Last weekend, I wrapped up my rookie season on the Symetra Tour. This year, I played more rounds, traveled to more places and walked more fairways in one season than I ever have before. So, arriving at the final event of the season seemed like my version of running the last few miles in the Boston Marathon. It proved to be just as challenging and exhausting as I imagine crossing that finish line would be. 

I started the first round Thursday morning in nearly perfect conditions and shot a two under par 70. The plan was then to play my second round Friday afternoon. However, the grey and gloomy clouds casting a dark shadow on the golf course had other plans. After completing two holes on Friday afternoon, the horn blew and all players were called off the course. With 90 percent chance of thunderstorms for the rest of the day, that horn would equate to an early alarm clock the following morning. Play was suspended for the day and would resume Saturday morning followed by the third round Saturday afternoon. 

After a fog delay on Saturday morning, we finally teed the ball up on our third hole to finish the sixteen holes left in our round. I’d finish the round three under par and a five under total for the tournament. I made the cut and now had a tee time for Saturday afternoon. 

With all the delays we’d tee off Saturday at 2:59 p.m. With the sunsetting at 7 p.m., I was hoping our legs would move fast enough and our putts drop quick enough to finish the round by dark. With two holes remaining, the horn blew again. Another horn that would equate to another early morning alarm. 

Sunday morning, I was back up at 5 a.m., set to finish the two holes of my third round at 8 a.m. After playing 32 holes and walking nearly 17 miles the day prior, my legs were starting to feel it. After tapping in my last putt on the ninth green to finish my third round Sunday morning, I looked back at the fairway in a sigh of relief of all the miles walked. When I looked back, I saw each player’s footprints in the morning dew. It was as if we had left a trail on how we’d arrived on the ninth green. And with only one round remaining in the 2021 season, it made me start to think about all the footprints I had left over the course of the year. 

Between the fairways walked and miles flown or driven, a lot of my year I can break down into quantity.

19 events

20 Golf Courses

12 States 

43 Competitive Rounds 

2 Top 20s 

1 Top 10 

2 LPGA Events 

8 Months

Seems pretty simple when you break it down to numbers. But, what about the footprints that you can’t quantify? Like the footprints you leave on the people that cross your path in all the miles you walk? 

As I stood on that ninth green looking back at my footprints and the footprints of the other two players in my group, I continued to reflect. I thought about how no two paths are the same. No two feet will leave the same mark. And, while we both may score the same number on a hole, our journey to get there may look a lot different. It’s the old adage that “there are no pictures on a scorecard.” 

From the simple image of three separate footprints along the ninth hole, I took two valuable lessons… 

  1. Walk your own path and create your own footprints. We are all unique people on our own unique journey. It’s not worth following the footprints of others in front of you. Your foot most likely won’t fit because we are all here to create our own paths and live the journey set out for our lives. 
  2. Look up from your own footprints and look at those around. Because, your footprints on the morning dew will dissipate, but the ones you leave on the hearts of others will last forever. 

Of all the lessons I’ve learned this year, those two will rank at the top. Fitting that they’d occur to me just before I’d tee it up for my last round of the season. As I made my way to the tenth tee to start my final round, a volunteer introduced himself to me. He wanted to thank me for sharing my blogs and encouraged me to continue as they “really lift people up”. That’s the footprint that I hope remains on the hearts of many others.

Thank you to all of you who have walked this journey with me. There are too many people to count that have left lasting footprints on my heart. Those are amongst the most special gifts that I’ll treasure from this rookie year on tour.