His Twitter handle says it best, “Author, columnist, caddie for my daughter and general good guy.” Not a mention of all his success. For most New York Times best-selling authors, that title would be the first sentence you would read underneath their name. However, that is not the case with this one. Scroll through his feed and you won’t find much about him either. Instead, you’ll see numerous thumbs-up and endless comments admiring the works of others. His name is Steve Eubanks. A quick Google search will tell you what a decorated author he is, something he won’t ever mention. Of all the feature stories he’s done on others, I figured it was time he got one himself.
Since I started writing for LPGA.com at the beginning of the year, Steve has edited all of my pieces. I’d like to take credit for the progression of my writing skills, but it's with many thanks to Steve that I’ve upped the ante on my stories. When we began working together, I was slightly nervous to receive his feedback. With a writing resume as long as his, I expected my first piece to be returned looking more like a paper cut had gotten ahold of him. I was prepared to see red ink viciously slashing commas and crossing out unnecessary words. However, it was just the opposite. Steve’s approach to guiding me through the writing process was my first hint that I'd learn more than just writing techniques in this partnership. As an author, I should have assumed he’d be well seasoned at delivering a message. The way he gives constructive criticism excites me to learn. Each week, I am eager to hear his advice so I can sharpen my sword - or should I say pencil.
After two months of communicating via email, Steve and I met at the Florida Natural Charity Classic. It felt a little bit like characters from a novel coming to life. He was as genuine, charismatic, and caring as I expected from our long-distance conversations. I quickly learned that my writing wouldn’t be the only thing he’d support. It only took a few holes into my first round before I saw a media cart puddling its way toward me. It was Steve, there to encourage the story I was writing on my scorecard that day. At the end of each round when I scribbled the last number on the square designated for the 18th hole and sealed it with my signature, Steve was there to offer a kind remark.
In my first round, I stumbled to the finish. After a tough last couple of holes, I was pretty heated walking off the eighteenth green. The sun was setting, but Steve was still standing. The steam coming out of my ears wasn’t visible, but Steve smelt the fumes. He quickly jumped in to highlight the rising action in the story of the day. Never a mention of the catastrophe he just witnessed on the eighteenth green. He knew there were bigger battles in the world than the one I fought with the fourteen weapons in my bag.
That morning he interviewed Klara Spilkova, an Epson Tour player from the Czech Republic. In the first round, Klara wore the colors of Ukraine - a gesture that she’d be fighting for more than a trophy that week. When Steve talked about his interview with Klara, it felt like I was getting the story directly from her. He sincerely felt the pain that she shared with him. It’s this empathy that Steve possesses that makes him such a fantastic writer and genuine person.
Without incredible authors like him, we would be nothing but women out there whacking a white ball. Our stories would be left untold and not near as many tickets would be sold. Steve’s work draws the line connecting the dots between players and fans. He bridges that gap, bringing our personalities straight to you. Seamlessly sowing the pieces of our stories together. Creating clarity that we struggle to find ourselves.
If you read between the lines, Steve is there too. Usually inserting an undertone of gratitude and positivity. Constructing stories that share a message larger than the game of golf. Perhaps, this can be attributed to the lens through which he sees life. The focal point is on others instead of himself. Of all the lessons I’ve learned on writing, the most valuable one is how to construct a story that will never show up on paper. Rather it's one other’s watch day by day as we live the story of our lives. Hopefully, we live in a way that puts ourselves at the end of each sentence. Something I’ve seen by watching Steve. If you read his Twitter handle, you’ll discover that too.
“Author, columnist, caddie for my daughter, and general good guy.” An understated description of an over accomplished man.