Generation Next Project: Change Your Course
The 2023 launch of an experiential learning program through golf.
I am going to pause the storytelling about being PurposeFULL to showcase the impact that we will make, beginning in 2023 with my charity, The Generation Next Project.
In May of 2021, I launched the charity to address the skyrocketing issues associated with the proper mental and emotional development of our youth. A year ago, we began creating a concept that would combine the lessons of mental and emotional disciplines on the golf course and how they can have an identical impact on “real-life” scenarios that create similar emotions.
The creation of the idea and motivation in pursuing its inception came from a very close source… Bobby Jones.
I began looking at some of the more famous quotes that he wrote and some consistency in those messages. Oftentimes, my great-grandfather related his experience with golf to that his life. It was interesting to step back and see that his perception of the game was so much more than a challenge of beating “old man par.” The game was a preparedness for life and its equally turbulent and sometimes frustrating hills, valleys, hazards, and bounces.
For instance, arguably his most famous quote:
“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball as it lies.
In another more complex quote, but with a powerful message regarding “doing your best,” he wrote:
“The main idea in golf as in life, I suppose is to learn to accept what cannot be altered and to keep on doing one's own reasoned and resolute best whether the prospect be bleak or rosy.
Finally, there was the matter-of-fact quote that had me ultimately conclude that there can be a direct line from golf to life… to mental health:
“Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course... the space between your ears.”
This is such an amazingly simple statement. It reinforces the need in this sport to keep mentally focused. On the other hand, with a simple adjustment with the play on golf and life, we are also reminded of our mental awareness in our day-to-day journeys.
LIFE is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course... the space between your ears.
After learning all that I have about my own mental wiring in 2022, I would happily debate with anyone that this is not an absolute truth. We are with ourselves and our thoughts 24/7. We create our own reality based on assumptions, self-esteem, ego, etc. When they are not properly managed they can get the best of us and create negative outcomes or bad decision-making. Just as the case is in golf. When we instill the same disciplines that we would on a golf course to trim a few strokes off of our score, our LIFE course management becomes much more efficient!
With the great guidance and support from a team of clinical and sports psychologists, it was concluded that this type of “experiential learning” could have incredibly positive outcomes for participants. We can connect those on-the-course mental techniques and lessons to those that occur in our day-to-day lives and have that be a point of understanding for the upcoming generations to connect with the importance of mental and emotional fitness.
Hence the idea was born… Change Your Course!
About the Program
Built on a foundation of mental wellness principles, Change Your Course will teach parents and pre-teens to young adults how to perform and thrive in any situation. If golfers can connect their on-course emotional response with their daily response to emotions, they are more likely to better handle adversity throughout the course of their life.
Our audience, ranging from 10-22 years old will change and improve their game of life through the game of golf. Most of our programs include parent/ child participation where both walk away with a new perspective of mental fitness and discipline.
We have 18 scenarios during the course of play of a golf round that requires mental and emotional discipline. Those same scenarios create similar mental and emotional responses as certain scenarios in real life! We will connect those real-life situations to one of those eighteen found on the golf course.
The outcome is “latent learning” and the participant connects to what is being taught to something that they already love. In doing so, we open a gateway for them to be receptive and curious about the situations in day-to-day life. The result can create a situation in which the processes learned aren’t noticed until demonstrated in a particular situation!
The program will have a home base at Grandover Resort in my hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina where we will run summer programs for kids and parents as well as golf teams at the high school and collegiate levels.
We are also proud to announce that we will host up to 6 events in 2023 at Top Golf locations in the Southeast, starting with our first event in Charlotte at the end of February.
These areas of focus of mental and emotional responses include resilience, intentionality, autonomy, mindfulness, repetition, flow state, discipline, and more!
We are actively fundraising to cover the cost of the program so that we can immediately begin interacting with our young adult golf enthusiasts. If you would like to learn more about the program or support us through a donation, you can do so at the website or participate in our fundraising competition that begins on January 2nd, 2023.
Learn more or donate:
Join the “Change Your Course Virtual Open” Fundraising Challenge!
Gather your coworkers, group of friends, teammates, class or family! You can register your team starting today to participate in the competition! The fundraising tournament will begin on January 2nd and finish on Friday, March 17th! (Bobby Jones Birthday!)
We have created a unique and fun way to raise money for our charity, all through the spirit of golf! Our fundraising program allows participants the opportunity to create their own team and ask donors to provide a level of donation that will qualify for a score of par, birdie, eagle, albatross, or hole-in-one!
Teams need a minimum of 9 donors to begin qualifying for scoring and can have as many donors as they can secure.
The winning team will be able to send a foursome to our first Generation Next Project Charity Golf Tournament at Champions Retreat located just outside of Augusta, GA. Champions Retreat is a 27-hole private golf club with 9 holes each designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. It is also the host of the first two rounds of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur held the week prior to The Masters.
Full fundraiser information and registration will be available Monday on our website! Click the button to learn more!
Change Your Course. Change Your Game. Change Your Life.
Thank you to all who have supported the efforts, now the real work begins!