We all know the saying “When God closes a door He opens a window.” Although this can be sometimes construed as cliché or maybe even corny, the events of this summer have proven this phrase to be completely validated as nothing but true. This summer has been an on-going series of doors and windows.
The first door – Our son, Luke, walks into the kitchen and runs an “idea” past his Dad and me. “I’d like to take the summer to hit a golf ball across the country.” What?! That’s impossible! CRAZY! Why? The window – to bring awareness to and raise funds for underprivileged kids to go to and complete high school. Tremendous! But as a Mom, I could only see rows and rows of doors for this one lovely window. (more…)
Can we pretend that this blog hasn’t been updated in a while? Thank you. My deepest apologies.
Because it has been so long it is difficult to find a good beginning point. So much has transpired.
First and foremost, we completed another state, a big one at that. We successfully traversed the great state of Texas. We had some major events while we were in the Lone Star State. We had the honor and privilege of meeting with President George W. Bush for over an hour at his office in Dallas. We were able to meet the man that led the entire free world and not only learn more about his administration but get an insight into who he is as a man, husband, and grandfather! It was a surreal experience that I will never forget.
Also, while in Dallas, I was able to meet up with a friend originally from Indiana. Bart and his new wife Natalie met us out for dinner on our last night in Dallas. This was very special for me because it marks the first time on this trip that I was able to meet up with a friend. It was also very impactful for me because, while we are the same generation and only separated by a few years, he is a good role model to look up to. He is a successful, young professional who is happily married. That life is hopefully on the horizon for me as well.
If all of this was not enough, when my family drove down to Dallas (so they too could meet with the President!), my little sister brought along her new little puppy. We had a little mascot for 5-6 days! I’m including her in this post because she is just too cute to not post a picture of her! Her name is Luna, but I call her Little Luna, and my mom calls her Looney Tunes.
Leaving Dallas was bitter-sweet but once east of Dallas we were treated with some of the most beautiful rolling hills and pastures. The locals call it God’s Country and indeed, it was. It reminded me a lot of Southern Indiana and La Grange, Kentucky. It made me feel at home. Speaking of which, it is weird to think that we are just an 8 hour car drive from home! We are making great progress east!
We successfully crossed the state of Texas in 22 golfing days. We crossed into Louisiana expecting nothing but swamp land. While we have seen quite a bit of swamps, we have been treated to a wealth of wonderful people. We crossed into Louisiana one day before the Fourth of July and on Independence Day-eve we were interviewed by the local ABC station KTBS. We enjoyed their company and they did a great interview. We learned of the KTBS Independence Day festival on the Red River in Shreveport. And so on the following day, on our nation’s birthday, we finished golf relatively early for the day and headed into the big city to watch fireworks.
While Louisiana has been a short state compared to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and even California, we have met so many fantastic people. One of my best friends and his girlfriend were driving back from Arkansas to Atlanta. They were able to meet us out on an old gravel road and visit for a little bit! Garrett even played a mile with me and while there may be some dissension on his part, it is safe to say that I had fewer strokes!
That same day we ran into two men on horseback who call themselves Christ’s Cowboys. They were two men who whole-heartedly were devoted to Christ. Rusty and Scott were preparing for their own journey across the United States. In 5 months they are going to embark on their East to West trip across the country on horseback on their horses, Jitterbug and Doc Holiday, respectfully. We spent about an hour with them and they were very inspirational for me. Before we parted ways they let me ride Doc Holiday for a little bit and we all got on our knees and shared prayer. Jitterbug, who loves people, was nibbling on my ear, as if to say, “take my horseshoe, I want to participate in the prayer!” Rusty and Scott told me that they have another horse if I want to make the journey! That is something to pray about.
There are two truths that I have discovered through this trip: there is a lot of litter everywhere, the United States produces some of the most fascinating, caring, and loving people on the planet.
These are but a few of our amazing experiences in the last month. We are sure to have many more and I will update more frequently. In two days we will be crossing the Mississippi River on the service road of the Old Vicksburg Bridge. Stay tuned for a new statistics page that we will be launching very shortly. Get On The Green!
A couple of weeks ago, just a day after our interview with CBS Evening News, we ran into our first major snag for the trip. The front right truck tire blew. The spare tire was attached on the underbelly of the truck bed and it was a feat in and of itself just to get it loose. After an hour or two trying to get through the steel coil that was firmly preventing us from getting the spare off, Nick and I decided to drive ahead and find the little town of Pinon, NM in the hopes of finding some more effective tools to do the job.
