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Road to becoming a professional golfer


Travis Robinson
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i'm very naturally competitive.  i think that's my main motivator.  coupled with that, i try to keep company with golfers who are better than i am.  two of my favorite people to play with are both scratch players, and i very, very rarely beat them, but it keeps my competitive drive sharp and keeps me trying because i see it as a goal, being able to beat them.  it also really helps to highlight where i went wrong during the round.  i can hit the ball every bit as far as they can, i can (usually) make contact that is just as clean as crisp as anything they hit, but the big difference is when they miss, they only miss by a few yards, ie, the flag is on the left side of the green and they landed on the right side.  my misses aren't quite so acceptable.  as far as breakthroughs, i honestly can't recall any one thing that suddenly turned it around for me.  it was just practice, practice, practice and my body gradually learning the motions that it needs to make in order to deliver the club back to the ball squarely, although i will say this:  confidence is EVERYTHING.  if you find yourself standing over the ball and having thoughts like "am i aiming left?  i feel like i'm aiming left..." or "gosh, i hope i don't shank this one" or "i hope i have enough club," then the odds are very heavily stacked against you making the swing you need to make.  my best shots come when i step up to the ball and, if i think anything at all, it's just simply a "yup.  i feel a good swing coming up."

and mind you, i'm not talking about giving yourself a pep talk before each shot and trying to induce confidence.  it's pure confidence that you get from practicing and playing enough that when you walk up to your ball, you look at your target and you think "psh.  i've hit this shot a thousand times already.  i know this shot.  i've got it in my bag."

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So the part I am confused about is the passion and massive amounts of work and then mention only 60 hours of practice in 2+ years.  A massive amount of practice would be 60 hours in 1 week.  And let us know what your passion level is after spending 6 months practicing golf 40+ hours a week.

Originally Posted by Travis Robinson

Thanks everyone for all of the info, crunching numbers, perspective, opinions, and advice.  Keep em coming!

I do know that the chances are EXTREMELY unlikely, but you only live once!  I'd regret it way more if I didn't even try than if I gave it my best shot.

The great thing is I have an absolute passion for golf and I love to learn.

I know this is going to be a long journey and I hope you guys will check back here and there as I give updates.

While we're at it, you can help me with this:

What are some things you live by to play well?

I guess a few of mine would be:

Visualize the shot, always think positive, and swing easy.

Also, does anyone have any good books to read?  I like to catch up of reading during the winter.  I've been reading a lot of Bob Rotella and love what he has to say.





Originally Posted by Travis Robinson

Hello everyone,

My name's Travis and I'm planning on becoming a professional golfer.  I am 25 years old, I live in Wisconsin and  I'm currently a 14 handicap.  I've got a LONG way to go but I am dedicating myself to a long journey.  If you want to follow me, I will tell you right now that I am hoping in about 6-8 years to really make a push to start my professional golf career.

I played my first 9 holes in the fall of 2008 and shot a 51 I believe.  Like all of you, I was hooked.  In the summer of 2009, I was shooting consistently in the low to mid 90's and also broke 90 with an 89.  In the summer of 2010, I shot in the mid to low 80's and broke 80 with a 78.  This summer of 2011 was full of job searching, work, and golf where I stayed about the same.  Currently, I'm shooting mid to low 80's and am putting in massive work into my game.

I've only taken a handful of lessons, I probably haven't put more than 60 hours of practice in my entire career, and I have only been starting to think about this dream of becoming a pro golfer since last year.

Currently, I am working full time and live in Wisconsin which makes it very hard to work on my game.  I have built an indoor driving range as well as purchasing a golf launch monitor.  I also have an indoor putting green so I'm off to a good start for the winter months.

Why am I doing this?  I absolutely love golf.  I am pretty good at it(you can take that with a grain of salt), and why not follow your dreams?

This quote in particular really sums up why I'm going to work hard and give it my best shot to become a professional golfer:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain

Cheers everyone!



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Sure,

I probably only started thinking about becoming a pro a year ago.  I haven't done much this summer as far as practice because I've been busy with work and buying a house.  But I am making time for golf now to practice.

You can question my passion if you want but you're not in my shoes so I don't think you'd be a very good judge on how much passion I have.

But I absolutely hope that you stay aboard and keep up with the thread, I'll be chiming in here and there talking about my progress.

School started back in mid August and since then I've been working 60-70 hour weeks but since I put golf into my schedule, I've been getting about 20-30 hours of practice a week in which is great for how much I work.

Right now, I'm planning to cut down on work so I can focus on golf more and get more hours in.  I'm also in the process of signing up with an indoor facility a few miles away which I'm excited about and will definitely motivate me to practice more.

Like I said, stay on board and I'll keep you updated.

Thanks for the input!

