As I write this, I’m sitting on an airplane from Dallas to Louisville leaving my first LPGA event as a professional and headed to the next stop on the Symetra Tour. While the airplane jets along around 500 mph, this is usually the moment my brain finally slows down. The final scorecard is signed. I’m all packed and checked out of the hotel. The rental car is returned. Luckily my bags weighed under 50 pounds and were checked in on time. I made it through security after they went through all of my bags only to find my biggest threat is a few dozen golf balls. My boarding pass was scanned to get on the plane, and the gate agent didn’t make me consolidate my purse into my backpack, so I would technically have one carry-on and a personal item. I stuff my bag in the overhead bin and look straight to the sea of eyeballs staring at me, wondering which person will have to get up so I can find my seat. It’s safe to say that I move through that sequence in a blur. And it isn’t until I sit down and take a deep breath that I can gain clarity.

It’s a moment I look forward to every week. It’s the moment I can gather myself and reflect on the week prior and prepare for the week ahead. It’s when all the constant chaos of life on Tour can come to a halt, and I can find a moment of peace. That’s probably the reason most of my blogs are written as my iPad sits on the tray table next to the complimentary sparkling water and a stranger in the seat next to me. It’s the comfort of a keyboard in an uncomfortable seat; that comfort I look forward to at the end of every week.

Get Email Updates on Latest Blogs

Enjoying the blog? Sign up to receive emails when I publish a new blog!

Last week, I made my first start on the LPGA tour as a professional at the Volunteers of America Classic held at Old American Club in The Colony, Texas. It was an extremely special week full of exceptional highs and well-felt lows. I wouldn’t trade both for anything. It was my dream come true. I was teeing it up on the LPGA as a professional. The dream that’s written in so many of my childhood journals, notes in my phone and scribbled all over the imagination in my brain. It was a moment I had visualized in my head nearly every night before bed. And now, looking back, I wonder what is clearer in my mind: the dream or the memory?

 

Fist pump for eagle for early start on the front nine.

In all honesty, I hoped to sit on this plane, and in a moment of great clarity, words would just flow from my mind. Unfortunately, that was not at all the case. My eyes are still blurry from the tears of saying goodbye to my boyfriend for another two months, and my brain is still a little fuzzy from the emotional roller coaster of a week. In this search for clarity, I realize that maybe I should stop the search and think of what I remember most from the blur. While clarity is hard to find, that answer was not.

It’s quite simple. People.

It’s people that gave me the opportunity to play and people that gave me the memories I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. And it’s fitting that the Volunteers of America Classic would be about people. I’ll remember the volunteer who checked me in to my first LPGA event as a professional. To her, it may have just been just another player to give credentials; to me, she was the one who gave me the ticket turning a dream into reality.

I’ll remember many volunteers who gave up a week of their life to shuttle us back and forth from the driving range to the tee. I’ll remember the stories shared on those rides and the smile on each face after a simple ‘thank you.’

I’ll remember the volunteers who stood on each tee in the heat to make sure our ball, whether straight or off line, was always found.

Volunteers on the tee.

I’ll remember the volunteer who walked every hole and tracked each shot so all the supporters online could follow. I won’t forget our standard bearer who lugged around a heavy sign so everyone could know where all the players in my group stood in relation to par.

I’ll remember my first time walking into the Tour van to adjust some wedges and getting the full rookie treatment from Paul Boehmer. Paul has run the Tour van for longer than I have been alive, as he would say.

I’ll remember the great group of people I was fortunate to walk nine holes with in the Pro-Am event. There is something to be said about relationships forged as you play together on a golf course.

My Pro-Am Group.

What I’ll remember most was what stuck out to me in the blurriest moment of all. I tapped in for par on the last hole, knowing I had missed the cut after following a first-round 69 with a second-round 77. My heart and mind couldn’t fight the emotions, and water filled my eyes. I hugged my caddy, Landon, a gesture of gratitude for being by my side through the ups and downs of the entire week. As we hugged, I saw through the puddle of water in my eyes all the people watching us finish on the ninth green.

The volunteers, the fans, the little girls shaping dreams of their own, and my family, there with unconditional support. All the people that made the week so special were all in one place at the very end. I quickly gathered myself to thank my playing partners and head to the scoring tent. In a moment of great defeat, it was the people that reminded me I was living a version of my dream.

All the people in one place at the end.

Three young girls looked on and applauded. I handed them each a golf ball because I remember those special moments when I was in their shoes. A path cleared by the volunteers led to the scoring tent to officially mark the end of my professional debut on the LPGA Tour.

I headed straight out of the scoring tent to be surrounded by the people that mean the most to me. My dad stood there with open arms and a shoulder I was ready to lay my head on. The mascara marks on his shirt show the emotion for the experience and the people I shared it with. A hug and rub on the back from my mom was all I needed to know that she felt what I was feeling too.

My parents and Trevor accompanied for the week.

In an effort to hide my tears, I walked with my boyfriend, Trevor, towards an exit where it looked like nobody had yet found. I had finally gathered myself and with his help, wiped the water off my cheeks. I looked up and saw one little girl standing with her parents and a blank flag in her hand. She was hesitant to ask for a signature, which I assumed was the result of my puffy eyes. I gestured for her to come over, and sure enough, she asked for an autograph of my name on her new flag. With an emotional, crackling voice, I asked her name. She said, “My name is Faith.” I replied, “I like that. I like that a lot.”

Faith.

As she walked away, Trevor hugged me and said, “synchronicity.” In a moment so blurry, that simple reminder made everything so clear. A week at the Volunteers of America Classic taught me a multitude of valuable lessons.

It’s the people that bring clarity to see the precious moments of the past. And it’s faith that gives us the power to move forward to uncertain moments we cannot yet see.