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Big Break Greenbrier

Think Before You React

Many people watching Big Break Greenbrier thought I would be eliminated early in the season.  I totally understand.  I was my own worst enemy on the show.  It’s like I always have a devil and an angel on my shoulder fighting each other.  As any golfer playing this game knows, this is always the case.

I can go out and shoot 66 in a qualifier for one of the largest tournaments in my area, get to the sectionals of the U.S. Open three times or go out and shoot 77 in the blink of an eye.  This is why the golf gods and I have a love/hate relationship.  And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way in the game of golf.  As a PGA of America apprentice and teaching professional, I get to experience firsthand the love/hate relationship many golfers have with the great game we love.

Picture putting yourself in this scenario: Multiple cameras and ninety people standing around waiting for you to hit a given shot on command.  It would make anyone nervous.  I am the first one to say that I didn’t perform to the best of my abilities on the show, but I hit the right shots – and made some key putts – at the right times.  I also got a little help from others.  That’s the nature of Big Break.

Hurricane Sandy destroyed the Jersey Shore a few weeks ago, including my hometown Brick.  It is hard to be depressed about being eliminated, when so many people I know, have lost everything.  Times like these you find out who your friends are, and who really cares. I want to publicly thank two contestants from Big Break Greenbrier.  I won’t name them personally, but one of you made a phone call to me the day after the storm to find out how my family and I survived the storm.  It really meant a lot to hear from you and it meant even more that you respected me enough to call.  The other person and I frequently text, and we both have something so life changing ahead of us.  I truly appreciate your support.

The 11 contestants on Big Break Greenbrier are awesome guys.  I will never forget my experience at The Greenbrier and hope we stay friends in the future.  

Episode 7
When I woke up this morning, I was more nervous than I had ever been on the show.  I knew that I had beaten six other guys to get to this position, and sooner or later, just being mediocre wasn’t going to cut it.  My mental and physical prowess was going to be tested with the talented golfers left on Big Break Greenbrier.

During the first part of the immunity challenge, I felt uncomfortable.  I now had been with these guys for a while, and I was starting to know their games.  I was one of the shortest drivers of the ball still alive on Big Break Greenbrier.  I was trying to embrace the nerves and tell myself that I was also one of the straightest drivers.  

Anyone who has played golf with me knows that I drive the ball fairly straight, (or as straight as person can with my quirky swing) just not the longest.  I was trying to make sure I drove the ball as close to the line as possible while also getting the maximum distance I could muster up.  When the first part of the immunity challenge was over, I was happy with 280 yards as my total.  

The second part of the immunity challenge had a little twist.  While hitting from 140 yards to a giant green doesn’t seem all that hard, it was intensified knowing if you missed your target distance from the hole, your total yardage could dwindle quickly.  

Looking back at the 2nd round of shots...I made a huge mental error.  I chose the shot that I THOUGHT I could execute, not the shot I KNEW I could execute.  This mental error eventually led to my demise.  I should have thought a little more about the entire situation, not just the shot in front of me.

My time here on Big Break has been amazing.  I cherish every second of my 15 minutes of fame.  It was truly an honor to be on Big Break Greenbrier.  This experience has taught me how to manage my nerves better and how to better handle pressure situations.

I just hope I’ve changed viewer’s minds about golf professionals.  Don’t mistake for a second that we teach for a living because we can’t play - we choose to make a living sharing our knowledge with others.  

Maybe I will never play on the PGA Tour, play in a PGA Tour event or make a living playing this game, but I have proved to myself that I’m pretty damn good at this game.  I’m the only one who needs to believe that.  I’ll let my clubs do the talking…

Finally, remember to have FUN! Golf is just a game.  

Thanks for watching,


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