For the first 15 years of my life, I poured all of my energy into my goal of playing professional baseball. If I wasn’t throwing baseballs at a bucket lid stuck to a hay bale on our family dairy farm, I was begging my dad and brothers to hit grounders and fly balls to me. I would rush through my daily chores of feeding baby calves, fixing fence, rounding up cattle and other unexpected daily occurrences so I could practice more. Then, when I was 15 years old, I was given a set of 30-year-old Top Flight golf clubs. Little did I know those golf clubs were going to change my life.
Once I discovered golf, I realized this was the sport for me. This was a huge decision because none of my family members had ever played golf. We had never seen a golf course in person, and when my brothers and I saw golf on TV, we would poke fun and say to each other that golf was not a real sport. Then we would quickly change the channel.
I did not have the chance to go to a golf course for the first six to nine months after getting the golf clubs, so during this time I hit balls into the surrounding wheat fields. I also remember taking a club everywhere I went and even practicing my swing while running water for calves and horses.
For some reason I really took to the sport, while my brothers never did get into golf. I was home schooled through sixth grade, and attended Corn Bible Academy in Corn, Oklahoma, for junior high and high school. The average graduating class size was 20 students, and sports consisted of basketball and 8 man football. Corn Bible Academy started a golf program when I was a freshman in high school.
The third time I ever played on a golf course was in a high school tournament. I still remember missing the ball on the first tee. Everyone thought it was a practice swing so that saved me some embarrassment. I whacked my next swing right down the fairway on my way to shooting a 114. However, I kept improving; at the end of my freshman year, I recorded the second lowest score on our golf team at district qualifying.
I kept plugging away at golf through high school. With a lot of practice and some golf lessons, I advanced through try-outs to walk on the golf team at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. After two and a half years at Southwestern, I married Jeree, and we moved to Oklahoma City where I finished my college degree in Professional Golf Management at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), Edmond.
While attending UCO I worked as an Assistant Golf Professional at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club in Oklahoma City under Head Professional Tim Fleming. For the two and a half years I was employed at Quail Creek I continued to work hard on my golf game.
Nine months after college graduation, my wife Jeree, and I moved to Arizona so I could play professional golf. I am so thankful for her support! Since 2007 I have: Played tournaments, studied the fundamentals of the world’s best players and spent many hours developing my system to improve my game. I worked with teaching pro Jack Cramer, Gold Canyon, AZ during my first two years. I am so thankful that Jack spent so much time with me and really drove home the importance of reading and studying all methods, so I could come up with my own method.
My professional career started slowly with many missed cuts and lots of work on my golf swing. I also experienced a rib injury that resulted in four months of short game and putting practice with no full swings. The injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I was able to devote at least 50 hours a week to short-game practice during that time. Little by little my tournament scoring average has dropped each year as I have developed my method for improvement.
In August of 2013, I experienced a shoulder injury that sidelined me for over a year. After surgery and rehab, I have was able to resume playing tournaments in November of 2014. I look forward to winning at the highest level in the near future!
I began teaching golf at age 20 at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club in Oklahoma City where I worked as an assistant pro. Teaching has always been in my blood: My dad says, when I was seven years old, the coach of my under-8’s soccer team told him he didn’t have to really coach because I was instructing my teammates while we played the games.
Since moving to Arizona in 2007, I have taught at Mountain Brook Golf Club in Gold Canyon, AZ, CrackerJax Driving Range in Scottsdale, AZ and I currently teach at Starfire Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. Helping my students simplify the golf swing and shoot low scores is an amazing feeling. A big thank you to all my students for the opportunity to impact your golf games! I definitely get as much satisfaction out of your progress as you do.
God’s love is what has allowed me to keep going through both good times and tough times. When I surrendered my life to God and believed in his son, I became a new person. The knowledge that he loves me and wants to have a relationship with me means everything to me. I no longer have to search and search for things to fulfill me. Instead, God, who made all things fulfills me.