If you’ve read my blog for some time now, you know the significant role my brother has played in my life and career. He’s the sole reason I picked up the game of golf when I was nine years old. Thank God he was gracious enough to let his sister, seven years younger, run around with him playing sports.

The age difference never played much of a role. I tried to keep up with him in golf and life. We spent hours walking hole after hole growing up. We talked about how to better work our way around the golf course, but we also talked about how better to navigate life. Both conversations carry on today.

He knows my game and my mind better than anyone. For that reason, when we were younger, we’d dream about the day I was a professional, and he could caddie for me. Now, with his own business, that request is a lot more unrealistic. Don’t worry, I continue to shoot the shot and ask him.

Somehow, I convinced him to caddie last week at the LPGA Monday Qualifier in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Part of the deal was that we would play American Dunes on Tuesday regardless of whether I made the tournament or not. It was my way of saying thank you.

Ryan and I at the Monday Qualifier.

American Dunes is a new golf course in Grand Haven, Michigan, that the Folds of Honor Organization started. Lt Colonel Dan Rooney, Jack Nicklaus, and the rest of the American Dunes staff created the most patriotic golf experience imaginable.

I have followed the development of American Dunes all the way to its grand opening this May. It was on my bucket list to get there to play the most patriotic round of golf and honor those who provide the freedom and opportunity for us to be out there. So, I was creating a sequence of moments that I had thought about for a long time. What I didn’t think about were the special moments I didn’t anticipate or predict.

When I arrived at the site of the qualifier on Monday, it was the most relaxed, confident, and grateful I had felt since I began this journey in January. After all, I had my big brother walking by my side for the whole day. We enjoyed the day and, just like old times, figured out how best to plot our way around the golf course and how to navigate the stages of life we are both in. Conversations we both had been missing.

I fell short of qualifying. Disappointing? Yes. Defeating? No. With my brother by my side, it was easy to see how far we’ve come and where we are going. It gave me the confidence to know these were just moments moving us both in the right direction. And, I knew more moments would follow the next day.

On Tuesday morning, we headed from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven for an exciting day at American Dunes. The moment I pulled in, I knew we were in for a treat. From the parking lot, the memorial wall stares you right in the face. An unavoidable reminder that the day wasn’t about the number on the scorecard, but the number of heroic Americans we would honor. It was moving to say the least.

Start of memorial wall.

From the title of the tee markers (Valor, Freedom, Patriot and Bear), to honoring a veteran on each hole, to sharing the round with one of the founders, to the traditional coin toss, and lastly to finishing the day with taps played at the 13th hour… the whole day was filled with moving moments I could have never expected.

Coin toss.

I was moved by both the moments I anticipated for a long time and the moments I didn’t know were coming. I was moved by the selflessness of my brother to caddie and make our childhood dream a reality. I was moved by the world-class experience at American Dunes and the company I got to share it with.

On the 18th green at American Dunes.

While these were a dreamy two days, there are moments in our everyday lives that are just as special. However, sometimes we’re moving too much to take one second to appreciate the moments that move us. How neat it would be if we made more effort to create these moments for others. Perhaps they wouldn’t be the only ones moved.