Jumping Off A Cliff

Doug Ferguson, in his story, “Waldman Leaves Villegas’ Bag for Nationwide Tour,” writes in, Golf Week:

After eight years as a caddie, Brett Waldman needs one himself now.

The caddie for Camilo Villegas said Wednesday he will play the Nationwide Tour next year instead of working for one of golf’s top players. Waldman earned that shot by completing an amazing ride through Q-school and shooting a 68 in the sixth and final round.

It wasn’t enough to earn a PGA Tour card, but he is fully exempt on the next best tour in the United States.

The hardest part of his journey was the final decision – give up financial security by working for Villegas, or grind it out on a tour with no guaranteed pay from smaller purses.

The amount of courage it took for Waldman to make this leap of faith can’t be overstated. There is the obvious risk of walking away from a very lucrative bag on the PGA Tour, but the bigger one is wondering if he can really do it?

He’s labored for eight years as a caddie because he wasn’t sure he could really do it. Opening with a 68 in the first round at the Q-School, he drifted out of contention over the next four rounds because he wasn’t sure he could really do it. He claims that his final round 68 convinced him that he could do it. But still…

As he looks ahead to his new life on the Nationwide Tour, it begins in distant lands. The first tournament is February 24th, in Panama City, Panama. The second is the following week in Bogota, Columbia, before the Tour comes back to the good ole USA. He’s used to traveling internationally with Villegas, but still. I hope his wife will be able to travel with him because in normal circumstances he would be relying on his caddie for a human connection, someone to talk to. But he doesn’t have one yet. It may not be accidental that his wife’s name is Angel.

And so, as he wades into those two weeks, it will surely be rattling around in his mind, “Can I really do this?” And he will be thinking about it in all his practice rounds. Hopefully he will have somehow accumulated enough evidence that he can do it by the time the first round begins. He’s fully exempt all year, so it doesn’t have to be the first week, or the second either.

Hopefully, that will allow him to relax…and just play…like he knows that he can…and not like he may fear that he will. It’s not imperative, but to come away from those first two weeks of his adventure with confidence will be a glorious accomplishment.

Courage is one of the most admirable traits in human beings. Make no mistake, what Waldman is trying to do is very courageous. For more details of his courage and a great photo, you can read the whole story here.

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