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Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
How many of you have actually met and had a chat with a PGA tour pro? I’m not talking about seeing them at an event where there were lots of other people. I’m talking about maybe a quick meeting where you and maybe a friend or two were the only ones talking to the pro.

I met John Daly once. The course I used to live next to would hold an annual Pro-Pro tournament where a few big names and some not so big names would play. Surprisingly not many spectators showed up to the event and the publicity was not that big. I just happened to hear about it and the fact that Daly was going to be there.

The night before it started I noticed a tour bus parked in the parking lot and drove by. The license plate said “PGA 91” so I knew it was Daly’s. My wife was pregnant at the time and due at any moment. My boss found me the next day and told me to go home that it was time. It turned out the doctors had decided to induce labor so we were headed to the hospital.

Well, as we were passing the course my wife and I noticed someone standing next to the bus. We both figured it was Daly and we decided to drive by. As we approached, sure enough we saw Daly and someone else standing beside the bus. Daly was stuffing his golf bag with a carton of Marlboro cigarettes as we pulled up.

We pulled up and my wife just jumps out of the car and starts talking to Daly. I was embarrassed at first because my wife was talking up a storm, but Daly was super cool about it. My wife said we were going to the hospital and Daly started asking what we were having and congratulating us. I had gotten out of the car and walked around to where we were and he shook my hand. The man has some huge paws!

After a quick chat we headed to the hospital. It turned out that inducing was going to take at least six hours if not longer. I was really itching to see Daly hit the range, so I told the wife that it was very important for me to go back to the house and let the dogs out just in case I wouldn’t get a chance again until late that evening. I ran back, let the dogs out, then grabbed my clubs and headed to the range on the course. Unfortunately Daly was long gone by the time I got there. I hit a few and then headed back to the hospital.

I wasn’t gone but about an hour. Of course, I go strolling into the room where my wife says “You went to the driving range, didn’t you?!” I was soooo busted. She laughed, although she holds it over my head to this day.
post #2 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

I met Tom Watson at a golf tournement. He was a cool guy.
post #3 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

I was sitting at a Starbucks the other day and in walks Ben Crenshaw with what I guess was his granddaughter. Seemed like a nice guy. Didn't want to bother him though so I just let him have his privacy.
post #4 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

The only PGA Tour Player I have ever met is not on the tour any more. His name is Scott Gutchewski. He is good friends with one of my dad's friends. I had followed him for a while through college and the nationwide tour because he went to THe University Of Nebraska. I got to play a round with him at Firethorn Country Club in Lincoln. Man is he Long! He reached a 320 yard par 4 with a 3 wood! I had trouble playing with him because I was a little bit in awe, but managed to scrap together a 77. He was a great guy and could not have been more down to earth. He currently has conditional status on the nationwide tour and placed T7 this week at the Moonah Links Classic in Australia.
post #5 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

Payne Stewart. I was a score-board boy at the 1998 European Open and had him for the first 2 rounds. He shot 77, 77 to miss the cut by a mile but he still made time to talk to me and the other kids. (also had some top European Tour players but he was the only PGA player)

He had just come 2nd in the US Open - anyone remember the ball in the sandy divot?
post #6 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

I've been able to meet a few PGA Pro's while volunteering at Nationwide tour events. About 7 years ago, I was a walking scorer for Charlie Hoffman. He didn't have the crazy hair, but he could hit the ball a mile...and was out driving the other guys in the group with his 3 iron...they were using drivers! I remember that he missed the cut, but obviously that didn't slow him down.

I've been able to meet several other Pro's while doing this and it is nice to see them in their element, but not in the stress of a PGA tour event. They seem a little more relaxed and I have been able to talk to a few here and there.

Last year I met Jason Allread, who won his tour card after placing 5th at Q-school. A very friendly and open guy that took time during the middle of the round to talk and chat. At one point on the back 9 he even apologized for not visiting with me more and that he was too wrapped up in his game. I thought, what a great guy, who is playing golf for a living and I would expect him to be deep in concentration, yet took the time to visit. Not all Nationwide players are like this, but once in a while it is nice to meet one.

If you get a chance to volunteer for a Nationwide tour event...definitely do it, as it is a great way to be a part of the game in a small way.
post #7 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

I've been fortunate to play with many Aussies who have played on the PGA tour over the years. The only current PGA tour player I have played with is Peter Lonard, I played with him a lot back in the late 80's when we were going through the NSW trainee scheme together. Peter is the nicest guy you will ever meet.

I played a round with Greg Norman back in the late 80's and found him to be a wonderful person, this was when he was at the height of his powers and watching him play close up was an awesome spectacle.

I've been to BBQ's with other ex Aussie players who were playing over there on your tour such as Wayne Grady and Craig Parry etc and all in all they are all down to earth approachable people.
post #8 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

I had a friend that was a mini-tour player that I played a few rounds with.He had played on the Canadian Tour, Tommy Armour Tour, the Safari Tour and the Buy.Com Tour and had played some PGA events and even made a couple of cuts. He was so close to getting his card, but never quite made it, but he still has official PGA stats on their website.

