By Brianna Cheek, AJGA Communications
Dear 15-year-old Alison,
It would be so easy to just put down the clubs and just shift your focus to school. You’ve been playing golf for nine years and maybe you’re just growing out of it. I mean you’re still very smart and a good student, so you can always earn an academic scholarship to USC or UCLA, right?
What if I told you that this summer was just a minor setback for a major comeback? While I know that is a hard concept to grasp, you’ve got to believe me. I know it sounds so crazy, but practice does not always make perfect. Right now, you’re putting yourself under so much stress. This game has been the only thing you have known for the last nine years, so why is it all of a sudden off? First, you have to stop overthinking. I know this mental block is scaring the living crap out of you, but don’t worry Cupcake you are going to realize something so fundamental about your game through this obstacle. Through these mental breakdowns, you will finally come to terms that golf is not your life, it’s only a part of your life. These mental breakdowns will empower you to start confessing to your friends,
“Yes, I do play golf. No, I am no longer embarrassed by it because it is fun to me.”
Through these mental breakdowns, you will understand what it means to actually enjoy the game at the junior level because once you become a professional it will take a toll on you.
What if I told you that everyone has a different journey? What if I told you the American Junior Golf Association is going to shape you into the best player you can be? Yes, I know it’s stressful watching girls you play with like Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda already starting to turn pro. However, you need to realize the path you take to become a professional will be special to you. You may be granted the opportunity to play for one of the best D1 Women’s Golf programs in the nation.
Alison, please put down that calculator, stop refreshing Polo Golf Rankings and log off the internet. As important as you think it is, it’s not. Matter of fact, one day you will look back and laugh for staying up and doing all those silly calculations. Little do you know, in the next three years, you are going to have one of the best years to date. That sterling silver wrapped around your thumb is more than just a ring.
Comprehend what it says:
When you have faith anything is possible.You have no limitations. This is the game that you fell in love with. It may take some refocusing, but you will get back to where you started (possibly even better then you were before). Some of the world’s greatest athletes went through this same exact phase, they just didn’t feel like themselves. It is not the end of the world. I repeat it is not the end of the world. Once you come out of this slump, you will be so thankful because you will be an even better player and person.
Just know Alison, if you do decide to put down those clubs. You will miss out on many life-long friendships, traveling, and competing on the highest level of junior golf.
Everything that you’ve ever dreamed of will come true in three years. You will take nine AJGA titles, be a six-time Rolex Junior All-American, and win the three AJGA events you enter in 2013. You’ve tried to get others to understand just how passionate you’re about this game, just how dedicated you are, and your willingness to be a role model. Everyone won’t understand how passionate you are about growing golf and giving back to the game that shaped you into the person you are today.It’s six years later. You’re in your senior year at UCLA and set to graduate next spring. You have a year of playing on the LPGA TOUR under your belt. Only three years have gone by since you played in your last AJGA event, you are living out your dream, you’re hosting your first AJGA event: