Reflections from The First Tee Junior Golf-A-Thon

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How many holes can you play in a day?

Many of us can only dream of the answer to that question but 13-year-old McKenzie Enright knows the answer: 100.

McKenzie competed in the The First Tee’s 1st Annual Junior Golf-A-Thon. She was relatively new to the game of golf but with her dad/caddy by her side, McKenzie set out to have a great time while raising money for The First Tee. She wasn’t concerned with her score. She simply wanted an opportunity to push herself and get in a lot of practice.

The pair set out on the first hole at Jefferson Park Golf Course at 9 AM. Eighteen miles of walking later, with the moonlight at their backs, McKenzie and her dad finished up their 100th hole at 10 PM.

With the 2nd Annual Junior Golf-A-Thon coming up on July 12th and 13th, we asked McKenzie and her dad Ryan to reflect on their experiences. Here is what they had to say:

Ryan: This last year you’ve spent a lot of time learning how to set and achieve goals. How did you apply that to the Junior Golf-A-Thon?

McKenzie: I had a big goal to win the tournament but big goals can be overwhelming. It’s like looking at a giant mountain you have to climb.  So I made a bunch of smaller goals and whenever I achieved a smaller goal it gave me more energy and motivation to achieve my big goal.

Ryan: You focused your mind on a task and you made smaller goals to work towards a large goal. I also noticed you maintained a positive frame of mind the entire day. How did you manage that?

McKenzie: My favorite quote is “happiness is a choice” by Shay Carl. It means you can choose to be happy. Everyone has the ability to stay positive. So, if I had a bad hit or if I was tired or sore I chose to stay positive. I think that really helped me that day.

Ryan: By hole 73 you had been golfing for somewhere around eight hours. Coach Evan told you that you had won your division but you didn’t quit. Why did you keep going?

McKenzie: I won my division but I wanted to win the whole tournament. I knew there was another division playing the next day. I wanted to set the bar as high as I could. Also, I wasn’t tired or sore and was still really motivated.

Ryan: When we were all done and got back to the car, what was the first lesson you learned from that day?

McKenzie: I learned that I was exhausted and sore, which taught me how powerful our minds are. My mind was set on a goal and I didn’t even realize how tired or sore I was until I stopped. It showed me that being mentally fit is just as important as being physically fit.

Ryan: What’s another lesson you took away from that day?

McKenzie: I learned that eating healthy, exercising and staying positive gives me the confidence to achieve my goals.

Ryan: What’s it like to golf 100 holes in a day?

McKenzie: It was fun. It didn’t feel like I walked 18 miles. I think being so focused helped me block out how much I had been walking.

Ryan: Do you have a favorite memory from that day?

McKenzie: My favorite memory was when it was dark and I had to dodge the sprinklers while I was putting.

Ryan: What do you do in your everyday life that prepared you for the Junior Golf-A-Thon?

McKenzie: I eat healthy foods, sleep well and take our dog on a two-mile walk every day. I think that helped a lot.

Ryan: What advice would you give to someone playing in the Junior Golf-A-Thon?

McKenzie: Get a good night of sleep and eat a healthy breakfast. Then, I would tell them to stay focused, make goals, have fun, stay positive and bring lots of water.

Ryan: Do you plan on playing in the Junior Golf-A-Thon again? If so, do you want to beat your score?

McKenzie: Yes, but this time I want to raise a lot more money and I’m bringing a glow in the dark golf ball.

Interested is playing in this year’s 2nd Annual Junior Golf-A-Thon? Click here to learn more and register. The fun is taking place July 12th and 13th at Jefferson Park and Crossroads Par-3 Golf Courses.

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