‘’So you flew out there?’’ ‘’Nah I drove 14 hours total Monday and Tuesday to make it."
I probably got asked that questions 10 times since returning from Cromwell, CT. Some people have difficulty understanding why a normal person would drive 7 hour straight each way to attend a PGA Tour event. For me, it never really crossed my mind. I was more asking myself, where could I play a few holes when I arrive at 7PM on Monday evening? Even though English is my second language, I really wanted to share this experience with you and how much it meant to me.
I was never really interested in music or arts. Growing up, you would never find me playing with Legos or in the sandbox. Nope, I was building my own three-hole course in my parents’ backyard using the weed eater to cut the grass down as low as I could and crafting my own course cards. That was the kind of kid I was.
I think I can say I ended up being pretty good at golf. I was never a phenomenal, but I was just good enough to win mostly everywhere I played during my junior years. You know, the king of ‘’good’’ that gets you thinking ‘’what if’’ and "is there still be a chance for me to make it’?" You know on that perfect day, when everything goes well, I can probably find my way in, I mean that PERFECT day.
Well, spending the day with Srixon team taught me there would never be that kind of day sadly. Everyone I met on this
Tuesday of June was a professional. Their attitude, their willingness to compete, and their desire to get the best of every opportunity does not leave room for chance. That could be found either in the management team, the engineers testing out the new Z785 driver, and the staffers as well.
I coach a college golf team in Quebec, Canada: The UQTR Patriotes. I’m starting my 7th year now, which I like to think is pretty good for a 30 year old man. I love those kids, they want to compete, get the best out of themselves, and learn and win together. At the end of the day though, they know their competitive golf career is nearing an end, so they cherish every moment. You know that taste and this desire to enjoy when you pick that last bite? Well they got it, I got it, since I don’t know when I’ll have to move on to something else.
That day in Cromwell I had this ‘’amusement park’’ vibe. That ‘’let’s do as much as possible today’’ mentality. I got to talk to a few professionals, walk my way in and out of the driving range at will (at least 50 times), and watch their routine and desire to improve on every single shot. Visiting the tour van and the architects behind the curtains, discussing with Graeme and Smylie's caddies was awesome. Talking with Sam Ryder’s coach while watching one of the best swings out there was terrific. Having a chat with Keegan Bradley while he was playing dart with his wedges. Finally, having Michael Jolly, Srixon Representative, introduce me to Russell Knox: ‘’Hey Russell, come meet Pascal, our ambassador from Canada’’ and having him reply ‘’Yeah, I know him already, we already chatted together 5 minutes ago!’’ was quite funny too and indicates how into it I was!
I think that last part says it all. Seize the day, they say! Well, I think I did. It’s quite a feeling. I hope these guys still have this feeling inside when starting a new tournament. That first time emotion, before you get used to it and start to realize it’s a routine. That feeling where you just realize you are exactly where you want to be, at the exact moment you want to be there. Well that day made me realize I’m not anywhere close to being anything like these pros. On the other hand, I also realized that I’m perfectly fine with that. Bringing back home all the knowledge I acquired and passing it on to the athletes I coach, sharing this dream trip with my golfer friends, and realizing I was right where I wanted to be is more than I could have ever asked for!
Thanks to Srixon, Nextgengolf, and everyone else that made that day possible.