Junior golfer Clay Merchent is struggling over the decision to play in a junior golf tournament in Scotland, or to stay state side and be around for the Indy 500 festivities, and the birthday party of one special little girl.
If you’ve spent any time at Purgatory you’ve met Clay, hit balls with him, and maybe even played a round of golf with him. He’s quite the ambassador for Purgatory Golf Club.
Last night he said, “I may never have another opportunity to play golf in Scotland again!” I pointed out that we can make time to play golf in Scotland, it just requires planning. But he aspires to play on the PGA Tour, and given that fact, I always encourage him to compete in the bigger tournaments.
It’s tough, there is often something else fun going on when there is a junior golf tournament. And of course, he can’t just be there for the tournament. These kids are tough. They are there at least two days before the event playing practice rounds, and if he wants to have a chance, he needs to be there playing a practice round too. So that means about a week gets wiped out of his, and often the whole family’s schedule for any important event. We spend a day getting there, two days of practice rounds, two days of competition, and a day getting home.
Every moment of each trip is special. We have met some wonderful families, and he has made some great friends. Last fall there was a tournament in Monterey California, and we made the time to play Pebble Beach before the event. It was amazing.
Because of the time commitment, we attempt to travel as a family to every other event, and Mike and Clay go by themselves to the ones in between.
Clay and Mike were away at a tournament during the first snowfall. I sent videos of our snowball fight and Clay was very sad to miss it. He’s only 11, and we encourage him to enjoy his childhood. But we also go to these tournaments and see these amazing juniors that have been competing since they were four. Clay didn’t start competing until he was nine. Finding the balance between encouraging him to be a kid, and giving him a solid basis for a career as professional golfer is difficult.
So last night over dinner, I said to Clay, “Let me ask our friends…”
So do you want to weight in, should he go to Scotland and play in the tournament, or stay home for the parties?