The bell has rung. The year is in session. Break is over. It’s time to get back in the swing of things.
For Epson Tour players, with a few overachieving exceptions, our time in school is over. But the feelings of returning to a year on tour bring back memories of the first day of class after summer break.
It’s been four months since we’ve all teed it up together. From last October to this March a number of notable things have changed. If you attended the Tour Championship last year and are here at the Florida's Natural Charity Classic, it probably seems like the field is filled with new players. The putting green is louder. Everyone is more vibrant than when we said our farewells at the end of last season. Practice sessions are longer and slightly less productive because everyone is eager to catch up with friends. And when our mouths aren’t moving, our eyes are wandering - scanning the facility to check out everyone’s new looks, bags and maybe a fresh haircut. Some players already have a summer glow from training in a tropical climate over the last four months. Others are pale from spending their off season at home fireside enduring the winter chill. Either way there is a vibrancy in the air that everyone is rejuvenated and excited for the new year ahead.
There are new kids on the block - freshman or first years you could call them - some more secure than others, but each clothed with a sense of wonder, curiosity and slight discomfort in this foreign environment.
Veterans are filled with similar feelings but are seasoned with more knowledge and experience from previous years. However, it’s as if this fresh start has buried our bogeys and birdies from last year and planted new seed on this fresh soil - seed for us to water and watch grow throughout the year. It is our hope, by years end, the seeds have sprouted and bear the fruit of our dreams.
As for me, I have a fresh perspective from my experiences last year and the hours I spent in reflection during my time off. I’d say I’m calmer, have more clarity and am more certain of how I’d like to go about the year. Having come off my freshman season, there are friends I was excited to reunite with this week. Before everyone begins their personal quest to reach the top, there is a clear sense of community as we start the season.
However, as the weeks draw on and we endure our trials and tribulations, our summer glow will brighten but our energy will start to wane. For now, I’ll cherish this vibrancy and the start of the season. Just like an eager kid, eager and excited to begin another school year.