Anyway, I will tell you one story. I brought him to the course I worked at to play a match against two guys. This was the first time that I had played with him so I didn't know what to expect (working at a course in South Florida there are many people that claim great things that never deliver, the funny thing about him was that he never made great claims and he did deliver). He has never seen this course before and we are playing it @ 6700 yards (we are talking steel drivers and balatas here). On the third hole I failed to tell him of a pond if you hit a long draw that is over a hill. Well I had never seen anyone hit it that far before and he had to drop it on a severe slope and play back to the fairway. He made a double. From there I made sure that I gave him the whole picture. He had two birdies on the front to get back to even and then closed with a -5 (31) on the back to shoot a smooth 67. It was insane. He won me $60 (the guys were down $30 on the 18th and pressed only to have him birdie the par 5).

I played with him a couple of other times and then he moved to the Orlando area the next year. He was a great guy, humble and very quiet. He was like that in his personal life because I knew him better off the course than on. When I met him, I didn't even know his golf pedigree until I got to know him and after playing with him once, I realized that he was the real deal. He really was an amazing golfer and an example of how hard it is to make it on Tour.

I don't know any "stars" but I have met a few, and they all seemed like good people.
post #9 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

I played with a semi retired LPGA player about 3 years ago. I had heard her name but wasn't really up on who she actually was. It was alot of fun and got to play 18 holes with her and then was invited over to her house in La Quinta for cocktails after the round. She was extremely accurate from 140 yds in. Gave me a couple of tips on my wedge game which really helped. I googled her name a couple weeks later and found out she had won 3 United States Opens. Thank God I didn't know that when I played with her. Suzie Maxwell Berning.
post #10 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

no, but i've always wanted to meet tiger.
post #11 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

^^^ ya same here....i have a feeling the only chance of me doing that is to win the lottery, donate millions to the tiger woods foundation and i just might get a round with him lol
post #12 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

My Dad used to be one of the "bigwig" volunteers at the Honda Classic back in the 80's and 90's, so he used to get to play in the pro-ams and got to know some of the pros a bit. I remember going out one year and standing by the first tee waiting for Fuzzy's group to tee off, and my Dad says " you want to meet him?" I was like uhh he's about to tee off in the tournament in a few minutes... but OK. Under the ropes we went and up onto the teebox and I was shooting the breeze with Fuzz for a few minutes. He was amazingly accommodating and seemed to be a really normal guy.
post #13 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

Originally Posted by jwnolefan View Post
My Dad used to be one of the "bigwig" volunteers at the Honda Classic back in the 80's and 90's, so he used to get to play in the pro-ams and got to know some of the pros a bit. I remember going out one year and standing by the first tee waiting for Fuzzy's group to tee off, and my Dad says " you want to meet him?" I was like uhh he's about to tee off in the tournament in a few minutes... but OK. Under the ropes we went and up onto the teebox and I was shooting the breeze with Fuzz for a few minutes. He was amazingly accommodating and seemed to be a really normal guy.
He has had that reputation for a long time and it is something that you don't see too much of on the Tour anymore...personality. I think that the competition is so intense that most guys can't afford to let it come out.
post #14 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

I've been lucky enough to get to spend time with Gary Player twice. My Boss has a health and fitness TV show and we had Gary on. He is a great guy and very interesting. I got to spend an hour with him in the fitness trailer while he was working out. He was way ahead of the curve there. While most guys were lifting cocktails he was lifting weights. He is old school in his techniques but you can't argue with the results. We also shot with Jim Colbert that day. Very cool guy. He took us to the far end of the range and was very entertaining.
post #15 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

Met Arnie who is genuinely one of the nicest people I think I'll EVER meet. That man's #1 priority is caring for other people. Great man.

And one of the most meaningful experiences I've had is when Paul Azinger was fighting Lymphoma, I sent him a letter and a paper cat too put in his golf bag (I was like 10) and his dad wrote back a really sweet letter saying that Paul liked the letter and that the "cat was in the bag." Meant a tremendous amount to me considering the tens of thousands of letters he got, and that he was, and still is, my favorite golfer (and fellow MA representative)
post #16 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

Originally Posted by ArjunGFX View Post
And one of the most meaningful experiences I've had is when Paul Azinger was fighting Lymphoma, I sent him a letter and a paper cat too put in his golf bag (I was like 10) and his dad wrote back a really sweet letter saying that Paul liked the letter and that the "cat was in the bag." Meant a tremendous amount to me considering the tens of thousands of letters he got, and that he was, and still is, my favorite golfer (and fellow MA representative)
That is cool. Paul just moved up another peg in my book.

Off topic: I remember when he came out with his club line. I was such a fan I bought one of his Hurricane SWs. They never caught on. That wedge is sitting in some barrel somewhere.
post #17 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

Played with Hubert Green in a pro-am twenty years ago in Tallahassee.
It was not a big event and everyone was really accessible.
Spent 15 minutes with Bill Kratzert (I was a fan and he's great).
Spent another 15 with Steve Elkington who wasn't offended by my asking him if he was Wayne Grady.
He told me all about himself and even wanted to know about my game.

I've talked to several guys at parties during the Memorial.
Not too many lasting impressions there.
The best guy I ever met there was Jim Thorpe.
post #18 of 35

Re: Have you ever met a PGA Tour Pro?

Back a couple years ago when the PGA Championship was at Medinah CC outside of Chicago, I met Tiger Woods and his wife (girlfriend at the time was a personal trainer at the gym they worked out at) and she called me to tell me to come, so I drove. Very approachable I have to say. I saw Phil Mickelson at the same gym the following day but he was unapproachable as he worked out and just jetted right after. Those are my two...
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