20 Things I’m Thankful For

As we sit down for a holiday meal, I wanted to share the things I’m thankful for
By Ryan French

As we all sit down with our families for this Thanksgiving I thought I would write a quick list of the things that I am thankful for. 

  1. Editors: I don’t really need too add much, right? (This error was made on purpose, I know it’s two.) 
  2. My mother: Two nights ago, my dad, who has dementia, left the house and was lost for an hour. My brother found him in the woods near my parents’ home, and for the first time, I saw my mother genuinely struggle with this cruel disease. She has always been a rock for this family, and I want her to know how much I love her. 
  3. Six-for-one playoffs: Win the playoff and earn an opportunity to change your life. Lose and head home $1,500 in the hole. Golf has always been the most democratic sport; there’s no better example of that than a playoff at a Monday qualifier.
  4. Seamus Power: Just 18 months ago, he was at the Honda Monday Q. Since then, he has won twice, is headed to his second Masters, and is a top 30 player in the world. 
  5. Big scores at Q school:  We all know “that guy” who thinks he could make it at Q school because he once fired a 71 on Men’s Night. Well, one of them entered Champions Q school and fired 108-87-102 — 81 over. 
  6. Our foundation: Chris Gallagher started it with a large check, and I can’t thank him enough. It is by far the most rewarding part of my account. Listening to the coaches we have helped talk about the impact it has had on the kids means the world to me. Thank you to all of you who have made it possible. 
  7. Michael Bamberger: Michael and I have been working on a project and have spent hours on the phone and in person over the last few months. He is a great writer and willing to share his insights with me, and he is one of my favorite people I’ve spent time with. 
  8. The haters: Thank you for keeping me motivated. 
  9. PGA Tour Q school: Next year, five PGA Tour cards will be available at Q school, and I can’t wait. Putts will potentially be worth $1 million. Proper, career-defining pressure. 
  10. TJ Vogel: He will be on any list I put together. In 2018, Vogel successfully got through eight Mondays Qs. Eight. 
  11. Players who sleep in their cars: I’m not sure there is anything that define the players I cover more than a player camping in the back of his vehicle while chasing his dreams.
Thankful for players sleeping in the back of their cars.
  1. My wife: This is a critical time to point out that this list is not in order of importance. I love you, babe.
  2. Mark Baldwin: I’ve been lucky enough to have caddied in three PGA Tour events and made three cuts, all with a great friend. 
  3. Blood types: The Japan Tour lists players’ blood types. (Japanese culture believes it has something to do with personality.) For some reason, I’ve always loved it. 
  4. Dick Mast: The 71-year-old legend Monday-qualified twice this year on the Champions Tour, both times shooting better than his age. His first Champions Tour event was 20 years ago. 
  5. Fire Drill podcast: This is a shameless plug to listen to Alan Shipnuck, Michael Bamberger, and me each Monday morning as we talk about the week in golf. 
  6. The Nebraska PGA: I’m not sure officials from many PGA sections would have climbed through a thick forest with a machete to find the truth, but these guys did. 
  1. The behind-the-scenes team at Fire Pit: Jake, Aaron, Benni, Bennett, Colt and the rest of the team that loads my articles, produces our podcasts, shoots our content, and kills it every day
  2. The players I cover: No agents, few sponsors, and just pure honesty. I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for players who trust me enough to tell their stories. I promise I take it seriously and appreciate all of them.
  3. All of you: Thank you for helping make my dreams come true. I get paid to tweet, write, and talk about golf, which is only possible because of your support. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

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2 thoughts on “20 Things I’m Thankful For”

  1. I’m thankful for the Fire Pit Collective and the insight, anecdotes, expertise, and delight you and your colleagues offer and share. Best wishes to you and your family during this difficult and sad time.

  2. It has been a pleasure getting to know you in print and video this year, Ryan. Your frequent references to your parents is wonderful; as the father of a 40- and 34-year-old, I’m a bit jealous:). I’ve been fans of Alan and Michael for years; your coming to the Pit has added considerably to what it is doing. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season.

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