A Word From Our Founder-

 

When people ask me where the idea for Prep Golf America came from, I usually tell them it comes from my desire to help improve and grow the game of junior golf. I want to help kids and their parents understand the complex world of junior golf; let them know they are not alone out there.

But, I can sum up the true motivation with one story that probably defined my career as a golfer. I was 12 years old and playing in my first Southeastern Junior Golf Tour event. I had played some local events, but this was my first highly competitive event- 12 year olds that were shooting even par. In hindsight, I was definitely not ready for the moment. However, myself, and my parents were unaware, we did not understand the junior golf world…somebody told my parents about Southeastern so we joined and registered for a tournament.

I do not remember a lot of specifics of the first round. I remember making a 9 or 10 on one hole that seemed very long for me and I just could not get the ball in the hole. I was so miserable, embarrassed, mad, every negative emotion you could think of. I carded a 105 or 106 (I was shooting high 80’s in leisure rounds). After the round, I was so upset…my mom and dad were asking if I wanted to withdraw and go back home. I remember telling myself that I would never quit and I was furious that they would even suggest that…I punched the back of the car seat, tears flowing down my face.

We got back to the hotel room, and after some thought, I told them there was no way I was withdrawing. I spent at least three hours that night hitting plastic golf balls into the curtain of the hotel window, working on my putting, and watching The Golf Channel.

The next day I showed up to the course with a whole new attitude and motivation. I knew that I would never experience anything as bad as the previous day on the golf course ever again. I also accepted the fact that I would never accomplish anything in golf if I did not embrace the tournament atmosphere. I shot 86 in the second round, made every putt I looked at, got up and down from everywhere (I couldn’t hit the majority of the Par 4’s in two shots.) I might have finished dead last, I can’t remember, but I had proven to myself that I could do it. I didn’t care about proving anything to anyone else, my parents, other competitors, whoever. I only wanted to show that all the practice I had put in early on in my golf career, it was worth something.

Now, that weekend probably defined my entire golf career…I could have quit, and most likely that would have been the end of golf for me. But I didn’t, and what it taught me was two things, two things that I want to share with other aspiring golfers:

 

  1. It taught me perseverance- there are going to be instances where golf will push you, try to break you. Stay positive, keep fighting, you will discover a strength in yourself that you did not know was there.
  2. It taught me honesty- I realized afterwards that I was probably not ready for that level of junior golf; I had to be honest with myself and re-evaluate what I had to do to take the next step.

 

The first point is self explanatory, but powerful. The second is what I used throughout my golf career and is what should be the blueprint of all junior golfers. I want kids to reach whatever level they desire, but it needs to be done the right way. Playing the right tournaments at the right time. Understanding all the moving parts of junior golf. But the most important thing is to make the process as fun and efficient as possible. Even though every junior golfer will face moments of adversity, the testing moments should not be so severe that it could cause them to quit. There is a place in this sport for everybody, and everybody should have as much guidance as possible to help him or her find that place.

 

-Alan Fowler, Founder/CEO- Prep Golf America