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Sandy Trap

Tour pros who started golf later in life. Are there any successful guys on tour who have not been playing since childhood?

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I am curious about this.

Out of all the guys playing on tour, how many of them starting playing golf in their 20s or 30s instead of when they were a toddler?

I wasn't able to find any examples using the search function or Google.

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Larry Nelson.

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Very, very few golfers on tour today were not prodigies at an early age.  Like Zip said, Larry Nelson was in his 20's when he first picked up the game, but of today's pros I guess KJ Choi is the only one that comes to mind. Ian Poulter also started later than most (mid to late-teens) but I think the majority first picked up a club at a very early age.

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Hi Sandy,

I'm 39 and I've only just started to learn the game.

Personally, I believe it is not impossible to become a pro while starting at a later age,

but it depends on many factors : individual talent, the speed at which you're able to learn and adapt,

the amount of time and effort you put into it,.....

It is said that young people learn easier then older people, but that's not always true.

Since an adult usually has more strength and a better understanding of certain things, it might actually be

an advantage to start at a later age.

A good physical health/shape is off course a necessity.

I take the game very serious and would like to become a pro (if possible).

As soon as I start playing real games again (in about 4 weeks), I'll post my results here, so keep an eye if you want to know

how slow or fast a 39 year old can evolve!

Good luck with your game!

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

Very, very few golfers on tour today were not prodigies at an early age.  Like Zip said, Larry Nelson was in his 20's when he first picked up the game, but of today's pros I guess KJ Choi is the only one that comes to mind. Ian Poulter also started later than most (mid to late-teens) but I think the majority first picked up a club at a very early age.

...and within a year of starting he was shooting in the 70s, so he was a 'natural' who just got a later start.

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Calvin Peete was another guy that picked up the game in his 20s. You can become a pro golfer. But anyone can become one. You just need to check a box and have some cash. It is unlikely  you will every get a Nationwide, PGA, Euro, or the like card.  Even if you had enough talent, you will struggle to get good enough before age starts chipping away at you. At 39 you are well in the backside of most golfers careers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by pipergsm

Hi Sandy,

I'm 39 and I've only just started to learn the game.

Personally, I believe it is not impossible to become a pro while starting at a later age,

but it depends on many factors : individual talent, the speed at which you're able to learn and adapt,

the amount of time and effort you put into it,.....

It is said that young people learn easier then older people, but that's not always true.

Since an adult usually has more strength and a better understanding of certain things, it might actually be

an advantage to start at a later age.

A good physical health/shape is off course a necessity.

I take the game very serious and would like to become a pro (if possible).

As soon as I start playing real games again (in about 4 weeks), I'll post my results here, so keep an eye if you want to know

how slow or fast a 39 year old can evolve!

Good luck with your game!

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Originally Posted by pipergsm

Hi Sandy,

I'm 39 and I've only just started to learn the game.

I take the game very serious and would like to become a pro (if possible).

As soon as I start playing real games again (in about 4 weeks), I'll post my results here, so keep an eye if you want to know

how slow or fast a 39 year old can evolve!

Well, you will be joining a half dozen or so other Sand Trap members who are going to be on the professional tours any day now.  Why?  Because they take the game seriously, and will practice a whole lot. Best of luck to you all!

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

Well, you will be joining a half dozen or so other Sand Trap members who are going to be on the professional tours any day now.  Why?  Because they take the game seriously, and will practice a whole lot. Best of luck to you all!

The alternative to trying is saying "what if" later. Personally, I'd rather become a bum (no, not trying to go pro myself).

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Originally Posted by Kapanda

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harmonious

Well, you will be joining a half dozen or so other Sand Trap members who are going to be on the professional tours any day now.  Why?  Because they take the game seriously, and will practice a whole lot. Best of luck to you all!

The alternative to trying is saying "what if" later. Personally, I'd rather become a bum (no, not trying to go pro myself).

I think he should go for it too - I can't wait to see his record at local tournaments by this time next year.

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

Well, you will be joining a half dozen or so other Sand Trap members who are going to be on the professional tours any day now.  Why?  Because they take the game seriously, and will practice a whole lot. Best of luck to you all!

