Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Toast

My New Years toast for everyone:

The decade is over and I raise my glass,
to a fresh do-over filled with success and class,
but first we must pay our respects,
for fallen idols to be politically correct,

Walter Cronkite and Ted Kennedy,
Michael Jackson's moonwalk inspired me,
Heath Ledger awed us with the Joker's wild craze,
a tragic introduction to al-qaeda left towers ablaze,

While Bush and Agassi said farewell,
Michael Phelps swam Beijing on a mission from hell,
The Chinese bought America's excessive debt,
we fell in love with a new president's cuddly pets,

While Jon Stewart rewrote the news,
Hurricaine Katrina had New Orleans singin' the blues,
Curt Schilling snapped the curse and bloodied a sock,
Boss Brice Springstein continued playing inspired rock,

While it seems the decade of financial loss,
we better understand greed and excessive cost,
What's most important to our resolutions and now we can see,
in 2010 surround yourself with the love and care of friends and family.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Happy Holidays to everyone! The week before Christmas I played three days of competition in Florida on the Moonlight and Next mini-tours. The one day events were held on three separate courses in Orlando, two of which I'd never played. I posted 67 on day 1 for a 2nd place finish and bore through the strong winds of day 3 en route to 69 and 1st place. During the final day I edged PGA Tour member Patrick Sheehan by 1 stroke to pick up the victory. My game is improving as I've developed minor swing changes this fall. The changes require me to compensate less athletically for previously inconsistent movements because my swing is less complex. A less complex movement at a high speed equals improved consistency.

I will continue to work hard on my game playing mini-tour events to prepare for the coming season where I plan on breaking through on the Nationwide Tour. Thanks for your thoughts and Happy New Year!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Journey Continues

I've frequently received the same question lately: "why aren't you at Q-School?" An update on the Mark Baldwin golf journey...

I'm in Birmingham, AL making some swing changes with my coach that will make me a long term, consistent and successful player. After some great advice, I decided the time to risk who I was today for who I could become tomorrow, had come. We've been working on these changes for a couple months now and I am beginning to see the the light at the end of the tunnel. I played a round where I hit 18 greens in regulation this week and I am planning a competition trip to Florida this month. When all goes well, I will up the anti.

I've never been more committed to and faithful about the successful outcome of this journey. These minor breaks in competition are essential to improve the areas that have lacked in the last year and a half. This will be an exciting year and I look forward to breaking through on the BIG Tour.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Korean Tour Dreams

As the 2009 PGA Tour Q-School tournament approaches, I have been preparing my game. There are a few essential components to a successful professional golf career. The first is the continued and ever-improving ability to shoot low scores; the second is unyielding patience and self-belief, especially in the face of challenge and adversity; the third is the financial support that provides opportunities to remain competitive.

As many of my friends are aware, I spent 2008 playing pro golf in Asia. Every few weeks I found myself in a different country. It was a brilliant adventure that required me to constantly learn and adapt to survive. One such adventure took place in South Korea during the Johnny Walker and Heavenland Opens. My camera was rolling and a documentary has been created titled, "Korean Tour Dreams."

In the film, I give you the rare opportunity to travel with my caddy Christine and I, to the exotic island of Jeju; tour street sights and marketplace sounds in the capital city of Seoul; experience simmering, steaming hot bugs as delicacies and play the challenging host courses of the Korean Tour.

For a preview of the film, check out the Youtube clip on the right side of this blog or visit:

As PGA Tour Q-School draws near, I am launching a new fund raising initiative as a means to pay expenses for my coming bid. By contributing an amount of your choosing, with a minimum donation of $10, I will send you a copy of my documentary, Korean Tour Dreams. Your support will greatly help towards giving me the opportunity to compete for a spot on the 2010 PGA Tour and you will get an exciting and unique perspective of international tour life on the DVD.

