When I think of Christmas growing up there are a million memories that flood my mind. They all bring back that warm and fuzzy feeling that resembles the crackling fire on Christmas Eve. I love the lights glowing through neighborhoods in the darkness of the night, the Christmas music filling the shopping centers with holiday joy, and the spirit of love, happiness, and giving. However, what I loved most of all was the anticipation the night prior and the morning of. The anticipation to see if Santa thought I’d been a good girl that year and the anticipation to see the look on others’ faces as they were surprised by their gifts. It’s just the absolute best. 

There are many gifts through the years that I’ll never forget, but only one ranks on the top of my list. It was sometime when I was in middle school and my passion for golf was escalating at a rapid pace. It was long after the initial golf bug had faded. I started breaking scoring records that I continually set for myself. I’d become a good enough player to go low and win junior tournaments in the area. At that point, most of my clubs were hand-me-downs or used ones I picked up off the rack at Golf Galaxy. This particular year, at the top of my Christmas list, was a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter. I loved the look of it, the feel of it and if we’re being honest I loved that the best players in the world used it. I had it in my mind that there was no way I was getting it for Christmas. I wasn’t worthy of such a beautiful piece of equipment and it would probably be another club I’d have to earn by breaking another scoring record.

I guess Santa had thought I had been a really good girl that year because low and behold when I walked down on Christmas morning to my spot on the couch I saw a long cylinder box in the corner. In my mind, there was only one thing that could be in that box. I rushed to ask my parents if that could be the first box I open and I guess by the joy on my face it was impossible to say no.

In seconds the Scotty was out of the box and the sparkle of the three red dots was reflecting on the water in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it was mine. I cried, I smiled, and will never forget kissing the putter’s face moments after opening the box. 

Looking back now, it’s not just the putter that was the gift. The gift was in the fact that I’d found something I could be so passionate about and so eager to do. The putter gave me a way to express this passion and tool to help me improve. 

Some ten years later and just a day before Christmas, I found that the gift of the Scotty still exists. Yes, I still have a Scotty Cameron in my bag, but the true gift is wrapped in the lesson I learned in the gift of that first Scotty. The gift of passion.

I’m extremely passionate about life, inspirational stories, maintaining perspective, and most of all being able to share it with others. In reflecting on my year, I’ve seen that my journey in golf and the pursuit of an audacious goal have provided me with the lessons and experiences I can apply to all walks of life. My ability to write is the vehicle that allows me to deliver these messages to all of you. 

Whether it’s a pen, a keyboard, or a scorecard pencil that’s the new Scotty to me. Just like the putter allowed me to express my passion for golf, writing allows me to express my passion for living this life to the fullest and learning every step of the way. 

In golf, the joy is in walking those fairways and sharing the game with others in your group. Writing is my vehicle, but the real gift is you. All of my readers. The people who continue to walk this journey with me. Let us remember this Christmas that the true gifts aren’t those wrapped under the tree, but the loved ones wrapping their arms around you. 

I’m wishing a very Merry Christmas to each of you and your families!