I love golf and the US Open is the greatest golf tournament of them all. The hardest test, the best players, and the biggest stage. It also happens to fall on Father’s Day every year. My first Father’s Day was great; making breakfast, working in the yard, Sunday dinner with the family and of course, watching the US Open guilt free. I have been watching golf on TV since Tiger came on the scene winning his first US Open at Pebble Beach in 2000. That year, I was an impressionable recent graduate of high school enjoying my Sprague introductory training at our old Corporate office. Bob Andrews was my teacher and Marcus Munoz was one of my classmates. The year 2000 left me with tons of optimism.
Back then my golf game was pretty bad. I would make mistakes and lose control of my emotional stability. I would curse, re-hit a practice ball, or even in some cases, throw a club. My emotions would rage in between holes, shots, and rounds about how “stupid” those errors were. My expectations were high, my emotional intelligence was low, and my golf game was crap. Talk about a worst case scenario. Years later I was manager of the Seattle office and struggling with my stress and emotions. (cliff notes here for that story) Some of the same feelings, reactions and stress that I felt at work were the emotions I was feeling on the golf course. Anger, frustration, rage, and self-deprecating behavior were my fail safe feelings when things were not going my way. If I was to get better, I had to overcome this.
As I learned to control my emotions, many things happened for me. I became a better leader, a better friend, a better brother, and of course a better golfer. The more I worked on my emotional control, the better things became for me. The last time I played golf I was able to focus less on my score and instead stayed more on the moment. I played well (scoring a 78), but the real practice for this round was between the ears, working with my emotions and not on the driving range.
As I am now a father, new emotions I have never imagined are popping up all over the place. It is imperative that I find the space and time to master these emotions and be a great Dad to Sloan. She is a helpless, two week old bundle of joy and I owe her my best. Perhaps my effort with her will pay off with Laura, my family, at work, and on the golf course.