I just finished my fifth and last U.S. Women’s Amateur. As I’ve mentioned before, this was an opportunity I did not expect to have this year. I performed far below my expectations. 

A few days before I left, I played 18 holes with my coach, his daughter, and one of her best friends. His daughter had just come off a tournament where she hadn’t done as well as she hoped. So, he asked me, 

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“HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE INCONSISTENCY OF GOLF?”

It was as if he was foreshadowing my coming days. I quickly responded in a somewhat joking manner, “ICE CREAM. When I do well, we celebrate with some, and when I’ve performed less than I aspired, I swallow it down with a scoop of ice cream.” 

It may have seemed funny and maybe made somewhat of sense, but that question has lingered with me ever since he asked. 

There I stood just days after he posed that question to me, having to handle it myself. I walked off my last hole of the tournament, knowing I had missed the cut anywhere between one to three strokes. In my gut sat complete disappointment. I went to the locker room to pack up my stuff and passed the freezer full of ice cream. I stopped for a moment to look, and my instincts wanted to grab that Snicker’s Ice Cream bar, but I didn’t. That wasn’t going to be the fix this time.

I was disappointed and frustrated. I felt I had given my all, but that wasn’t good enough. Well, it wasn’t good enough to make the cut. For the afternoon I was pretty quiet and frustrated, and that question kept lingering in my mind, 

“HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE INCONSISTENCY OF GOLF?”

And then I had a friend with many more years of experience in the game text me. She said,

 “There are far more disappointments than victories. That is why the rewards are so exhilarating! You have to work hard, be honest with yourself so you can make your weaknesses strengths. Your time will come, and when it does, it will be because you have put yourself in position so many times and worked so hard to make the disappointments fewer. Golf really is a game of maturity, and some people mature mentally quicker than others.

Keep working on making pars. That makes your birdies count. Par is your friend! Never forget that. 

Chin up, fight on, and always know your best days are ahead of you!!” 

After reading that text, my spirits were lifted a level in a defeating moment. Then, I talked to my coach on the phone. He could hear the defeat in my voice, and after talking through the round for a moment, he said, “You’re not as far from great golf as you think you are. Have a good cry, take tomorrow off and reflect, but get back up the next day and get back to work. Come on, you got this.”

So, I did just that. I cried. I let myself feel the hurt for a night. But, I woke up this morning, I read, and then I pushed myself to go workout. That’s when these words started flowing through my brain. 

Back to the question, 

“HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE INCONSISTENCY OF GOLF?”

  1. Encourage others. When you’re low, you need to have those people that encourage and lift you up. One of my favorite bible verses is 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Encourage one another and build each other up.” That’s why we should always try to help and inspire others. You never know what moment they are in and how powerful a simple word or action can be. 
  2. Get back up. It’s ok to feel defeated, but don’t let it last. Try to find the problem and a solution and work towards getting better. 
  3. Our value doesn’t come from what we do; it comes from who we are. This is a mindset I fight all the time. Last night I talked to my boyfriend, and he reminded me, saying, “A weekend doesn’t describe someone’s ability and a sport doesn’t describe anyone’s life.”

I am not saying this is the answer, but just some ways that have helped me. Thank you to everyone who has continued to encourage me. As always, thank you for walking through the journey together.