Perspective is everything. But unfortunately it often takes losing something or someone before learning life’s most valuable lessons.
Alison Curdt was one of those who learned the hard way, losing everything in 2006.
“That was the day everything was taken away,” Curdt said. “Everything was taken away in a materialistic way.”
The California golf instructor left her condominium an hour before it burst into flames, a fire caused by the tenant in the unit behind her's. She lost all her possessions, turning to the Red Cross and local community for clothes. With her clubs and memorabilia from her days playing for Florida State gone, Curdt says “I really had no identity left as a golfer.”
Having just moved to California after graduation, Curdt was in the process of trying to figure out how she wanted to spend her life. Still considering a career as either a club or teaching professional, her new circumstances forced her to reevaluate and really ask herself what it was she wanted in life.
“I really felt before that incident happened, my relationship with golf was becoming more toxic and not as much fun, and the results I wanted weren’t occurring.”
Forced to return home to live with her parents for several months following the fire, Curdt realized how truly fragile life is, changing her outlook both on and off the course.
“My relationship with golf changed,” Curdt said. “This is something I want to do, not have to do. I want to do this and these are the results I want to attain, not that I have to attain. My perspective on golf changed dramatically and through life gave me a different perspective.”
Curdt had discovered her purpose and became dedicated to sharing with her students the same lessons she learned.
She returned to Los Angeles after landing a job with GolfTec, became an LPGA Class A Professional, and joined the staff at Sherwood Country Club in 2007. She also put her degree to use, pursuing her masters in clinical psychology at Pepperdine University and became a marriage and family therapist registered intern to help her students with both the mental and physical aspects of the game.
“The physical part is so much smaller than we make it out to be,” Curdt said, adding that many students overlook the mental aspect of the game completely.
Curdt will test out her own mental game at the LPGA’s second major of the year, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, qualifying with a T-3 finish at the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional National Championship in August 2014.
“I’ve been preparing since September of last year after I qualified,” Curdt said. “Having been to two LPGA Championships in the past, I want to give myself the best opportunity to fine tune my skills and compete.”
Yet to make a cut in the event, Curdt says her prior trips to the event have desensitized her to the pressure and the number of spectators, which she wasn’t able to prepare for in the past.
“I’d love to make the cut, it would be really awesome to have an opportunity to play thru the weekend.”
Regardless of the outcome, with her new outlook on life Curdt says she’s focused on enjoying every single second and savoring the experience.
“Never give up on what you’re capable of achieving,” Curdt said. “I thought after college my time has passed, I’m never going to make it on Tour or play in tour events and something inside me kept driving and kept trying.”
Her persistence paid off. While it might not have been the route she imagined, her dream came true. Curdt is currently a teaching professional at Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, California, where she’s sharing with students her perspective and lessons on life.