You can easily and securely contribute by clicking on the PayPal icon on the right side of the blog. Please send me an email with your mailing address and I will send your copy of Korean Tour Dreams. The DVD will be available for distribution Monday, August 24th and will be sent out within 3 business days of your donation.

The competitions that await give me the opportunity to turn a childhood dream into a reality. Thank you for your support and being a part of this exciting time.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Final Round Providence Open

I was so thrilled with the result of my final round, it took me three days to post it. I scraped my way to a score of 73 and a disappointing finish at the Providence Open. I have driven straight from the tournament to my coach's house in Birmingham and am on a mission to be ready for the 2010 PGA Tour Q-School. I am here indefinitely as I improve my game and my life towards becoming a world's best golfer and competitor.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Providence Open Round 1

I shot -2, 70 in the first round of the Providence Open today at Triggs Memorial GC. It was a solid round considering I played the par 5s worse than normal. It is impossible to shoot winning scores without taking advantage of the par 5s, so its my goal tomorrow to birdie every par 5. I am tied for 14th now heading into the final round tomorrow and with a great pairing in my corner (an Australian Tour player and 2008-2009 US Open participant), tomorrow holds alot of promise. Catch you then with some good news.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Maine Open

After a round of -7, 65 and a second place finish in a one day event filled with 32 of the northeast's best pros, I entered the first round of the Maine Open today high on confidence. Three straight weeks of rain bombarded Riverside GC in Portlantd, Maine leaving it nearly flooded for the opening round. I struggled adjusting to the very slow green speeds and finished with a round of 69, leaving me tied for 12th out of the 162 player field. With the leader at 65, four shots ahead and one round to play, I plan to play an aggressive round tomorrow and making a charge at the lead early. I have two consecutive 2nd place finishes and believe my time to win is imminent. Check back late tomorrow night for final results as I do not begin my ascent up the leaderboard until 1:41 pm.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Johnny Walker Tour

I finished tied for second place this week on the Johnny Walker Tour with scores of 73-68. I made two bogeys in my last four holes that cost be the chance to contend for the win. Despite that, my second round was an improvement on my play for the last three weeks. This road to winning on the PGA Tour is long and treacherous. It will take tenacity and patience to complete the mission. It took Einstein thousands of "failures" to create the light bulb. It took Bill Gates 10,000 hours of computer tinkering before he was founded Microsoft. A great friends recently informed me it took Odysseus years to return home from the Trojan War. He overcame obstacle, adversity and constant challenge before returning to his land. Great accomplishment comes from the virtue of motivated patience and love: this is vehicle that will take me to the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Moving Forward

I shot rounds of 73-75 in my Sectional US Open qualifier, leaving me in the middle of the pack. My heart was set on making this the year of my first major. Unfortunately, the stars were not aligned properly and neither was my golf swing. I spent the day battling missed shots and deep rough en route toward the disappointing finish.

I am back on the road in Newport, RI this week for a Johnny Walker Tour event. The tournament is a 36 hole competition on Monday and Tuesday. I believe my hard work coupled with patience and desire will yield great success. This could be the week that yields a new era in my career; one in which I challenge myself on a weekly basis and play without fear, only feeling of enjoyment and visions of success.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

US Open

Following a disappointing finish at the Cape Cod Open, I'm in Purchase, NY for the sectional US Open qualifier (final qualifier before the Open). I've made some adjustments in my swing to prepare for Monday's 36 hole battle and believe the Cape Cod Open gave me a learning opportunity to correct mistakes that I would have made in the US Open qualifier. This gives me a better chance for success come Monday. The event is contested on Century CC and Old Oaks CC, two traditional northeast layouts in immaculate condition.The green speed will be at US Open rates with enough break to make some putts comical. Hitting the ball on the low side of the hole and putting extremely well are crucial to a successful qualifier.

I play my final practice round today at Old Oaks CC and begin my final quest for a spot in the 2009 Open at 7:45 am.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cape Cod Open Round 1

A trip around the course in 74 strokes on a cool, damp day with gentle breezes, left me determined: determined that I would not let a bad score dishearten me; determined that I would not allow a few poor iron shots to dictate my confidence and resolve; determined that a few more missed birdie efforts than usual would not deter me from wanting to make more; most importantly, determined that I would not let my score at the halfway mark of the 36 hole Cape Cod Open, leave me feeling that a victory was impossible. The leader is 7 ahead of me at 67 and I have never overcome such a defect, moving onward to a victory.

I guess this will have to be a day of firsts.

Monday, June 1, 2009

To The Big Show

This coming week I am playing in the Cape Cod Open on Wednesday and Thursday. It is a 36 hole event contested on Old Barnstable CC and Hyannis Golf Club. This event is a great money making opportunity and additionally, simulation practice for the US Open qualifier on June 8 in Purchase, NY. I've been playing well for the last week and a half at home and am excited for these coming events.

The US Open qualifier is typically held on comparable course conditions to the US Open itself. This year, the Open is held at Bethpage Black Course, which became the first truly public venue to ever host the championship in 2002. Having walked the grounds during the previous Open, I am excited to experience the course inside the ropes and get my first shot at a major championship. As much as I'm looking forward to the qualifier, I am working productively and focusing on what I can do to improve every day.

More to come, much more...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The US Open

My halfway stop in a northern trip to New Hampshire left me at my Alma mater, Notre Dame. The Warren Course at ND was hosting the first stage of US Open qualifying and I believed it was my best opportunity for success having played it hundreds of times in my career at ND. I also hold the course record of 63 and was looking for a repeat performance of that special day in 2005.

It was a promising day from the opening: a handful of great friends from school came out to support me and acted as forecaddies and my moral support. With Jim Kubinski, the coach of the golf team, as my "pro jock" (caddy), we grinded our way through a day of swirling winds, tucked pins and deep rough, coming out even with the course at a score of 70. Even with the course propelled me ahead of the field in a tie for
2nd place and gives me a spot in the final stage of US Open qualifying.

My final stage will be held in Purchase, NY the week before the Open, at the revered Bethpage Black Course.

It felt like being home again at ND and I'm sure those familiar feelings contributed to an eagle and birdie on the 5th and 6th holes. I made three straight bogies on the course's most challenging stretch between 9-11 and steadied my wavering ship, bringing it home in even par.

Thank you to my ND family for your support and love this week. I'm looking forward to the continued challenge of seeking a chance to contend in the US Open; the event Jack Nicklaus described as the "hardest golf tournament on the planet to win" and the major championship "Tin Cup" Roy McCavoy coined, "the most democratic. Shoot the lowest score and you have a spot in the Open." I am one solid day of golf away from playing in a major and another dream catching opportunity.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Clothing Sponsor: Pin High Golf

As I move closer towards PGA Tour success, I will do so stylishly. I have forged a partnership with Pin High Golf, an apparel company committed to the highest level of product excellence. They are "the ultimate in golf apparel."

Spencer Sebastian, President of Pin High Golf North America, contacted me during the Nationwide Tour event in Louisiana. After a long conversation, it was clear our respective goals parallel one another. This rapport created enough excitement on both ends to establish a mutually beneficial relationship and I will wear Pin High Golf apparel as I continue to compete.

My excitement grew when I recently received my first order. When I hit my first shots in the new clothes, I knew I made a great decision to team up with Spencer. Pin High Golf shirts are the most aesthetically brilliant and comfortable shirts I've ever worn. I felt like I was under par before I even teed it up.

To see photos from the first shoot, copy and paste this link into your navigation bar:

Please visit the Pin High Golf website:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Coming Attractions

This week I played multiple Minor League Tour events in south Florida where I posted a few less than noteworthy performances. I made an eagle in each round and I've been beating the fields in my par 5 scoring. My ball striking has been steadily improving and I've been encouraged by my daily, overall potential to shoot low scores. My short game, which has been the dominant facet of my game for months, let me down this week, but I know that is where the disappointment ends.

I have a new found craving to compete since playing the Nationwide Louisiana Open. It's becoming an insatiable addiction and I have set lofty goals for myself for 2009. I believe they are realistic if I continue to dedicate all my energy toward this endeavor. One of these goals includes winning a Nationwide Tour event, an opportunity that will present itself soon enough as I plan to make the venture to the Nationwide South Georgia Classic the week after next.

Check back this week for stories of triumph on the south Florida mini-tour circuit. Until then, enjoy the greatest week in pro golf: Masters week.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

So Close

I played confidently and relaxed throughout most of my tournament experience and hit an array of high quality shots. I ended up missing the cut by one stroke finishing at even par after scores of 69-73. After a double bogey on the last hole, I was left disheartened and extremely disappointed. There are far more positives to take from the week than disappointments and I need to use this as fuel for my coming weeks. I can't wait to for my next opportunity. The most important lesson of the week came when I was tied for 13th after 26 holes of play. I thought: I belong out here. I will have the chance to win out here. My game continues to improve and my results are dictating that I am closer to my goals than ever before. This is encouraging and I will find the success that I so highly coveted this week, imminently. Thanks again for all the support and I will be back in a similar position with a better result soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

1st Round Tee Time

...Has been delayed due to bad weather until 3:40 local time (4:40 eastern) this afternoon. You can follow my progress throughout the round at (then click on nationwide tour tab) or Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nationwide Preparation

What a week so far! I played with PGA Tour winner and Masters runner-up Len Mattice yesterday in my practice round on Le Triumph GC. A former caddy of The King, Arnold Palmer lugged my bag around the course, telling me legendary tales of "Mr. Palmer."

The golf course is very challenging. With five daunting par 3s, and four long par 5s, the course places a premium on short game. Success this week will require acute iron play and deft touch around the short grass.

I am filled with excitement for tomorrow's opening round. I tee off in the final group at 2:25. If I am able to remain calm and avoid the distractions of leader boards, big names and crowds, I may also find myself playing in Sunday's final group!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Nationwide Tour's LA Open

I came, I played and I conquered...the Nationwide Tour Monday qualifier for the Louisiana Open. With solid ball striking and a few pure rolls of the magic wand, I shot -6, 66 in a 20 mph wind on a 7250 yard golf course, to win medalist status by 2 strokes. I will give more specific details in tomorrow's post following a practice day at Le Triumph. This means I am playing this week's Nationwide event featuring 10 former winners on the PGA Tour, highlighted by major winner, Mark Brooks. A top 25 finish gets an exemption into the following week's tournament. A win gains me status on the Nationwide Tour for numerous years to come. It's time to improve my life and I have a great opportunity to do so this week. Check back for more detailed posts as the week moves forward.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Recent Results and Future Plans

Since my victory on the Minor League Tour, I have finished 4th and 5th in two, one day events with scores of 69 and 72. I have elevated my skills, decision making and goals in the past month. I was planning on taking on Canadian Tour Q-School this week, but as the expense outweighs the benefit currently and I am playing well, I will make the 12 hour drive to Lafayette, LA for a Nationwide Tour qualifier.

The qualifier takes place on Monday at two separate sites. The 7 low scores from each site advance to the tournament. A top-25 finish in the tournament gets an exemption into the following week's event and a win gets an exemption on tour for the year. I am gearing my efforts toward the latter effort.

The most important aspect of improving is realizing poor performance can yield motivation and information if perceived properly. My bad days and rounds are necessary contributions to this process. Handling these days with grace and viewing them as challenges, is going to improve scores and keep me competitive during adverse golf situations. I've proven I can shoot low scores on good days, turning a round of 73-75 into 70-71 is crucial to compete at the next level. As golf has battered my emotions around from Kota Kinabulu to California, I am less distracted in a negative way by these obstacles. That clarity alone is a big leap toward hurdling these barriers.

