Teeing Off: Saying thank you to my heroes
     2014-08-14      By Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski   
When it comes to writing a column about golf, I tend to ponder over the subject quite a bit. I think it would be rather boring to just express tips that have helped me with my own game and I believe readers would be more interested in my experiences through golf anyways.

And, as someone who spends plenty of time on the course, when I meet new people and mention this, it generally goes along the lines of: “So, who is your favorite professional player? How do you think Tiger will do this week? How do you feel about the course at this tournament?” with my awkward self responding “Ummm… I don’t know. Not really watching this week.” You know, on a less serious note, I’m actually surprised people don’t ask me about LPGA players too, but I would have just as silly of a response so I suppose it doesn’t make a difference.

Although, for the record for everybody who has ever asked me this question and gotten an awkward response, I do actually watch some events but not as many as most people who follow the players. But I have good reasoning. I never grew up on having professional players as my inspiration to go places in the sport because mine were a little closer to home.

I remember beginning to go to the golf course around preschool age and since then, it stuck. Playing started out as something our family could do together, and although we still play for that reason, the game has opened up many more doors and opportunities for both my brother Erik and me. When I started, I was too young to care about what golfers were doing on TV anyways (I was definitely way more concerned with whether Winnie the Pooh was ever going to golf than which pro was winning all the majors) and so, this resulted in both my dad and Erik becoming my inspiration for playing. Besides, I think my heroes in the game are way more inspiring anyways because they’ve been there every step of the way.

My dad introduced me to the game, taught me everything I know about it, pushed me to be the very best I could be, and I looked up to him every single day even if he didn’t know it (which includes the hundreds of times we fought too). Most golfers that I have met in college have a swing coach, but I’m lucky enough to have my dad double as that person.

Both my brother and I spent days upon days at the golf course together practicing and working on improving with my dad which resulted in Erik inspiring me too. I was able to watch him practice and grow into a better player which pushed me to want to be more like him. He is so unbelievably talented in my eyes and I wouldn’t trade all the days I spent playing with him for the world.

I continue to be thankful for the many years we spent our time together, and although it’s different now with Erik and me growing up, I am still thankful for the days I am able to golf with either of them. Playing this sport has given me the chance to spend a whole lot more time with my entire family that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

This is something that I can’t entirely explain when questions about watching the majors come up, but at least my readers will understand why I don’t follow the pros as much as other golfers. My wish would be that one day I am able to inspire others to love the game in the way my dad and brother inspired me. Even if it was just my own children, it would mean a great deal to me. It is so great to be around people who are growing and aspiring in golf, but to be their hero in the game, that is a huge honor that I could only hope to gain the privilege to have someday.

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