Life after the NCCGA: Making Time for Golf as a Professional

Last November on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Sea Island Golf Club I finished my career on the NC State Club Golf Team and membership to the NCCGA.  It wasn’t until after graduation in December that I realized how much I was truly going to miss those weekend tournaments and trips with my teammates. Aside from Wolfpack Football and Basketball, I lived for the weekends away from Raleigh playing golf and building lasting friendships while making new ones on the greens.  Staying in cheap hotels that were less than safe because it was all we could afford provided me some great memories and stories.  I knew that being involved with the NCCGA would give me great professional experience but I admittedly took it for granted until after college as the priceless experiences are still with me today.

It’s likely there’s still a resort in Hickory, North Carolina that regrets letting 9 guys rent out a corporate house for the weekend, but hey you live and you learn right?  Then there’s the Wendy’s in Pinehurst that is still laughing at our 2:00 a.m. visit, but those Spicy Chicken Sandwiches and Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers were worth the hike.  I’ll leave it at that and suggest readers not ask questions!

After graduation I was hot in pursuit of that first big boy job and it definitely took more time than I ever anticipated.  During the interim I found work at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary, NC.  The job was simple enough but the perks made it all worth it.  Free food on shift and free golf any time I wanted, not too shabby!  Playing twice a week and practicing several times a week was incredible and not a bad way to spend my free time.

However, in July, I decided to pack up and leave Raleigh for Charlotte, NC in an effort to find more opportunities.  It wasn’t long until I secured my first full time job as well as part time work and began working 6 days a week.  As one can imagine, the amount of golf I played dropped significantly.  Since moving to Charlotte, I’ve only been able to play once and have practiced a handful of times.

For those that know me, they know how much it’s killing me to not be able to get on the course.  My only day off each week is Saturday and I’m not too fond of the idea of fighting public course crowds and suffering through a 5+ hour round.  As a naturally competitive person I deeply miss tournament golf and trying to outplay whoever I’m sharing my round with.

Fortunately, Golfweek has given me an option!  My hopes are to join the Golfweek Amateur Tour next year and resume tournament play.  I've also heard that the NCCGA might be launching an extension tour as well for young adults which would be awesome!

The NCCGA provided me with some incredible experiences at some of the best courses in the country and I look forward to the same with Golfweek or the NCCGA young adult tour.  While it’s disappointing that I can’t play as much as I have previously, I still have goals I want to accomplish in the game and this will put me on the right path.  Staying competitive and keeping that “edge” will be a welcomed sight come spring 2014.  Until then you can find me on the ranges of the greater Charlotte area fine tuning my game.  Competition beware!