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Quote:

i'm very naturally competitive.  i think that's my main motivator.  coupled with that, i try to keep company with golfers who are better than i am.  two of my favorite people to play with are both scratch players, and i very, very rarely beat them, but it keeps my competitive drive sharp and keeps me trying because i see it as a goal, being able to beat them.  it also really helps to highlight where i went wrong during the round.  i can hit the ball every bit as far as they can, i can (usually) make contact that is just as clean as crisp as anything they hit, but the big difference is when they miss, they only miss by a few yards, ie, the flag is on the left side of the green and they landed on the right side.  my misses aren't quite so acceptable.  as far as breakthroughs, i honestly can't recall any one thing that suddenly turned it around for me.  it was just practice, practice, practice and my body gradually learning the motions that it needs to make in order to deliver the club back to the ball squarely, although i will say this:  confidence is EVERYTHING.  if you find yourself standing over the ball and having thoughts like "am i aiming left?  i feel like i'm aiming left..." or "gosh, i hope i don't shank this one" or "i hope i have enough club," then the odds are very heavily stacked against you making the swing you need to make.  my best shots come when i step up to the ball and, if i think anything at all, it's just simply a "yup.  i feel a good swing coming up."

and mind you, i'm not talking about giving yourself a pep talk before each shot and trying to induce confidence.  it's pure confidence that you get from practicing and playing enough that when you walk up to your ball, you look at your target and you think "psh.  i've hit this shot a thousand times already.  i know this shot.  i've got it in my bag."


That is great stuff right there Mirv.  A lot of Bob Rotella books that I have been reading have had key factors that focus on having confidence in yourself and the shot you are playing.  I'm working on that quite a bit.  Also, I love playing with golfers better than me as well.  It's so weird but it just makes me a better golfer, their pre shot routines, or calmness, or smooth swing rubs off on me and somehow helps me play better.

I think a very key thing is that I'm developing that confidence with my putter and those 4 foot putts.  Just because I "know" I'm going to make this putt, it seems like it goes in astronomically more than if I didn't think it was going in.  That's a key thought I got out of a Rotella book, you have to putt like you don't care.  I'm sure other people have said it too.

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Tell us when you get to a +3.0 index and then maybe you got a puncher's chance out there. It's possible. It's not probable.

Unfortunately have to agree. There are so many good players out there it's ridiculous. I played in college and some people ask me if I ever tried to go "pro". At the time my handicap was a legitimate 0/ +1 and I wasn't even in the same stratosphere as the guys that from my generation that are on tour. Don't mean to be a buzzkill but it's just the reality. I mean Bo Van Pelt just won and was like 23 under for 4 rounds, in tournament conditions.

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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades



Originally Posted by Travis Robinson

Thanks everyone for all of the info, crunching numbers, perspective, opinions, and advice.  Keep em coming!

I do know that the chances are EXTREMELY unlikely, but you only live once!  I'd regret it way more if I didn't even try than if I gave it my best shot.

The great thing is I have an absolute passion for golf and I love to learn.

I know this is going to be a long journey and I hope you guys will check back here and there as I give updates.

While we're at it, you can help me with this:

What are some things you live by to play well?

I guess a few of mine would be:

Visualize the shot, always think positive, and swing easy.

Also, does anyone have any good books to read?  I like to catch up of reading during the winter.  I've been reading a lot of Bob Rotella and love what he has to say.


Get, and read, and reread Raymond Floyd's book The Elements of Scoring: A Master's Guide to the Art of Scoring Your Best When You're Not Playing Your Best .  It is the best book on the mental side of the game and course management, IMO.

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I agree totally you guys, take even a lesser tour like the Hooters tour for example.  Even those guys I imagine being at a +2, +3, +4 handicap.  I agree completely it is possible but extremely improbable.  But again, I just feel like I have all the time in the world, I have the passion, dedication, and I am motivated.  You give someone 10 years with that outlook, they could accomplish just about anything.  Like I've said before, it doesn't hurt to follow your dreams and I might as well.  I'm excited with all the posts you guys, very much appreciated.

Even though I'm working 70 hour weekdays, and I had a 12 hour day today, I squeezed about 3 hours in today working on the one handed chipping drill and then I've just been working on my putting stroke without hitting a ball.

This is a grain of sand session in a desert but every bit counts.  I'm having fun guys, keep the chatter going.

Does anyone have some putting/chipping drills they want to share?

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I agree totally you guys, take even a lesser tour like the Hooters tour for example.  Even those guys I imagine being at a +2, +3, +4 handicap.  I agree completely it is possible but extremely improbable.  But again, I just feel like I have all the time in the world, I have the passion, dedication, and I am motivated.  You give someone 10 years with that outlook, they could accomplish just about anything.  Like I've said before, it doesn't hurt to follow your dreams and I might as well.  I'm excited with all the posts you guys, very much appreciated.

Good luck, it would be awesome if you could pull it off. At least you'll become a great player! [quote name="Travis Robinson" url="/t/54078/road-to-becoming-a-professional-golfer#post_657688"]Does anyone have some putting/chipping drills they want to share?

[/quote] Check out this clip, great info here [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmP3gIqdP6c&feature;=channel_video_title[/VIDEO]
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Best of luck to you.  Like others have said it's not probable that it'll happen for you but if you put in the time and get good instruction along with a couple of good breaks along the way who knows. Just remember to keep your priorities straight... while it is important to dream and chase those dreams down you don't want to end up a 2 handicap in 10 years with no life because you dedicated everything you had to a dream and didn't make time for anything else.

