Tuesday, June 28, 2016

USKG Georgia State Championship

This summer, the USKG Georgia State Championship was held at Callaway Gardens.  This event was very important to B because if he finished in the top 2, he could qualify for USKG World.  The older he gets, the harder it is to get an invitation to World.  Also, the competition level in Atlanta is so intense, it is very difficult to qualify by winning the local tour.  Some Atlanta kids have even started playing in easier tours so that they can qualify.  Can't blame them, although Daddy Caddie scoffs at it.
Unlike our local tour events in Atlanta (which average 2 hours of driving time for us), Callaway is only about 30-40 minutes from our house.  You would think that would mean we would take advantage of the closer location and practice several times leading up to the event - but that did not happen!  Life has just been too busy.
Luckily, B had a strong start in Round 1.
With a 78, he was tied in first place with another player from Florida.
As always, I was hesitant to post anything on social media after the round, afraid I might jinx his lead, because I have that kind of power you know - HA!, but I decided I would anyway.  

Regardless of the outcome on day 2, why not celebrate the joy and excitement of the first round?  
We were excited.  
78 was B's lowest score in a USKG 18 hole event.  Also, B has never won a major championship before.  In his last 3 years at USKG Georgia State, he has finished 2nd, 3rd, and then last year, 4th.  It seemed like this year he may have a chance.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out.
B lost the lead in round 2, and finished 3rd.  Essentially 2 strokes away from a win and 1 stroke away from World qualification.  He was devastated.
So was I.
Junior golf is hard on the heart of a Mama.
Unlike some other sports, there are no "everyone wins and gets a trophy" scenarios in junior golf - and  I don't think there should be.  But, that doesn't take away the pain of watching your kiddo hurt as they suffer through a loss.
Here's the other funny thing about junior golf.  In the state tourney, my son had a couple of the best 18 hole rounds he has ever played (aside from the dreaded 3 putts which ultimately cost him Round 2).  He finished 3rd in the State, for the second year in a row, and yet we all feel like failures.  Crazy.
Golf will do that to you.
It is a game perfectly suited for the struggling perfectionist, who in constantly striving for the unattainable "perfect round", finds himself in a trap of feeling consistently unsuccessful.
Feelings cannot be trusted.  Especially in the game of golf.
This goes for players upset with themselves, and parents upset at seeing their kids suffer.  
If you have kiddos struggling with perfectionism (which are often drawn to the game of golf), you have to purposefully take a breath, step back, and look at the big picture.  Set smaller, more attainable goals.  Find the positives to celebrate.
So B didn't qualify for World, it was sad.  But, he had a blast for 24 hours while he was in the lead.  He put together 2 great rounds.  He finished 3rd in the state.  He played with some great friends and super talents.
That is something to celebrate.

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