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Playing with an old Pro

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phillyk

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A week ago or so, I finally met a local PGA Pro who I had heard a lot about and plays here and there on the senior PGA circuit and co-runs a golf academy.  Our local golf pro's play in a match play event in spring that brings all of us together and have a double elimination match play over the course of a few months.  It's a lot of fun, and for me being relatively new, it gives me a chance to really meet all the other pros in my area.

I won't use his name, but he played a few years on the PGA Tour and a couple more years on other mini tours, and this year he has eligibility to play in Senior PGA Tour events.  But, from what I've heard, he usually doesn't play well in those events.  In our local chapter events, you'll find him leading the senior category most of the time.  It's cool to see a 60+yr old guy still shooting in the 60's regularly.  So, me being that kid that still wants to give some kind of run (stupid and unrealistic, I know) at a PGA event, asked why he stopped playing and what he missed about playing.  His answer surprised me at the time, but makes sense now.  The answer to the first question was more obvious, because it was that he chose family over playing. He said it was too hard on them to be traveling around all the time, but he still says it was the hardest decision he's ever had to make.  To the second question, I'd assume he missed the competition and pressure.  But it wasn't that simple.  On one hand, he is still friends with a good bunch of guys who we see regularly on the senior tour.  On the other, what he really missed is the drive to be the best, and as he said it, it was in his DNA to always want to be the best.  I think he accepts his limits now, but he still tries to keep a very strong game.

My boss and I lost the match, but it was more of us not sinking birdie putts than them playing well.  Still, it was fun to play a round with someone who's done it all.

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I guess I forgot to add, I also asked about his foundation for instruction, whether it was based on experience or something different.  As I hoped, he outright said he does not teach based on experience.  He teaches from a more scientific POV, which is great!  I asked him whether he's heard of LSW, but he had not.

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