Oh how the game has changed – Men against Boys

Today I read a great article in the Global Golf Post about the Sunnehanna Amateur

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What I loved about this particular article is how spot on the description is of how the younger generation player looks at the top mid-amateurs with little fear if any. These young players are respectful, but I doubt many play us with raised pulse rates any more. You’ll find very distinct differences in the strategy these  younger players employ when playing competitively . Their style is usually more aggressive, and not well thought out and planned. This is the era of the long ball, and not of finesse like Jim Furyk employs.

They all share the same dream, to one day soon go head-to-head with the likes of Daniel Berger, and Jordan Spieth. I say good luck to all of them, but most I will see again one day as a reinstated amateur. Its the raw truth of the game, how many global players make a decent living playing golf, perhaps 500 max, and thats spread over many tours ( PGA, European, Asia and other global tours). While tens of thousands of players are now vying to become one of the lucky pro’s that can make a living playing the game we all love, and not have to teach lessons to beginners for a living. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with teaching lessons and making a decent living do so. It was never something I wanted to do 8 hours a day, but each of us eventually find our place in this great game we love.

For me personally I decided to have a career that would support my love and addiction to compete in amateur golf, and over the past 40 years doing so, I have invested over $3,000,000 into my love for the game. That comes out to only $75,000 a year which is low considering that I play in about 25 amateur events a year all over the world. But while this investment seems significant, its not when I look at the return. I can assure you that I have gotten a “Priceless” return on those 40 years, and would not do anything different. Since turning 50 I have been able to play in 6 professional majors, making the cut in 3 of them, and winning low amateur honors (the silver medal) in two British Senior Opens. There is no amount of money, or prize money that comes close to what that experience was like for me.

I believe I am not alone with this feeling as the other top Mid-AM players that you’ll read about in the attached article covering the Sunnehanna amateur. I will never try to discourage any player from chasing their dream, but the reality of the difficulty of that dream needs to be properly weighed. Hell, I tell these kids, if you can’t beat me at age 57, then what chance do you have of beating these younger pro’s out there. And despite what the article says, I would take Nathan Smith over any of them in match play. The guy is a phenom, and I believe could have easily made it playing for dough if that’s what he wanted to do with his life. I ran into Nathan at the US OPEN, and you won’t find a more affable and nice guy any where in life. That is the true reward to playing the amateur circuit, you will meet, and forge friendships with some of the greatest people you’ll find anywhere in the world, together sharing the same passion and love for the game. Yes you’ll find a lot of these guys are good at selling  Insurance and securities…hmmm what a great career for a lifetime amateur golfer for sure!!

The other clear observation from my experience standing a few feet away from the best players in the world is that they have an ability that is certainly god given, a talent that they then took and worked harder than anyone else in the world developing. These guys are ripped. Perhaps Fred Couples the well known couch potato had the advantage of being triple jointed. Most of us are not.

So my advice to all of the young aspiring golfers is look deep into your heart of hearts and ask yourself an honest question, am I willing to work harder than I have ever worked before to become one of the elite players that gets to play for pay? For all of you willing to take on that challenge I salute you and wish you well.


And if you can swing like this, I like your chances!!

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