I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it…without the kindness of friends and the generosity of strangers, this whole experience would take on an entirely different characteristic. Traveling is usually something people complain about; being away from friends & family can be lonely & an unwelcome added stress. In his effort to maximize sponsorship funds, Tom has been seeking out the availability of friends in the areas he’s traveling to as well as renting rooms and homes using AirBnB, almost exclusively. While this proves to be much cheaper than a hotel room, it’s also far more comfortable for him as he feels more relaxed – personally I prefer coming back to a hotel room with a freshly made bed & a clean room – but perhaps that’s the 20 years of being a Mom & wife speaking. Tom, likes things a bit more “loose” – it’s our ying/yang – you know, opposites attract.
When he stays at these places, whether it be an AirBnB or a friends home, he makes an effort to not only express his appreciation, but to try to learn something about the people he’s staying with. This is such a change from the Tom I married 20 years ago. He’s taken this experience of being somewhat of a “local celebrity” and used it to come out of his shell. He used to be quite an introvert (again, the ying to my yang as I’m an extrovert) but has blossomed into an outgoing, truly interested person. He loves meeting new people & while he may never see them again, he likes to think he’s made new friends. The last place he stayed, in Polk City, IA, the AirBnB’s hosts’ boyfriend came to visit her and introduced himself to Tom. He was from Walker, Michigan and a really great guy! Small world for sure! That ended up being one of his favorite stays as she was a classically trained pianist and her teenage daughter played banjo! He told me of how he would listen to them play in the evenings & how nice it was to listen to the music. They were really nice people; it makes me feel better when he tells me stories like that.
When he played TPC Sawgrass a month or so ago, he met a guy named Jim Voss while shopping in the Pro-shop. Jim is from Michigan (and a member at Oakland Hills CC) and recognized Tom’s name. They struck up a conversation while in the pro shop. Tom had already rented a room at an AirBnB for his trip but cancelled it because Jim ended up inviting Tom to dinner and to come stay at his place for free! He also invited Tom to play OHCC sometime with his son-in-law! Sometimes those chance meetings have added benefits – a concept not lost on my salesman husband.
That brings me to our current situation. When our friend Eric Hammersmith learned that the Michigan Open was returning to Traverse City and that Tom was exempt, he immediately offered to let us stay at his family’s place in Empire – right on Lake Michigan! It’s been amazing! Eric’s wife Amanda and their little girl Cienna are with him and his Mom Diane spends most of her Summer at the home. Spending time with Eric’s family has brought an invaluable amount of peace and comfort to this trip that would’ve been impossible anywhere else! They are so welcoming & hospitable (that’s truly the only word to describe them). They’ve cooked every night, been fun & engaging…Tom is planning on moving in actually. Not sure he’ll get away with it – but I think he may try to sell that idea. It’s good to have goals.
Staying with a friend like Eric can be humbling for Tom as well. Eric is a hard sell on the legitimacy of Tom’s golf game – mostly because Tom usually plays poorly when he’s around (today was a good example). The banter back and forth between these two has been nothing short of hilarious – we’re thankful for his friendship. It’s from that banter that my latest FB post was borne, mostly because I welcome any chance I get to throw a little dig at my “almost perfect” husband myself. If you’re not on FB, let me share with you what I shared with the people who are on FB:
So you may have seen Tom’s scorecard for today…let me tell you how the day started. After he putted out on #1 green, the first words out of his mouth were, “I may not break 80 today”
Ahhhh…the old Tom is back. Cheers to the power of positive thinking. ??♀️
He shot 67 that day actually. When he saw I was making that post he wasn’t terribly excited about my sharing his mental gymnastics on the golfcourse with the world…but he knew what he was getting into when he wanted me to take over his social media presence. The good, the bad and the ridiculous – it’s all out there for everyone to see. That’s what he signed up for and that’s what I try to bring to you. I’m currently working with our website developer to have a way to share my short FB blurbs to the site – again for those of you who don’t use FB. I feel like blogs are more in-depth and introspective where FB allows quips and short updates on a more regular basis. So many people have shared with me that they actually read these blog posts that it inspired me to want to share the short bursts of consciousness that only find their way to FB on here as well. Hopefully we’ll get that figured out. Stay tuned!
As for the subject of my post; what most of you don’t know is that Tom has been seeing a sports psychologist over the past 6 months. It’s made a difference for him in the respect that he’s able to control his temper on the course better (read: less clucking). However I almost feel like it took away a bit of the fire that makes Tom the fierce competitor he is. Does he need to get mad? Yes, he does. Does it need to be a controlled reaction? Absolutely, 100%. That’s the struggle. Leaving that bad shot behind to move onto the next shot is where he struggles most – but he’s getting better. What I didn’t want to see was a nonchalant attitude evolve from that process, which is what seemed to be happening. So…much to my chagrin, I’d rather have him out there with a little fire in his belly, then just going through the motions. What does this mean? Well, for me (and his caddy Mike) it means we need to suck it up & just listen to him vent. It werks for him…and by now we should know to leave well enough alone.
So bring on the bad attitude…and bring on the mid-60 rounds that go with it!