I am ready for the next level of success and looking forward to achieving it very soon. This is the challenge and I am excited for coming opportunities to make dreams reality.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Victory at Last

On Thursday afternoon, I ended a 14 month win-less drought on the mini-tour circut! I opened up a three stroke lead with a 66 on Wednesday in a two day, Minor League Golf Tour event. The tournament was held at The Fountains CC in Lake Worth, FL just south of West Palm Beach. It was a small, but strong contingency of players ranging from Nationwide Tour members to mini-tour players.

With my close friends, the Morgans watching, I made an exciting eagle on the 570 yard par 5 12th to move to -6 for the day and closed the round in 66.

When the final round commenced, I birdied the opening hole to extend my lead, but played scramblin' man golf for the remainder of the front nine. I made four putts from holes 2-9 to save par from over 10 feet and to remain in front.

I rolled in a 35 footer for eagle on the 11th to widen the gap and create breathing room that was desperately needed. After hitting a 6 iron into a hazard and carding a double on 16, my lead was cut to one stroke with two holes remaining.

I narrowly missed a birdie on 17. I then hit a perfect 6 iron from 183 on the 470 yard, hazard-ridden, par 4 18th, to 20 feet, to put the final nail in the coffin. I closed in 72 for a final total of 138 and a two stroke victory!

My last two events, I have finished 2nd and 1st and am on the verge of playing the best golf of my career. After a year of inconsistency, my game's growth and my improvement is exciting.

To see pictures from the event and see final results, please visit:

It is great to finally say, "I'm baaaack!"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Minor League Golf

I had my best tournament finish of 2009 on the Minor League Golf Tour today as I shot -5, 67 for a t-2 finish, beating multiple Nationwide Tour players. I am consistently shooting well under par again. Last week I posted -8 on John's Island West course; the course record by three shots on a course many tour players have visited. I played with the pro there, a Bristol, NH native and friend I grew up playing with at Laconia CC, Patrick Berry. He has been instrumental in creating the amazing opportunity for me to practice at John's Island and loaned me a driver that is keeping me in the fairway. I attribute my recent improvement to his generosity.

I am scheduled to play Thursday and Friday competitively. Check back for continued success as I take these low scores to the bigger professional forums of the world. 2009 is off to a great start!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Recent Activity

This week I began a new job at John's Island West Course, a highly exclusive club in Vero Beach with the best practice facility I've seen. This job gives me enough time to continue to compete weekly and an environment conducive to improving daily. I played a round at John's Island with the head pro and the former captain of the ND women's team last Monday and posted a course record 64 (-8). My game continues to improve and I will spend this month preparing for the Canadian Tour, which begins in March. Stay updated this month as I will be playing the Minor League and Moonlight Tour's, two FLA mini-tours that host 1 and 2 day pro events. My belief is every day, regardless of location and circumstance, is a chance to move closer towards winning on the BIG Tour. I plan on being in that position imminently and enjoying the coming journey that leads me there. Thanks for the support! ~Mark

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January Jupiter Open

On a day that began at 27 degrees with a 30 mph wind (yes, I was in Jupiter, not on it), my frozen hands teed up an icy golf ball. After a battle with the bitter cold, I roared back on the final nine with a -3, 33. I finished at +1, 73 and another 7th place finish on the Minor League Golf Tour.

It has been a very productive week as I've begun a new training routine. The routine is iron-manesque with 6 am wake ups, 8 hours spent between course and practice areas, 1 hour mental routine and my final hour spent in the gym. There is no way around the necessity to outwork the competition. There are too many skilled players and while I have always worked productively, I have not done so in long enough increments. I have already seen improvement in my scoring after a week of this routine. As this trend continues, imagine the possibilities after a season of work...2010 PGA Tour, I'm coming after you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

1st Competition of the New Year

I played on the Minor League Tour today, a South Florida mini-tour stopped at Ocean Breeze GC in Boca Raton. The wind was very strong, but failed to blow my score over par. I rolled a 15 footer in on the final hole for a -2, 70. That score left me tied with New England great, Kirk Hanefeld in 7th place and with a $275 check. Nationwide Tour player Steve Lebrun won the event with -5, 67.

