I began playing competitive golf when I was 11 years old, but that’s jumping to the middle of the story. My journey in golf began before I could walk. It began with first plastic, and then metal clubs. I wasn’t even old enough to know what I was doing, but something inside of me was drawn to the game.
Even when I was little, I think I was meant to be a golfer. When I was as young as 3 years old, my grandfather took a picture of my brother and I at the golf course and captioned it "future professional golfers." 20 years later it seems he was right. Not long after, I found something satisfying in the imperfection of the game. I have always been a perfectionist, and having something that I could always chase without ever reaching the finish line has been so gratifying.
I have always loved to compete. As far back as I can remember, my brother, John, and I would compete at everything we did. He is only a year older than me, and wants to beat me every bit as much as I want to beat him. Whether it was golf, baseball, basketball, video games, or any other various things, we were always going head to head. Having someone to constantly compete against gave us both the opportunity to become the best version of ourselves. We became sharper and more focused in everything, but especially our passion – golf.
Over the years, there have been lots of milestones in my competitive golf life.
When I was 14, I shot a final round 68 at the Long Island Junior Classic which included 8 birdies in my first 12 holes. It was my first round under par, and my first win at a multiple round tournament.
When I was 16, I went wire to wire at the AJGA New Era Junior Classic. Winning a 3 day tournament put me on the radar for college programs across the nation. Later in the summer, I verbally committed to Florida Southern College’s golf team.
In 2017, I was part of FSC’s national championship team. It was the 13th team victory in school history, and the first of a great stretch for my family.
After my brother won the Division 2 Individual National Championship in 2018, I defended his title at the 2019 Championship. Winning such a prestigious tournament gave me the confidence to pursue a career in professional golf.
I played professionally for 8 months before the COVID-19 pandemic that essentially shut down the professional sports world. During the quarantine that followed, I became an Assistant Golf Professional at Sunnybrook Golf Club in Plymouth Meeting, PA. My experience on the other side of the golf industry helped me to grow as both a person and a player.
My whole life, I was never the biggest or the strongest or the most naturally gifted. I have had to work for everything I have ever achieved. Early in my life, I came to admire Ben Hogan and his story of perseverance. His refusal to give in to the adversity that life threw at him truly inspired me. My entire life revolves around one thing he said.
"If you can't outplay them, outwork them."
Golf has given me so many great experiences and friendships. I owe my entire life to the game that I fell in love with so many years ago. I'm always excited for the next adventure that golf will lead me on. I can't do this journey alone. Anyone who would like to become part of Team Michael, head to the Fundraising link, or send me a message through the Contact page. Whether it's right around the corner or halfway around the world, I hope you will continue to follow along!