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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

So Here We Are...

So here we are.  The beginning of a new season, my 4th season, on the PGA Tour.  A season where once again…my expectations are high, my goals are lofty, and my acceptance for mediocrity is as usual…unacceptable.  I expect to succeed.  I will succeed.  However, my unwavering quest to succeed has never been, nor will it ever be, about fame or fortune.  I am a simple man.  A man who loves his family and the simple things in life.  I don’t ask or want the attention that so many athletes crave or desire.  I want only to conduct myself in a Godly manner, provide and care for my family, and help those who need it the most.  It’s simple.  Simple things for a simple man.  Nothing fancy.
My off-season flew by in a blink of an eye.  I was able to spend quality time with my family and, for the first time in a while, I was a hands-on Dad, Husband, and a few other unexpected but special titles.  One of my titles quickly stuck after I gladly traded in my option and freedom to go hunting every morning for the right and privilege to become Jake’s personal “Chauffeur” to school.  The best part of being a Chauffeur?  Our daily conversations.  The randomness and curiosity that fills the mind of a five year old is amazing.  It is simply this…pure innocence combined with a never-ending desire to learn.   I am so thankful that I was a part of this curious time in his life…and I could care less that I was just his “Chauffeur!”  I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.  The next title I earned this off-season was very sweet and one that I HOPE sticks forever.  My little girl Libby has quickly transformed herself into Cinderella.  Her Cinderella dress is her daily attire and it doesn’t matter where she is.  She wears it to restaurants, to Wal-Mart, to the Dentist, and anywhere else she goes.  She is no longer Libby…she is Cinderella.  And thankfully…her Daddy has become (by her choice) her “Prince Charming.”  Now I truly expect for this title to remain MY title for….OHHHHHH…lets just say…FOREVER.  I cringe at the thought of her growing up and having some little Punk pursue her…Blahhhhhhh (I just threw up)…NO CHANCE this happens.  So yes… I will GLADLY claim the title of “Prince Charming” and I refuse to EVER relinquish this title.  Good luck little Punks!
The beginning of my 2013 season took an unexpected and tragic delay.  In my three previous years on Tour, my routine has always been the same.  I fly to Palm Springs/La Quinta, California, (site of our tournament…the Humana Challenge) and practice for a week before I head over to Hawaii for the Sony Open.  My flights were booked and I was set to leave the great state of Georgia on January 2nd.  Unfortunately though, my plans were changed when we lost a special member of our family on December 31st.  My wife’s uncle lost his life in a tragic and freak accident while working on his farm in Swainsboro, Georgia.  He was an incredible Husband, Father, Pa, Uncle, Brother, and Friend to those who knew him.  He was an extremely hands-on Pa to his eight Grandkids and was a strong voice of wisdom for his Wife, three Children, and Sister (Beth’s Mom).  Our family was very close to Uncle Jim and his loss was a tough one to understand and swallow.  He will truly be missed.
So for obvious reasons, I canceled my flight to practice in Palm Springs the week prior to the Sony Open.  After the events that took place on December 31st, I decided to take to heart the unexpected and uninvited life lesson that God laid in my lap.  You see…I lost my father unexpectedly on April 11, 2004, and the passing of Uncle Jim was just another reminder that we are never promised tomorrow.  My job is great…I love it…it is the best.  However, at the end of the day…it is just a job.  With my job, I miss first words, first steps, and most first, second, and third of everything.  I decided that THIS time, I wasn’t going to miss a first time.  I gladly withdrew from the Sony Open to watch Jake play in his FIRST basketball game.  He was so proud to have me there and I was proud to be there!  Who needs Hawaii anyway?  It’s only Golf, right?  Absolutely…but to Jake…my attendance was more….it was everything!
So as I mentioned before…here we are.  The beginning of a new season, my 4th season, on the PGA Tour…at the Humana Challenge in La Quinta/Palm Springs, California.  I am proud to be here and I hope you will join me during my weekly adventures on Tour.  As usual though, I need your help…PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…send me any questions or comments that you may have.  I enjoy writing my blog as I have stated many times…not for me, but for my followers and my children.  I want these entries to be a journal of sorts for my children to read later in life.  But I need your help.  Birdies and Bogeys bore me beyond belief and I refuse to write a bunch of junk about myself.  So help me…help me create a journal that will be of interest to read.  I will, of course, bring you inside my life…my life inside the ropes.  I hope you enjoy my adventures.  God Bless each of you and remember…we are never promised tomorrow!  Please, go and hug the neck of your loved ones!

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