Little Did I Know

January 2, 2010
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The jet landed on the airway with a soft thump as the wheels touched the tarmac. The stewardess came over the loudspeaker and announced, “The captain has now turned off the fasten seat belt sign. You are free to move about the cabin. Welcome to Myrtle Beach.” I had been waiting for those words during the whole flight. As I stepped off the plane following my parents, I never would have guessed that this trip would be just the thing I needed to turn my life around.

As I walked through Myrtle Beach International Airport heading towards baggage claim, I began to notice how slow things moved in the south. People were walking like they were in no rush to get anywhere and like they had all the time in the world. It was a relief from the busy, stress filled life back in Ohio. The other thing I began to notice was how friendly everybody was to everybody else, an even complete stranger. I walked past a man that looked to be in his early thirties and he acknowledged me by saying, “Hi miss. How are you today?” I was barely able to stammer out a “G-good, how are you?” before he was long gone. I was used to the cold, non-verbal glares I usually receive back home. In an odd way I was enjoying saying hi to these random strangers because it was a way of human interaction that somehow turned my mood around, and I was always smiling and laughing. It amazed me how something so small as saying hello or just smiling could instantly brighten a person’s day.

Once I received my luggage and checked my clubs to make sure they made it through the flight safely, my family and I headed down to the The Legends Resort and Golf Course to meet up with my swing coach, Ted. It is always nice to see Coach Ted because he is one of those “good ol’ southern boys” as my dad would say. He greeted me with a hug and a loud, “How ya been?” After a brief catch-up session, I had an hour lesson and headed back to the hotel to rest up for the big day tomorrow.

When I woke up the next morning I had this strange feeling about myself. For the first time in a long while, I felt ready to play and confident that I could shoot low today. That was the mentality I had been missing for that past few months, and it was keeping me from reaching my potential. I got dressed while jamming out to my i-pod. I was so pumped up and ready to show everyone that I belonged at Myrtle Beach National for the next three days.

When I arrived at the golf course I could see my caddie, Tanner, ready to help me warm up. After a brief session of putting and stretching, I said my goodbyes to my parents and headed out to the first tee box. We arrived and Tanner handed me my driver and nodded at me. That was all I needed. I was so focused and driven to do well that at that given point in time, nothing else seemed to matter.

The following two days were like a blur to me. Everything seemed to go lightning fast because I was just having so much fun golfing and spending time out on the course. I just took in the atmosphere and loved every second of it. The smell of the grass, the swish of a golf club, and the sound of a ball falling into the cup to signal the end of yet another hole surrounded me. To me, each hole was like a little war. I fought for every tee shot, iron shot, and especially the putts. My concentration was like steel, and my nerves did not even bother me. It was the happiest sensation I have ever felt.

After I signed my scorecard at the end of the third day, I knew this was where I belonged. Everything felt so right, and I just knew I was meant to play in this tournament. It gave me a glimpse of what my future would be like playing colligate golf and I realized how much was in the world outside of my familiar “bubble of Canfield.”

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