The opportunity to live out a dream often comes with much sacrifice.
My journey has been no different.
Leaving my family behind in England was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I was determined.
My dream was to be a collegiate golfer and earn a degree in the United States.
The perfect fit
Luckily, though, I had some time to prepare.
After high school, I took a gap year to fully dive into the recruiting process and prepare for life overseas.
In that time frame, I spoke with a ton of college coaches, but one university, in particular, stood out among the rest.
The University of Memphis.
While I did not get a chance to visit prior to my commitment, I knew that this was a place I could call home for the entirety of my college career.
Memphis has a rich tradition that drew me in from the very beginning.
That fondness only grew once I explored the academic opportunities and had time to chat with Coach Jordan and the rest of the amazing coaching staff.
There was an instant connection.
Despite never visiting, I already felt as though I had found my home away from home.
It was truly the perfect fit for me, and I was more prepared than ever to take full advantage of the opportunity that was before me.
I was committed.
All about the team
Arriving in the United States was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my entire life.
Honestly, at first, it was quite a culture shock.
Most notably, the food was incredibly different.
I remember walking through the grocery store on one of my first days here and thinking, “What am I going to eat? There are so many options!”
I’ve since adjusted to the cuisine and even developed a liking for the world-famous Memphis barbeque.
Fortunately, though, I was not acclimated to this new country alone. I’ve had the support of my teammates and coaching staff from the very beginning.
We are a very close-knit team, and these individuals have quickly become family to me.
Back home, golf is predominantly an individual sport, and I’ve spent most of my career solely focused on my personal development.
While some of those aspects still exist here, I get to be a part of a team here, and my performance directly impacts those around me.
And I love that.
It’s no longer just about me but all of us striving towards a common goal together.
I owe much of that mental toughness and positive mindset to the individuals who raised me. While my time here in the States has forced me to be independent and tackle life’s adversity head-on, I have the foundational skills to do this at a very high level.
My dad was a golfer. He is the one who initially got me interested in the sport back home when I was just four years old.
From that day forward, my parents’ support for me and my journey has never wavered.
They drove me to Saturday morning lessons, meets, and tournaments, and even flew with me here to Memphis to help me get settled in my new home.
While I know this is the perfect opportunity for me, and I am incredibly grateful for every single second of it, there are times in which the sacrifice I am making gets undeniably difficult.
I miss my family dearly.
But, even on the harder days, I am reminded of why I chose this path.
I have teammates who are now family, a coaching staff who believes in me, and an entire community here in Memphis who keeps pushing me forward.
I am beyond thankful, and it is the honor of my lifetime to represent the Tiger family.