Hey everyone, new here.
So I like the forums here and reading but man, do people knock guys who ask about going Pro later in life. I am no pro; yet. I really want to see where it leads me but here is my basic story:
Never touched a club until I was 20 years old with my now father in law.. had some cheap wal-mart wilsons that were my dads and they needed an extra guy. I played a year of college hockey at this point and played baseball/hockey/soccer in high school.
I feel I have an addictive personality, and this game took a hold of me; Now I am 25 and here is what happened in 5 years.
Year 1: Practiced my ass off, knowing I could get better at the game. I ended up buying some Taylormade r7 Draws that were the thickest top lines I have ever seen looking at them today.. got a driver from my father in law and practiced, practiced, played, practiced. I was playing constantly while going to school. I would play maybe 3 rounds a week and hit balls until I had blisters and it hurt too much to keep going.
Progress there: I got pretty good at that point- Hit my driver 260 with a huge slice, scored on a good day an 84 at the END of my first year and on a bad day who knows. This was the funniest part of my whole golf career so far; I really thought I was the Sh*t. I thought I could beat anyone.. I was shooting at best an 84.. not good at all. The good news is, I wanted to play competitive golf.. so I e-mailed all of the University's around me to see if I could get on the college team. Out of 8 colleges, only one would give me a shot at their qualifier for Varsity/JV/ Cuts.. 12 kids were going to be there - 5 varsity/5 jv/ 2 cuts. Also, this is a D3 school.. I had no stats to back me up.. coach was taking a leap of faith that I would work out.
First competitive round ever- Shot 102. Still to this day the worst competitive round I have ever shot thank god. But the good news is all of the kids coming out of high school were nervous and I rang off a smooth 82-85 on my second and third round and made the 5 spot. I couldn't believe it. Yes we werent the best but we did get second in our conference and went to nationals the following two years.. nerves would get the newcomers every single year on that qualifying tournament for the team.
Long story short; First year- Traveled to 50 percent of the tournaments and averaged 84. Not good
Second year: Traveled to 75 percent of the tournaments and averaged 81
Girlfriend(wife now) got pregnant, I had to resign from the golf team. Graduated College with a scoring average of 81 in Division 3 golf after playing for 3 years. Meaning that I was shooting between 77-84 in TOURNAMENTS after only playing for 3 years. Granted I did practice everyday and my drives were now going 290 without the slice, irons 20 yards longer from compressing and hitting down on the ball and my forte is getting up and down.
Year 4: Year 4 was very tough financially; I had a new baby/ couldnt find a job out of school but did have some time to practice. I actually gave a few lessons on the side to make some cash for my golf game as we were in a financial spot that was tough for us for about a year and a half. I didn't play any competitive rounds except for 2 tournaments. I was still getting better; got 2nd in a one day local event with about 36 players shooting a 72 on a par 70 and then got 4th shooting 4 over through 27 holes. It made me want to get into competitive golf again so bad because I was shooting great scores in tournaments that I wished I was able to do while playing in college. I practiced as much as possible financially and putted/chipped almost daily.
Year 5(this year): Finally found a job and got back on our feet. I figured I was ready to go out and play competitive golf against the best players in Missouri/Illinois. So that is what I did. I played against guys on the web.com tour, I played against guys who are on the hooters tour and what not. I shot well but was inconsistent. Next year will be better because mentally I will be able to close out a round. I shot 81-82 first tourney, 84-72 second tourney, 78,81 third, 75,81 (7300 yard par 70 with 4 par 4s over 490). Not happy with my play but my scoring average on the front nine is 37 it was closing out rounds is what I had trouble doing.
This year though, actually about a month ago something just clicked. I am a par golfer.. average about 14 pars a round one bird a few bogeys.. but in my practice round for a tournament that gave out world ranking points for amateurs, I made 5 birdies in a row. Most I have ever made.. Last 10 rounds since then have been collectively 8 under par.
Long ass story short; I have played for 5 years, I went out two days ago to play nine holes and shot 32. I am a LONGGGGGGGGGGG way to go, but for anyone who puts the work and time and effort to this game can get at least to the top amateur rankings in their area. The key to golf is knowing how to practice. You have to work on one small thing at a time until it clicks. Mental game is my weakness and it is finally coming around. Course management will take a guy who has trouble breaking 100 to trying to break 90 after 2 years of playing just because they play the game smarter. I have no idea how anyone shoots in the 100's.. to me that is crazy. Play every hole with a lay up and you should still only shoot 90-95. Anyways, I want to try and turn pro around 30; that is 5 years away from now but what I have been able to do in 5 years I am proud of. My lowest round from the tips is 63 on a par 70 and I am breaking par just as much as I am shooting over finally over my last 15-20 rounds.
Yes, I was that guy who picked up a club and thought hell, I can go pro. But now I am more humble and know what needs to be done and what steps need to be taken to get there. I played with a guy who played in the US Open and am not far from his play. I have never had a lesson. Really it will come down to long iron accuracy and ball striking with those long irons next and then mental game to get to winning Amateur championships. But everyone who plays golf seriously plays because somewhere in the back of your mind, you know that it is possible to get good enough to compete against great players. Otherwise, if we only play for fun.. why do we practice?