Stephen currently works at SAP leading the Strategy & GTM for Business and Enterprise Architects. Stephen is a well-renowned mid-am golfer, having won many mid-am events including the Crump Cup (Pine Valley’s mid-am tournament) and having been named the 2020 AmateurGolf.Com Mid-Amateur Player of the Year. Prior to having a job, Stephen played at Clemson, where he won the 2016 Byron Nelson award.
Stephen explains that golf is different from other sports in that the level of effort does not directly correlate with performance. In football, for example, giving it your all usually leads to better results. However, in golf, there is a certain level of effort required, but going beyond that can actually hinder performance. Stephen recalls how he put too much pressure on himself, constantly thinking about results and scores instead of focusing on the process of executing each shot. This pressure manifested itself in Stephen's game as he became overly focused on the outcome rather than the present moment. He describes gripping the club harder and trying to force good shots, which only resulted in bad outcomes. However, Stephen's perspective on pressure has changed since becoming a mid-am golfer with a full-time job outside of golf. He recognizes that mid-am golf is a more relaxed environment, where the emphasis is on enjoying the game and having fun. This mindset allows him to approach each round with less pressure and a focus on doing his best without being overly concerned about the outcome.
One of the first changes Stephen made was to focus on his physical fitness. He realized that in order to compete at a high level, he needed to be in peak physical condition. He developed a workout program that included regular sessions at the gym, focusing on strength training and building muscle. He also paid attention to his nutrition, making sure to eat a healthy diet that would fuel his body for intense training sessions and tournaments. In addition to his physical fitness, Stephen also recognized the importance of structure in his practice routine. Instead of simply going out and hitting balls aimlessly, he developed a plan for each practice session. He established drills to work on specific aspects of his game, such as putting, alignment, and start lines. By treating his practice sessions like a professional, Stephen was able to make the most of his time on the course and translate his practice into better tournament performance.
For more information, listen to the episode here https://rss.com/podcasts/thetournamentcode/