When myself and the other members of the leadership team arrived in Myrtle Beach, S.C. for this past weekend’s National Championship, we were greeted with goose bumps on our arms—ironic for me, I know—and frost-covered windshields. As we eagerly researched “The Weather Channel” app on our phones, we were presented with a grayish, gloomy rain cloud with the figure “30%” next to it; we begun to worry if Mother Nature was going to vow in favor of the NCCGA throughout the weekend.
As we suited up the following morning and made our way to Barefoot Resort the for the team’s “practice round”—any excuse to play some golf is deemed to be acceptable—we were welcomed by the Barefoot golf staff cloaked in jackets and beanies. My immediate reaction being, “I thought we were at the beach.”
As my 15-ball range session could be deemed, well, not the greatest representation of ball-striking brilliance, I began to think this weekend in paradise wasn’t going to be as peachy-keen as expected. Eighteen holes later, my declining outlook on life—combined with an exponentially declining ego—had me thinking that perhaps I should just “accidentally” drop my bag in the lake, stake out at “Putter’s Pub” for the next several hours, and let the rest of the boys enjoy their experience at The Dye Club. I digressed.
As an intense, “dot-filled” match—each time you got up-and-down, chipped-in, made a birdie, etc. one would receive a ‘dot’ for his team worth $1—progressed, I began to realize that perhaps the weekend, in comparison to my golf game, was just so happening to get a little bit better. Thanks to the wearing of Kris Hart’s, CEO of CollegeGolfPass, Oakley ski goggles, I managed to birdie the The Dye’s second hole by knocking one tight to earn a ‘dot’ for the good guys. Moments later, a chip-in at the third—not to mention my first hole ever playing a Srixon golf ball—had me believing that there was hope for me in this world.
As the hours passed and the weekend transpired, I noticed that the overall experience of the National Championship just kept getting better. The temperature approached the mid-70s; I began finding my golf ball on every hole; smile and laughter was becoming contagious.
The feel-good momentum carried over into the weekend as pre-round and post-round interviews were mistake-free, all competitors teed off and completed 36 holes within the #WhileWereYoung specifications, and the overall atmosphere was comforting, yet competitive. The stars were aligning and all parties involved were enjoying their Nationals experience. Although not all teams and individuals performed to their personal standards, one could sense overall satisfaction amongst the intercollegiate community within Barefoot Resort.
As I sit back and reflect on the #RoadToMyrtle—the experience I inherited and the relationships I built—I relish the idea that we get to go back to our prospective towns and universities, relax for a few days, and begin preparing for next semester’s #RoadTo______.
Standing across The Dye Club’s water-lined finishing hole—with the breeze in my face and the diminishing sun in the horizon—I am greeted with the feeling of goose bumps on my arms; only this time there weren’t any frost-covered windshield in sight.