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As has been said a thousand times before:

1. Win your Club Championship

2. Become the best player in your area.

3.Become known as one of the best players within a hundred miles

4. Win some serious amateur events in yoiur area as the favourite.

5. Be able to score legitimate sub par scores on decent courses in fair conditions.

Then.........you start to think about maybe becoming a pro.

There will be a thousand guys who would beat you by 5 shots on any day of the week even if you are off +1, but that's OK.

Let's not put the cart before the horse.

There have been a dozen threads exactly like this.  All of them start with a beginner who wants to be a pro.

I have NEVER read one where someone has achieved ONE of the things I listed above and wonders about how good they are.

Desire is one thing - but don't think that every young man with a passion for golf doesn't dream about being a pro.

Don't be suckered in by the "if you can dream it you can be it " nonsense.  You have to do it.

Get back to us when you're a legitimate scratch player. By that time you'll be one of the better players at your club.

Read Paper Tiger by Tom Coyne first.

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Originally Posted by x129

So the part I am confused about is the passion and massive amounts of work and then mention only 60 hours of practice in 2+ years.  A massive amount of practice would be 60 hours in 1 week.  And let us know what your passion level is after spending 6 months practicing golf 40+ hours a week.


Hey........you aren't allowed to say things like that in threads like this!

You are not allowed to point out insignificant deatils like how an incredible level of work motivation, passion, drive and desire amounts to half an hour of practice week.  It's not fair!

The correct line is to say that anything is possible, how you wish you had as much time as he has so you could be a pro too.

You are supposed to be inspired and be salivating at the thought of reading about the progress of the OP.

P.S. I know that tyhe OP isn't totally deluded, but like you, the first thing I noticed was how the numbers stacked up (or didn't stack up).

As far as the workload of a playing pro is - If you ever read about the actaul regime these guys follow, it's just insane. How utterly, utterly boring - but that's what they have to do to succed.

Meanwhile, there are posters on golfing threads who think that a low handicap, perhaps even success as a pro is a natural consequence of lots of range time and a desire to be successful.

If only!!

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I believe it is possible although it´s gonna take at least 10 years if you work really hard. There is nothing "magical" about becoming a tour pro. The secret is that there is no secret. It´s simply about working hard and smart for a lot of years.

If you are really serious about this then you need to:

a) find a good teaching pro and take a lot of lessons

b) You need to be able to play year round

c) Put in at least 3 hours of deliberate practice every single day. Don´t do it all at once. I recommend splitting it into two 90 minute sessions. One in the morning and one in the evening or so.

d) Play in a tournament at least once a week

e) Practice on the course whenever you can.

f) repeat c for about 10 years without getting lazy or burned out.

Y.E. Yang started playing golf at 19, so it is possible to make it.

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Originally Posted by LongballGer without getting lazy or burned out.

Y.E. Yang started playing golf at 19, so it is possible to make it.


If you are Y.E. Yang.

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Greg Norman also started late-ish (at 17) and was a solid pro within 4 years. It is possible but extremely difficult. My gut feeling is that at 25 you have left it a bit late.

Why don't you take some time off and head over to Erie for a few days of serious instruction. They'll be able to evaluate your current game and put you on the right track.

Oh, and don't forget, the Champs Tour is another option if you are serious about being a touring pro!

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I think every recreational golfer with a love for the game has a dream of being a tour player. Is it doable? Sure it is but it takes alot of work. My goal is to one day be good enough to play in a local open tournament and compete, probably need a +1 Handicap for that and who knows, maybe if I can stay in shape and progress my game over the next 20 years one day maybe even play in a Champions tour qualifying school event. It would be a dream to play competetive golf for retirement, its highly unlikely and I should probably rely on the lottery instead for retirement but hey, everyone needs a dream.

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The part that people probably don't understand is that the pros are doing all this work and not really getting noticeably better. Imagine your scratch at 16. 5 years later your a +4 and graduating college. You spend the next 10 years trying to go from a +4 to a +6. Thats a couple tenths a year. Not something you even notice.  That is really demotivating.  Whenever you are new in a sport, it is exciting to see the noticeable improvements. Doing 6 months of work and not feeling any better makes you question your approach.

Anything is possible. The odd of winning the  powerball  though are probably better than the chance of the OP making it to the Nationwide level.

Originally Posted by Shorty

Hey........you aren't allowed to say things like that in threads like this!

You are not allowed to point out insignificant deatils like how an incredible level of work motivation, passion, drive and desire amounts to half an hour of practice week.  It's not fair!

The correct line is to say that anything is possible, how you wish you had as much time as he has so you could be a pro too.

You are supposed to be inspired and be salivating at the thought of reading about the progress of the OP.

P.S. I know that tyhe OP isn't totally deluded, but like you, the first thing I noticed was how the numbers stacked up (or didn't stack up).

As far as the workload of a playing pro is - If you ever read about the actaul regime these guys follow, it's just insane. How utterly, utterly boring - but that's what they have to do to succed.

Meanwhile, there are posters on golfing threads who think that a low handicap, perhaps even success as a pro is a natural consequence of lots of range time and a desire to be successful.

If only!!



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