Let me start by recounting what happened in the summer of 2018. At that time, I had been playing golf for 3 years. I had been bettering my golf skills and tournament scores steadily. I just scored a “2 under” at one tournament. Therefore, in that summer, I signed up for as many tournaments as possible with the goal to do well so I could secure a seat on the Varsity Golf team of my high school. I did not know that I was about to be thrown at a curveball.
My first tournament went ok, with an even-par in the first round and a six over in the final round. However, starting from the next tournament, my scores started to suffer. The more I played, the worse I got. Everything felt wrong, no matter was it the swing, the putting, or my mental state. I was frustrated and devastated.
My parents sat down with me and we talked. My dad, who introduced me to golf and had been there for me as a coach and mentor, told me this: It is completely normal in golf that you find yourself not progressing but regressing sometimes. The key is to know what to do when this happens.
The first step that I took was to accept and move forward.
The second thing we did was to lay out a detailed plan about what I would work on each time when I practiced. Persistently and diligently, I practiced with one stroke at a time until that stroke became consistent. I also used proper tools to assist me with the practice of putting.
Thirdly, I worked on my mental state. Golf is not confrontational, but it demands a lot in the player’s mentality. I worked on maintaining composure while playing aggressively. I learned “you are your own worst enemy” because, throughout a game, you play against yourself to perform the best of you. I also worked on adjusting the strategies instantaneously with the different scenarios you find yourself in after every shot.
These three steps became the key factors in helping me solve the problem. I slowly, but steadily, progressed again. With this incident behind me now, I understand the problem will not be completely solved once for all. I know I may still see my scores go bad sometimes. However, I will not be afraid or become as frustrated or devastated as before, because I will always be ready to work on finding a solution.
I am now on the Varsity golf team. I was the Junior Varsity golf team captain. I am a disciplined athlete. My practice time is on average 20 to 30 hours per week. I believe in good working habits. Persistency and diligence reward those who practice as such. I currently have a USGA GHIN handicap index of 2.8 and my tournament average score is 77 (of par 72).
I am also proud of my academic achievements in high school. While spending extensive time on golf, what also shine is my schoolwork, my grades, and my standardized testing. As an awardee of the academic scholarship of my high school, I have taken all honors classes and AP classes. I will be finishing high school with 10 AP classes. My SAT composite score is 1550 (Math-800 and English-750) and my ACT composite score is 35. My GPA is currently 5.08 and I am confident in making more achievements in my senior year.
Over the years of playing golf, I have excelled at time management, balancing the time I spend on my schoolwork, my practice time, and my travel for tournaments and competitions. I have also matured substantively and developed skills to better deal with unfavorable situations. These skills go beyond playing golf; they apply to school life and personal life. I am also able to help my friends understand how to better handle issues or difficulties in their life. What I find rewarding, in particular, is that I was considered as a role model by the Junior Varsity golf team members and I helped them build a stronger team.