We had no idea how far it was to Pinon and we were questioning our exact location on our maps. There was no cell service whatsoever so we couldn’t even see where we were on the map. The physical maps that we did have were not detailed enough to show the roads that we were taking. Therefore Nick and I somewhat blindly took off in the hopes of running into the town. We loaded up with extra diesel, water, food, and protection, taking every precaution, leaving nothing to chance. (more…)
There has been confusion by some about our journey to hit a golf ball across the United States to raise money for scholarships for underprivileged students. We hope this video shows that we are not playing golf courses, but playing the United States as a golf course. #TeeItUp
Thank you to all who have donated to date! We truly appreciate the support. Be sure to share this with your networks.
As we prepare to leave Arizona and head into New Mexico I am beginning to reflect on our experiences. In all we have seen some amazing sights and met some amazing people in Arizona.
On our flex day (a day off from golf) we actually had to run errands all day. We had to get the oil and air filters changed in the gator, run to the grocery, and do other media stuff. Arizona Machinery (a John Deere distributor and service center) was extremely kind as to not charge us for the service rendered to the gator. They changed the oil, changed the air filter, and repaired a flat tire. Right as we were about to load up the gator and leave a gentleman walked by and saw the logo on the back of the gator. “Reynolds Farm Equipment in Indiana?” he asked. It turns out that he had grown up in Indiana and farmed all around Muncie/Anderson. He had bought numerous pieces of equipment from Reynolds! (more…)
Well we made it to Arizona. The first hole out of nine is in the books. We were extremely excited to move into a new state but this has come with a price: the sandy desert in California has turned into rocks in Arizona. This makes golfing a little bit more difficult! However, I want to reiterate how honored I am to be doing this for a great cause. As the Class of 2013 at Providence is about to graduate the thought of providing 12 scholarships for incoming students humbles me and motivates me to press on!
CALIFORNIA WRAP UP
Total Distance: 340.8
Total Swings: 5,369
Total Lost Golf Balls: 606
Total USGA Score: 5,975
Lost Golf Balls: 48
USGA Score: 363
Lost Golf Balls: 86
USGA Score: 504
Lost Golf Balls: 87
USGA Score: 568
Lost Golf Balls:
Ahh the internet! It’s easy to take for granted the internet when there’s a Starbucks or a McDonalds on every corner. When you are out in the middle of nowhere, 30 miles from the nearest unincorporated little town, there is no internet or cell service. This is hardly a bad thing however, especially when you are treated with a beautiful light show in the sky! Looking up in at the canvas of stars sleeping outside in the middle of the desert I began to think about light pollution. Light pollution is where man-made lights become excessive and obstruct astronomical observation. For thousands of years man-kind has looked to the stars for spiritual guidance, math, science, time, and entertainment. Today, there are only a few places on the planet left where one can gaze skyward and not have any light obstruction. (more…)
What an interesting feeling; hearing someone tell you that you’re [insert profane equivalent of stupid]. What we are attempting is pretty out there, I will give you that. But, at the end of the day, we are doing this for a great cause.
No matter who you are or what you do on this earth, there will always be people who doubt, dislike, or even disdain you. I reminded myself though that there will always be people who have your back. One of my childhood heroes was/is General Chuck Yeager (the WWII fighter pilot ace who broke the sound barrier). In his autobiography he talked about all of the pranks he pulled simply because he wanted to. He remarked that there are over 6 billion people on the planet and there is at least one out there who will have your back. (more…)
We made it passed the orange and lemon groves, the avocado trees, and the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles County. We are now in red desert territory, amidst now the strawberry and peach groves in Crystalaire, California.
This was our second night staying in the Palmdale area. The first night we were fortunate to gain the hospitality of Vista Ranch Golf Club on the Northwest portion of Palmdale even though we had finished in Acton the evening before.
From Santa Clarita we took Soledad Canyon Road all the way to Acton. Soledad Canyon is a beautiful road that twists, turns, climbs, and descends through the canyon in between two little mountain ranges. Of course this beauty came with a price: we lost 100 golf balls that day. Even when the ball hits the road it bounces to a rest down a ravine. Needless to say, that’s a drop. (more…)
Wow what a day. It’s hard to believe that everything we saw and did fit into about a 7 hour span. This morning we started with a team meeting; going over the course turn by turn, personal assignments, and other essential tasks that needed completion. After the meeting we went to a little French bakery called La Petite France for breakfast. There, I met a new friend, Jean-Michel. He is the owner of the restaurant and we conversed in French and Spanish (his French was the better of the two as he is from France). Before we left he gave me an Eiffel Tower key chain for the trip. He was incredibly nice and excited to speak in his native tongue. I hope to come back someday and see mon nouveau ami again!