It had been almost 5 years since I last played in a major championship, the 2003 PGA at Oak Hill in Rochester, NY, where I shot a first round 79 before withdrawing due to the death of my wife’s mother on that Thursday night. The course was the hardest I’d ever played: 6 to 8 inch rough everywhere on the course, narrow fairways, firm, fast greens, and over 7100 yards playing to a par of 70, the length an illusion as there are 3 par 4’s that play between 320 and 370 yards.
So, is everyone getting all excited about the upcoming World Golf Championship Tournaments? Well, I’m not.
It has been said by many great golfers that their main goal in any tournament is to get into contention going into the back nine of the final round. I would certainly agree with that, for that is where you see what you are made of, where you test yourself and all of the things you have been practicing not only for that week, or month, or year, but for your whole life.
As the last round of the National Club Pro Championship (CPC) unfolds, the players are vying for more than the winner’s check. As recently as 1994 there were 40 available spots for Club Professionals such as myself to qualify for golf’s 4th Major, the PGA Championship.
It is a wonderful thing for a non-exempt player to earn a berth in a PGA Tour event. It could easily be the most exciting week of that player’s life up to that point. It is no wonder that very few of the players who make a Monday qualifier ever make the cut in the actual tournament, for it is a bit overwhelming if you’ve never been there before. Some take the lack of success of Monday qualifiers as evidence that they do not deserve to be in the field, but trust me when I say that you have to play pretty damn well, under tremendous pressure to boot, to shoot a low enough score to qualify. It’s the big […]
If you’re familiar with my WGM columns over the last 8 years you might recall a few that dealt directly with what is now the hottest topic in golf, that of women playing in men’s tournaments.
I am a golf instructor. Four years ago, on the 18th hole at Bear Lakes Golf Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on the 72nd hole of the second stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying School, I finally gave up my dream of making a living playing on the PGA Tour. All I needed was a par 4, and I was in the final qualifier. I drove the ball straight down the middle on the water-guarded final hole…
Russ Cochran invites me to sit for lunch, and I ask him how he’s been playing. It turns out that he’s won $200,000 so far this year, but has not played well in recent weeks. I ask him whether or not he likes to take time off when he’s playing poorly, or if he would rather play his way through it…