Monday, December 14, 2015

The Celebratory Phase of the Off-Season

As it applies to me, the term "off-season" might be a little misleading. I genuinely love to work at my profession. I made it a full seven days without practicing the week of Thanksgiving, but that felt like a very long time to me. I know the importance of rest, and I am certainly taking things fairly easy this month, but I love the process of getting better too much to spend much time away from golf. The off-season does offer an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the great things that happened over the past year, and we have certainly enjoyed doing some of that, but it is also the time to set the stage for an even better season moving forward. We have already celebrated, and I will continue enjoy some rest, but my focus is very clearly set on being prepared to reach new heights in 2016.

It is important to look back on 2015 and really celebrate all that I accomplished. After getting banged up from a confidence standpoint during my rookie season on the PGA Tour in 2014, I knew that I either needed to get better or find a different profession. I decided to do the former. I dedicated myself to a thorough plan that addressed all areas of my game during the long off-season preceding the start of the 2015 Web.com Tour schedule. I began the season with my sights set on returning to the PGA Tour, and I remember feeling confident. I won the fourth event of the Web.com Tour season, collected several other top-ten finishes, and finished the season number four on the money list. After the final event on the Web.com Tour, I had just one week off before the start of the 2015-2016 PGA Tour season. My second year on the PGA Tour started with a missed cut, but despite that, I knew that I was ready to compete at the highest level this time around. Three weeks later I won the Sanderson Farms Championship for my first PGA Tour win, and I collected another top-ten the next week in Mexico. Clearly, from simply looking at the results, there is a lot to celebrate this off-season. The thing that I will remember the most, and of which I am most proud, however, is the fact that I bounced back from a low point at the end of the year in 2014 to achieve what I did in 2015. I know that with the right plan and a smart work-ethic, I can achieve great things in golf. That knowledge is worth celebrating. 

Alicia and I have done a couple of things to celebrate the great year that we have had. First, we took a trip with our agents to New York City to see the MLB.com offices and to visit with another possible partner in KIND Snacks. I had never been to NYC before, so the trip was a thrill for me just to see that crazy place, but to get to spend time with our friends from MLB was special. They were super excited for the success that we have had, and also, just like me, ready and expectant for more of it. Getting to see the corporate offices of KIND Snacks was really cool also. I have greatly admired that company since finding out about them earlier this year, and my admiration grows the more I learn. No relationship with them is official, but whether I represent them in any way or not, I will enjoy their products and share their passion for trying to make the world a KINDer place. 
The other thing that we did to celebrate our year was host a dinner to say "thank you" to all of our friends who have supported us and made it possible for us to live the lives that we do. It was a great night, and it was amazing to see all of the people who showed up to share their love for us. I'm so thankful to Alicia for planning the party and making it happen. 

It is important to celebrate, and we did so with those two incredibly fun and fulfilling events this off-season, but now my focus is on making sure we have the need for another celebration dinner next December. I have been working on my golf game since the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I am excited to say that I still feel like I am getting better. I have a three-day trip down to Florida scheduled for later this week so that I can get in some intense work, and I will continue to put in solid half-days of work here in Tennessee throughout this month. In my next post, I will describe what my practice and fitness goals are for this 2015-2016 PGA Tour season, but for now, just know that my off-season work is being guided by a focused plan. I am preparing to be better in 2016 than I was in 2015. That should make for a couple of fun celebrations next December. 

Thank you for following me and for your continued support. Keep it here for the next installment of my off-season series which will focus on my practice and fitness goals. 

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