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Finding motivation to be good enough in golf, and life

My whole life I have been told I’m not good enough.

My big dream was to play on the LPGA Tour. I knew I needed to play college golf so I could get good enough. The trouble was, I didn’t know which schools had women’s teams. I wrote to Golf Digest Magazine and asked them if anyone there knew. They wrote back. The school that sounded good to me was the University of Miami.

I wrote to the University of Miami asking if I could be on its team. I was told that I wasn’t good enough.  The coaches said I was welcome to come try out, but I would most likely never play.

My dad told me I had one year to earn a scholarship, or I would have to come home. They couldn’t afford it.

I graduated the No. 1 player on the team. We won back-to-back national championships and I was named All-American and team captain as a senior.

I tried to qualify for the LPGA Tour right after college.  I didn’t make it. I wasn’t good enough.

I qualified for the LPGA Tour on my second attempt, only to lose my card after three seasons.  I wasn’t good enough.

I married Allen Miller, a PGA Tour player and went from LPGA Tour player to PGA Tour wife and mother.  Allen quit playing after 15 years on the Tour, one win, and numerous major championships.  He is now a past champion/life member of the Tour because he made so many lifetime cuts. We moved back to Buffalo to teach golf.

About 25 years after I lost my card, I was sitting in my office at my shirt business in Silver Creek reading the Monday morning paper.  I saw there was a Legends Tour for former LPGA Tour players. I needed to prove to myself the dream I had as a 17-year old to play the tour wasn’t just a nightmare that would haunt me the rest of my life.  I called the Legends Tour and asked if I could play. Guess what I was told?  You’re not good enough.

I practiced. I qualified, and I now am in the Top 40 of the Legends Tour career money list.

This year is Corning Country Club’s 100th anniversary. The club wanted to do something special for its members. The Corning Classic was an LPGA Tour event that ran from 1979-2009.  The club decided to create The Legends Tour Invitational.  Twenty-six former LPGA Tour players would be invited for a shootout on July 26 and a pro-am the next day. Three World Golf Hall of Fame members will be there. Nine former Corning Classic winners. I have been invited to play in both events.

Good enough.

I am now 63 years old. I have been trying to get good enough my whole life. I am just now realizing that if I had been good enough, I would never have worked this hard to accomplish my goals. Not being good enough has motivated me my whole life.  I need to be grateful.

What do you think motivates Brooks Koepka?  Why has he won so many majors?  You got it. Not good enough.

People are motivated by two things. Seeking reward or to stop pain. What motivates you? It’s never too late to get better. To get good enough.

In my coaching business, I teach people every day to take another shot in business, sport, or in life.  I help them detect, discern, and discover why they miss “it,” whatever their “it” might be. What went wrong? How they can correct their mistakes? No one is perfect. No one!

I dare you to take another shot. I dare you to get good enough at whatever your “it” might be.

The Legends Tour Invitational is not open to the public.  If you would like to attend, email  cindy@cindymillergolf.com to have your name added to the list. Cindy Miller is a former LPGA Tour Player, a current member of the Legends Tour of the LPGA, and a Golf Channel Academy Lead Coach. She is a certified Behavior, Motivation, and Judgment Professional who is sought after as a speaker, coach, and corporate trainer. Reach out to her at cindy@cindymillerinc.com Follow Cindy at https://cindymillerinc.com  and on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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