KORN FERRY TOUR INSIDER
Baldwin celebrates birth of first child Miles
March 19, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Mark Baldwin and his wife Sarah welcomed their first child Miles on March 14. (Courtesy of Mark Baldwin)
It's hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
Nearly every morning over the last nine months, Mark Baldwin would put his face next to his wife Sarah’s stomach and sing to his as-yet-unborn son, usually ‘Return to Pooh Corner’ by Kenny Loggins. Towards the end of the pregnancy, it was pretty obvious where his son’s little hand was.
“You could almost feel it pushing on my face like, ‘Dad, go away. I’m trying to sleep. Subject someone else to your singing,’” Baldwin said with a laugh.
The 36-year-old became a father for the first time on March 14 when the 9 lbs., 11 oz. Miles was born at a time of unprecedented uncertainty as the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, Baldwin said, everyone is happy and healthy. They’ll take everything else a day at a time.
“So far, the most important things of everyone being healthy and the pregnancy going well and having amazing doctors and nurses is all we could have possibly hoped and dreamed for,” he said. “All the outside factors that are pretty unforeseen, we’re taking that like everybody else on a day-by-day basis and focusing on the next steps.”
Baldwin’s in-laws, who are Canadian, were set to visit Mark and Sarah in Arizona for a good chunk of the winter months, but they ended up cutting their trip short after governments of both countries closed the shared border to non-essential travel.
There were new protocols set up at the hospital, Baldwin said, like how only two visitors were able to come in during the duration of the stay (so only one of Sarah’s parents were able to visit at a time with Mark there, too). It would have been “dicey” for them to meet Miles had he been born a week later, as the hospital reduced the amount of visitors to just one – which essentially would have been just Mark himself.
They got to see and hold Miles, though, and just talking about it puts a smile on Baldwin’s face.
“They both (got to meet him), which was fantastic,” Baldwin said. “It tugged at their heartstrings to leave, but they had to do what was best for them. At least they got to hold him and hang out with him.”
After all's said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there, with my bear by his side
Miles was born a week late, so he didn’t end up interrupting Baldwin’s play on the Korn Ferry Tour (“We thought the timing was perfect ... we just forgot to account for a global pandemic!” Baldwin said by text message), where he sits 58th on the Regular Season Points List – thanks in large part to a T7 finish at the El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA.
Baldwin was inside the top-five heading into the weekend in Mexico and said he had a member of the Korn Ferry Tour’s operations team on standby in case things were picking up with the pregnancy and he had to get pulled off the golf course.
“If there was one day where I did not want the little guy to come, it had to be that Saturday. I didn’t even say anything to my wife like, ‘Don’t have the baby tomorrow,’ because I didn’t even want to put it out into the universe,” said Baldwin with a chuckle. “Fortunately that didn’t happen and he did cooperate. He was very comfortable. Mom made a nice home for him.”
Baldwin said the distractions he had en route to becoming a first-time father actually turned into focus the closer he got to the due date.
He was exempt through the first eight events of 2020 thanks to his finish at Final Stage of Q-School and wanted to try and play well early to take some pressure off. His results to start the year were the opposite of that, though, as he went DQ-CUT-T65-CUT.
“I may have pressed a little bit too early because of that,” he admitted. “As we got closer to that Mexico event, it hyper-focused me and put everything into perspective. There wasn’t the possibility of not having a great week. The only thing that would have prevented that would have been a call and someone coming to get me on the golf course on Saturday.
“I didn’t feel like there was an alternative to doing really well.”
His T7 result in Mexico puts him in a much more comfortable position for when the Korn Ferry Tour returns to action, but at 36, there were some questions as to what was left for him to stay motivated in golf. He has been a pro for 13 years. He has played on mini-tours. And he has held status on every PGA TOUR-sanctioned Tour, save for the TOUR itself.
“I’ve always seen myself succeeding at (golf),” said Baldwin. “I think if I look back on growing up in New Hampshire and how few junior events I played and going to Notre Dame … I don’t think I got the reps in when I was young that likely would have made it so I succeeded right out of the gate. I feel like the learning curve has finally caught up and I have a lot more information and a lot more knowledge about how to successfully navigate my game.
“I don’t really have to push myself to stay motivated because the gains I’m making are organically doing that.”I don't really have to push myself to stay motivated, because the gains I'm making are organically doing that.
So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that old bear whispered, "boy, welcome home"
Baldwin said his family’s plan was to travel together through mid-summer after they looked at some of the dates and thought they could make some road trips as the Korn Ferry Tour traversed the Midwest. That still may happen, he said.
For now, he’s enjoying his time at home as a father, even with the world being very much in flux.
Whenever Sarah feels comfortable with him going to hit balls, he’ll do it. He even, with a laugh, floated the idea of building a do-it-yourself golf simulator in his house.
And in a time of such unpredictability, he’s proof that a father’s love can help conquer all.