We had the good fortune of connecting with Richard Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Richard, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Being a professional golfer playing at the highest level takes a lot of sacrifice. When I was playing full time everything else took a back seat. My family is very important to me and I don’t want to sound selfish, but it took what it took. My wife played a huge role in my life taking care of the kids when I was on the road. Doing a lot of behind the scenes work. Looking back from where I am now and If I am being honest I don’t think my life was balanced during my playing days. I tried my best to not bring home the negative emotions or energy when I miss a cut or have a bad day. But I couldn’t hide it 100%.
But now as I have transitioned into coaching I am able to have more balance. . I believe that I have learned and became much more aware of my self and my surroundings.
My number one priority is my girls. My wife and two daughters. I have been able to be home more and I do my best to be present. Being present is something I really lacked while I was playing professionally. I was always looking back or looking ahead.
Some days I still bring work to home, but I am much better at being present where I am.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Professional golf is what I did. I currently teach golf to all levels. Beginners to professional players.
I don’t think anything is easy. Playing golf on the PGA tour is very difficult and it’s an accomplishment I am very proud of to this day. Journey to playing at the highest level requires a lot of sacrifice and the right people around you. Golf is a game where you fail over and over again. But that’s what makes the good times so sweet. It’s a passion of mine so even during the low moments I was able to keep going.
Now I have been a full time Instructor for about 2 years. It has been a different chapter of my journey. But I am experienced golf from every level. Junior to college to being a professional.
I have experienced golf from every angle and level. I can relate to the journey of being better from different perspectives. I have been bad at golf and one point and I have been really good at one point.
So my superpower is that I can connect with all levels of players and I can guide them to get better. Also I have the understanding of what it takes to get to the next step.
Biggest lesson I have learned is that golf is a sport and it’s not something that should define anyone. Golf is a hard game. Most people will experience frustration and anger at times.
I have learned that golf doesn’t define me as a person. This is the lesson I love sharing with my students. It’s a life lesson/golf lesson. To me my goal is making an impact on someone’s life. Golf is a vessel that helps me connect with others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Phoenix is a very fun spot. I love how much the city has diversified last 10 years I have lived here. When the weather is cooler I enjoy hiking camelback or little trails with the kiddos.
Start of breakfast at Matt’s big breakfast (couple different locations) then go on a hike to camelback mountain. Little snack at lux cafe!
Go to Chelsea’s kitchen for a fun light lunch in the patio.
Enjoy the weather!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife Christine Lee. I am 34 years old and I have been married 15 years!
She has been part of my journey. My story of becoming a professional golfer on the PGA tour does not happen without her.
She plays a role of a therapists, nutritionist, cheerleader, coach, travel agent, chairman of my support group.
I have had a lot of lows and few highs in this journey. She has been my steady rock since day 1. She brings me back to center when I get lost.