George Bryan Golf Academy
George E. Bryan, III

Before the lesson today I wanted to share with you my travel experience to western New York last week. My wife Valerie and I visited the’s Peek’n Peak Championship which was contested in the town of Clymer, NY.

The is the “Minor League” training ground for the PGA Tour. My son George Bryan, IV (“G4”) got a sponsors exemption to the compete in the event. At least one other local was present, and that was Robert Peeler who was a caddy in the event.

The resort is a golf course in the good weather months and a ski resort in the cold weather months. The golf shop serves as a ski shop too.

Without a doubt, this golf course is a great layout and have never visited a complex that is even remotely close to Peek’n Peak.

Jay and Allison Churchill hosted us and they lived on nearby Chautauqua Lake. They are incredibly kind and hospitable, and what was special about this community was it was like ours here in the midlands, on a four day weekend. For many, it was constant happiness, and when I brought this up to our host family, it was obvious they enjoy winter recreation activities too. Lake Chautauqua freezes solid and they have ice boat racing, ice skating and ice fishing, but there were a few who were not as fond of the colder climate and they were jubilant about not fighting cold. 50 to 60 degree nights and 70’s to low 80’s during the day are commonplace. The region gets plenty of rain and snow, well more than 200 inches a year, so the plants, flowers, trees and vegetation is in full bloom.

It’s a region that I will definitely revisit in the summer. Of all the places golf travel has led me to, western NY, near the PA border, is top shelf.

So the mentality that I appreciate and admire most is the one that two different locals, one male, and one female shared that will serve as a segue to the lesson.

“In the summer I love to spend time at the lake and on the golf course, then in the winter I love to snow, ski and ice boat race.”

So the transfer in this construct is whether your game is hot and you are hitting the ball solid and on target, or whether you are completely cold, off center, and offline, learn to enjoy both climates. If you only enjoy golf or any sport when you are playing well, growth and progress will be stunted.

Let me take it a step further, and this is my best for it is the golf truth as I see and know it; the golfers who embrace turbulence and even enjoy the challenge of off-line, off-center golf shots, along with holes, rounds and events where there is constant struggle, are candidates to grow the fastest. The best part of this kind of growth is it will be maintained, then sustained.

G4 had his best stuff for his first 19 holes of the event but encountered severe turbulence on his 20th, which in the past would have resulted in a complete performance shut down. In short, in the past, because his turbulent navigational skills were underdeveloped, he would have missed the 36 hole cut. Not this time though and this was, in my opinion, his greatest breakthrough. G4 not just successfully navigated through extreme conditions, with extraordinary circumstances to compete for the tournament on the weekend.

How well can you play when you aren’t at your best?

Wesley Bryan, G4’s younger brother looked at me in the locker room after winning the RBC Heritage and said this, “I can’t believe I just won a PGA Tour event and did not hit the ball that great.”

Next week more on Now and Next.

In local golf, the Tri-County Chapter of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s Hootie and the Blowfish Chapter Program played at Newberry County Club and the following players were all medalist. In the Boys 7-9 Matthew Roff, Boys 10-12 Liam Stilwell, Boys 13-14 Charlie Beiers and Boys 15-18 Blake Dimsdale. For the girls side, Hanna Webber for Girls 10-12 and Girls 13-18 Kennedy Gooding and Hannah Stephenson tied.  The Columbia Chapter played at Hidden Valley Golf Course and the following players were a medalist in their age groups: Girls 7-9 Caroline Hawkins, Girls 10-12 Bailee Mason and Girls 13-18 Lextyn Petz. It was Will Ruth for Boys 7-9, Boys 10-12 Teddy Dunn,  Boys 13-14 Elliott Pope and for Boys 15-18 Dillon Hite and Ford Reynolds tied.