together, and she always turns towards me for math help. Just last week she received an A on a test, even though a few days before she was so confused about the material when she came to me for help. I’m so proud of all of her accomplishments, and I’m thankful that I can encourage the next generation of future golfers.

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?

One of the numerous mentors I have in my life is my First Tee Coach, Bucky Dudley. Bucky and I have known each other for four years and he’s not only helped my golf career, but he’s also given me
insightful life guidance as well. Bucky is my “Go-To” golf coach if I have questions regarding anything in my game. Whether it’s my swing or my short game, Bucky always knows what’s going on and he knows exactly how to make me understand the changes. Since Bucky knows that one of my long-term goals is to play collegiate golf, he often encourages and advises me to play in specific tournaments. Although I would love to play in as many tournaments as possible, I understand how unrealistic that is. Bucky helps me weigh out the pros and the cons of each tournament, giving the knowledge of someone who’s been through the recruitment process. Through this advice, I’ve been able to play in large tournaments that presented a competitive atmosphere, in which I’ve invited college coaches to attend. Due to the advice and support Bucky has given me, I am currently talking to multiple college coaches regarding playing for their team.