“I Made It, I Made It”

After one year of playing collegiate golf at the University of Central Florida, Michael Visacki dropped out to try his hand at professional golf. For the past 7 years, he has played on several “mini-tours”. It’s kind of like playing in the minor leagues for baseball. Truth be told, he doesn’t make a lot of money, so he still lives with his parents.

On the Monday before each tournament, many of these mini-tour guys play in what’s referred to as a Monday Qualifier. From this round, 1 or 2 guys qualify for the upcoming PGA tournament. In this case, Visacki sank a 20 foot putt to become that person who qualified to play in the Valspar Open, which took place at Innisbrook Golf Course, just a few miles from where he grew up.

After he made the putt, he gave his caddy a big bear hug and began crying. It meant that much to him. He then walked to the clubhouse and called his dad. “I made it. I made it, Dad.” He was so emotional. He then called his mom, who had to pull her car over to the side of the road because she was crying so hard. Visacki told his mother, “I knew if I kept knocking on the door it would happen. I finally did it. No words can say what I’m feeling right now.”

In an interview after making the cut, Visacki commented on his parents: “They have given everything for me. They sacrificed everything for me so that I could play professional golf. They knew I was able to do it and they were always there for me. My dad cried, my mom cried and I cried.  It was just a really special moment.” He knew how fortunate he was to have parents who could and did financially support him as he tried to fulfil his dreams.

 

Joe’s Perspective: We all hear the big stories of Tiger and Phil, Justin and Rory who hoist the big trophy on Sunday, but we don’t always hear about the little guys who struggle just to qualify on Monday. Visacki cried on Monday the way Bubba Watson cried after he won the Masters a few short years ago. Qualifying was a big step… a confidence booster, if you will. Truth be told, he didn’t even make the cut on Friday, so he made zero money. Visacki didn’t care. He was able to tee it up with pros that he saw on TV and it meant the world to him.

It’s funny, I wrote down this quote earlier today. “The victory is not whether we hold the gold cup, it’s whether we give our hearts to it.” I think this quote captures this story. Millions of high school athletes don’t have the talent to play professional sports, but who cares. Sport is about competition and giving everything your body can produce to do your very best. I guess this is why I love this story. Visacki gave everything he had to qualify, and that is something to admire. As Visacki said, “So many people give up on their dreams, probably because they can’t afford it.” As for me, I will be rooting for this feel-good story. I hope you will be too.

Your Turn: “So many people give up on their dreams.” What is your dream in sports or life?

Comments 21

  1. My dream is to be a US volleyball player or right now my dream is to go to Baylor and play for the volleyball team.

  2. My dream is to make enough money so I can buy land and adopt animals from kill shelter and bring them there to live out the rest of their lives

  3. My dream is to live my life to the fullest, not regretting the things I’ve done. Never live life the boring way!

  4. My dream is to be successful in everything I do and be able to travel and be financially capable throughout my whole life!

  5. My dream is to open up my own business in saving animals that are on the edge of dying and help them get better or become a dolphin trainer and work with marine animals

  6. my dream is to just be successful not just in sports but in everything i do, and to believe the impossible is walkways possible and never give up

  7. My dream is to be successful and be the first in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and finish college then go on to find a job that i love and be able to enjoy my life and what i have

  8. My dream is to complete college while still playing volleyball and go on to find a job that I love and am happy doing everyday

  9. My dream is to go to duke university and hopefully still play volleyball while I’m in college and get a degree so I can become and architect

  10. my dream is to leave an impact and make a name for myself wherever i go, but to not let such ambition cloud my judgement or make me make unnecessary sacrifices at the expense of myself.

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