My game has been steadily improving in the new year. I am creating a "go-to" short iron shot for the coming season and this mini-tour provides a simulation ground to test myself. I am back in full-time training mode and working towards a highly successful season on the Canadian Tour, which begins in March.

My next test will come Wednesday at Abacoa CC in West Palm Beach. Talk to you then... Great to be back on the quest!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Zen Journey

Zen under the Buddhist umbrella has a spiritual aim. When applying the Zen principles to daily life without intentionally seeking spiritual guidance, it will enhance your life and sharpen your focus. Simplified, Zen is synonymous with mindfulness. Zen allows you to live every moment to its full potential by focusing on what your senses perceive. By concentrating on how something feels (the breeze on your nose), all worries of future and past diminish. In a Zen state, you are taking advantage of the simple amenities offered to you in that moment. It is relaxing, energizing and helps you make the most of your daily directives.

On the golf course, focusing on the feeling of the moving soil underneath your strides can remove anxiety from bad shots or thoughts of future scores. Searching your body and focusing on how a grip feels in your fingers instead of what swing plane you are using today, will quiet your mind, making you less result oriented. The less result oriented you become, the more relaxed you feel because the constant flow of hypothetical thoughts, subsides. This relaxation will inevitably lead to clearer focus, a better tempo, better shots and a great journey around the course regardless of outcome.

Label this strategy whatever you like, but place enjoying your day as highest priority and take advantage of the simple pleasures around you.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Year, New Level of Success

Happy New Year everyone! I fully plan on making this the best of my life on and off the course. Since being back in the states, I've gained some propelling incite through reflecting on the past year. I'll go through various thoughts in the coming week and describe how I will incorporate them into my new approach to success.

At this time last year, I had just finished Asian Tour School, was living in Taiwan, taking a 20 minute bus ride to an hour and a half train journey, to a 10 minute cab adventure destined for a golf course. I pondered ways to improve and visualized a highly successful year every day. Undoubtedly, 2008 yielded the greatest and most eclectic, adventurous year of my life. I lived in Malaysia and Taiwan, played in 9 countries, experienced more diversity in a day than I had previously in my life, got lost in Japan without any Yen, became a friend of the South Korean "family," and learned foreign languages and customs on a weekly basis. More importantly, I know I can build a rapport with almost anyone and survive in exotic, challenging conditions. Out of this comes confidence and appreciation. Confidence that fuels a higher existence and desire to be elite and a deep appreciation for the gifts I have in my life.

We all become nostalgic and in reliving the past, realize how quickly defining moments and amazing experiences elapse. My life is Asia was so spontaneous and energetic, I couldn't fathom what the future might bring. I recently read a Rolling Stone article about the lead guitar player of AC/DC who was asked what he thought of when he was on stage. His response was something to the effect of "its almost sad how quickly I'm off once the show begins. I lose my mind out there and the last thought I can describe to you is the final thought before I take the stage. God knows where my mind is in between."

The first thing I thought when reading this was how it applies to athletes when they are "in the zone." Most rely on their genius; their instincts which are so in tune with the Universe's flow, they become psychic. The game slows down and they are able to dictate what happens in their own time. Their post game interviews parallel what the lead guitarist noted, "God knows where their brain was." This is the higher living and spiritual golf I aspire to on a more consistent basis. When you're living in the moment, life moves at a different speed. When all your energy is focused on one moment, it can feel prolonged and make the experience amazing. When that time ends and reflection begins, that moment seemed to fly. In these instances, you can live without regret. You were truly alive, feeling every nuance of the moment, flooding every sense. I am so appreciative of the opportunities behind me and before me and know that striving for this higher form of living in 2009 will lead to lower scores and a better life.