Bob Bogey's day starts with a wake-up call. He could really use one of those things for his life, though, because Bob is struggling. He's twenty-six now and has passed on three decent job offers as he continues his quest to become the next Tiger Woods.
He's apparently undaunted that there already is a Tiger Woods, and that he (Bob) doesn't have anywhere near the same skill or work ethic. He's also too old now to enter the normal corporate training programs. So if you aren't like Tiger, what do you do? Get better, that's what.
And getting better involves getting up at 6:00AM for practice, as Bob is doing right now.
This morning, like every morning, the air is thin as he stands over his putts on the makeshift green in his backyard. He knows that every six-footer counts, so he begins his day working on them. The thrill that once was golf has turned into work, but he feels anchored to that work so he just keeps putting away.
The other options he has available are working in a pro shop or teaching lessons, and that's not really where Bob's head is at the moment. Right now it's in the clouds on the pro tour leader board—maybe not realistic, but he can still keep hoping for the time being.
After a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon, Bob heads to his "official" practice around 8:00AM. As he drives to the local driving range, he relives a dozen key missed shots which, in his mind, would have landed him on a pro tour card. After a couple lucky breaks that got him into the paying ranks of the game, he's hung out just below the bottom of the Tour cut line for four years now.
Those early days were good days—he earned a few hundred grand from five tournaments in which he placed. Unfortunately, money doesn't last forever, and if he's going to keep playing golf every day, he needs to call up his inner rock star and go back on tour. The best way to start is working on his swing mechanics.
Around 11:30AM, after hitting his fifth bucket of balls with his eight iron, Bob's neck and shoulders are starting to hurt. The persistence is paying off today, as the balls are generally going where he wants them to and he's feeling fairly confident about his follow through.
As always, though, his confidence is short lived; soon Bob is again wondering if he could possibly make those shots under pressure, especially with all the demons of past failures barking inside his head.
He also feels the fire in his shoulders and wonders how long he can practice like this. It's time for some food anyway.
After a sandwich and salad combo at the club shop, Bob hits the course at 1:00PM and plays his requisite full eighteen holes for the afternoon. He's not as impressive as he was this morning; this includes visiting the woods on more than one occasion.
At the end of the day (which for this golf pro is around 4:30PM), a retired local pro comes to watch Bob hit some balls while recording on his video camera. It has none of the 3D rendering features that million-dollar equipment has, but Bob asks to see it all the same. It does the trick, showing Bob his left elbow is a quarter-inch low at the top of his backswing.
And just like that, it all clicks. Bob kicks himself, knowing he's been advised of this flaw several times in the last few weeks. He wonders if the cause is actually the knitting-needle-like stabbing in his left third rib.
He gets back home to his apartment at 5:00PM. He's still proud of the awesome TV, which he bought with his winnings from that great season a few years back. With his savings starting to run out, he's beginning to reason with himself about what his future might hold in the golf world.
It might not be so bad, he thinks, to be a ball boy who teaches lessons and sells golf shirts for a living. Maybe that way he'd at least start to enjoy the game again.
As he sits down with his chicken dinner, he flips to ESPN. Wouldn't you know it—they're playing golf highlights. Just like that, Bob's desire to demote himself to ball boy goes right out the window. First thing tomorrow: a few hundred more putts.
Just to warm up.