This post is filled with 90% truth and another 90% of pure negativity.  (Yes, I know that does not equal 100%)

You are right that just because you want something doesn't mean you will get it.  However, confidence in yourself is certainly a step in the right direction.  The great men in this world have enough confidence to ignore the naysayers like yourself, and continue forward.  Props to him for being positive, confident, and setting goals in his life.

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YE Yang, who won the 2009 PGA Championship at age 37, didn't really start golfing til he was out of the Korean Army at age 21. It took him 13 years before he had won  enough to play in  Europe and eventually the PGA. It's said he started as a heavy equipment operator, got hurt in accident, and wound up as ball picker at a driving range. Cool.

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Originally Posted by Sandy Trap

This post is filled with 90% truth and another 90% of pure negativity.  (Yes, I know that does not equal 100%)

It's just that we have been down the same road so many times before that it is getting laughable:

1)  Beginning golfer just discovers the game, says they are really serious, and plan to become a touring professional by practicing really hard for the next one,five,ten years or so.

2)  Cheerleaders say GO FOR IT! , YOU CAN DO IT!, NOTHING CAN STOP YOU!

3)  Naysayers say NO WAY, NOT A CHANCE.

4)  After a week or two, beginning golfer is never heard from again on the forum.  No followup posts saying how the did in local tournaments, how their score has improved, nothing.

5)  Another beginning golfer comes on the forum, repeat steps 1-4.

I just find it amusing.

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

It's just that we have been down the same road so many times before that it is getting laughable:

1)  Beginning golfer just discovers the game, says they are really serious, and plan to become a touring professional by practicing really hard for the next one,five,ten years or so.

2)  Cheerleaders say GO FOR IT! , YOU CAN DO IT!, NOTHING CAN STOP YOU!

3)  Naysayers say NO WAY, NOT A CHANCE.

4)  After a week or two, beginning golfer is never heard from again on the forum.  No followup posts saying how the did in local tournaments, how their score has improved, nothing.

5)  Another beginning golfer comes on the forum, repeat steps 1-4.

I just find it amusing.

This is obviously one lesson that you have not yet learned in life.

Breaking down others to gain some sort of personal satisfaction will not benefit you in the long term.  You might feel cool and get some happiness from it, but everyone else just thinks you are an *******.  Doesn't really seem worth it to me.

Why do you care if a stranger thinks he can become a professional golfer?  It has no effect on you at all.

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My first instructor told me that it's too bad I was 32.  If I started younger I could be a pro.

At the time it was a good confidence builder. I had just cut 50 strokes off my game, and less a reality then winning the Lottery - I had not broken 90.

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None of the above posts came off as negitive at all to me.  He was even wishing anyone the best of luck.  I dont think he's a, whatever name you were calling him.  I highly doubt he is saying this stuff for personal satisfaction.  Just seems absurd to even think that to me.  Eh, well, just giving my  take on the matter.  I guess I just read it differently than you.

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Originally Posted by abrahamx

None of the above posts came off as negitive at all to me.  He was even wishing anyone the best of luck.  I dont think he's a, whatever name you were calling him.  I highly doubt he is saying this stuff for personal satisfaction.  Just seems absurd to even think that to me.  Eh, well, just giving my  take on the matter.  I guess I just read it differently than you.

You might want to get your sarcasm radar checked, it's definitely broken.

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Is it possible to pick the game up later in life and make it to the pro tours? Yes.

Are you even remotely likely to have that kind of success? Absolutely, emphatically, almost surely not.

If you have the means and the inclination, should you try? Yes. If it's what you want to do, and you can afford it, then DO IT.

Cost/benefit analysis:

Don't do it:

Cost : Spend the rest of your life wondering what if.

Benefit: Free time to do something else.

Do it and fail:

Cost : Greens fees and free time.

Benefit: Hours of golf, satisfaction of knowing you gave it a shot.

Do it and succeed:

Benefit: Fame, fortune, an ESPN mini-special, the satisfaction of shouting "I told you so!!" and flipping a giant bird at Harmonious

It's not "hating" to say that, no, you're not going to make it. That's almost sure to be the case. The good money, the really really good money, is on "No." But it can happen. Just like the lottery, though, the trick is to be honest about whether you can afford to take the longshot chance.

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Robert Landers took up the game at 28.  Played 2 years on the Senior Tour.  Cattle farmer.

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