Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

12 Things You Don’t Know About The Mini Tours

Published

on

Many people think playing professional golf at any level is glamorous, but I can tell you after more than four years of professional golf that’s often not the case. Don’t get me wrong. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot on the mini tours, but the life of a mini tour player barely resembles that of a PGA Tour player.

I believe it was Lee Janzen who said, “If you haven’t slept in your car then you’re not a professional golfer.” Lee might have a point, but my back and neck would disagree the next day. Mini tour players have to do what they’ve got to do to make ends meet, but low scores normally allow them to get them a hotel room. Maybe that’s why I don’t play anymore… that score thing kind of matters.

What I do know is that most recreational golfers and even some top-level amateurs don’t know a lot about the life of a mini tour player and what it takes to play golf for a living. Here’s 12 things you should know.

No. 12: Tour Players

Tour Players

The next time you look at a PGA tour leaderboard, remember most of them started their professional golf career on the mini tours. Here is a short list of players who have won on the PGA Tour and played on the NGA Hooters Tour: Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Ben Curtis, Lee Janzen, Shaun Micheel, John Daly, Tom Lehman, Lucas Glover, Craig Perks, David Toms, Gary Woodland, Camilo Villegas, Mark Wilson and Bubba Watson.

No. 11: Driving

Driving

The mini tour player’s vehicle is their predominant mode of transportation. Driving for 8-to-10 hours between tournaments or Monday qualifiers is nothing new. Your vehicle will even double as your bed on some nights. One time I had to sleep in the back of my two-door Honda Civic in a hotel parking lot in Iowa because all the hotels were sold out. I guess the state fair was going on and there was a big flood in Iowa. It was in July, so it was really humid and hot. I was awakened by some people making out on the hood of my car at 3 a.m.

No. 10: Pro Ams

Pro Ams

Some mini tour events will have a pro-am the day before the tournament starts where players play in the same group with four amateurs. This is a great opportunity to see the course one last time before the tournament starts and have a fun time with your playing partners. The playing ability of your amateur partners might not be extremely high, so always be ready to give some pointers and duck. There was an amateur in my group who shanked the ball off the toe of his driver into the tee marker. If you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. The next person reverse shanked the ball off his driver between his legs and hit the other tee marker. I don’t know what’s more impressive: the winner shooting 25-under that week or those two shots in a row.

No. 9: The Off-Season

Off Season

Mini tour tournaments are held year-round in Florida, Arizona and Southern California for players to tee it up. A large percentage of players work in the off-season at golf courses in some capacity, either as a caddy or in the bag room or pro shop to make ends meet.

No. 8: Accommodations

Hotel

How cheap can you get the room and how many people can you fit in the room to split the bill? These are two common questions you will hear. Players will use websites like Kayak and Priceline to find the best room rate for the week. The whole goal is to keep costs down so you can play in more tournaments throughout the year. Another option is host housing, which is where a family will host a player for the week in their house for free. These are some of the nicest people you will ever meet and you’ll call them friends for the rest of your life.

No. 7: Sponsors

Sponsor

You don’t see big corporate sponsors on any players’ bags on the mini tours. There are a few options of how players typically afford a season playing professional golf. They fund it themselves, their family helps them or they have a group of investors/backers that put up the money. Former mini tour legend Zach Johnson had help from a group of members from his home course growing up help him play on the Hooters Tour.

No. 6: Cinnamon Rolls

Rolls

I’m talking about the cinnamon rolls at the Holiday Inn continental breakfast and they’re delicious. Here’s the deal, though: mini tour players normally stay at the Motel 8 or Quality Inn across the street for half the price, then casually walk across the street to enjoy a nice warm cinnamon roll. Sorry, Holiday Inn.

No. 5: Big Cities

Big City

Oh yeah, mini tour players tee it up in big cities all the time like Miami, Okla., Morganton, NC and Hawkinsville, Ga. But, you know what? Those small towns and the people who welcome the players with open arms are what make the tournament special. If it weren’t for them there wouldn’t be such a thing as mini tours.

No. 4: Equipment

Equipment

Receiving equipment varies from player to player between each club manufacturer. The majority of players order equipment at a discount price, while others receive it for free. The players who receive free equipment normally have some kind deal where they’re required to carry a certain number of clubs.

No. 3: Caddies

Caddy

Did you say caddy? No thanks, I will carry my clubs so I can eat dinner each night of the week. Around 90 percent of players carry their clubs using a carry bag or use a pushcart if the tournament allows. If a player does have a caddy for the week, it’s normally a relative or friend.

No. 2: Entry Fees

Entry Fees

The entry fees vary based on the tournament and tour you play, but range from $700-to-$1,000 per tournament. Most tours have a membership fee you have to pay at the beginning of the year, which is normally between $1,500 and $2,200.

No. 1: These Guys Are Good

These Guys are Good

You’ve probably seen the commercials from the PGA Tour with players like Bubba Watson and Bill Haas saying, “These guys are good.” Here’s the thing: players on the mini tours could be included in those commercial. Did you know the winning score each week is between 15 and 25-under par? That’s with pin locations three steps from the edge or next to a huge slope of every green.

Your Reaction?
  • 25
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW3
  • LOL2
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Josh is a retired professional golfer who won the Hooters Tour Touchstone Energy Open at age 21. He has played competitive golf all across the U.S. and holds four courses records. He now has his amateur status back, and works at a digital marketing agency in NYC. Josh is also the Co-Founder of My Golf Tutor, an online golf instructional website.

45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. Scott

    Apr 2, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    This is great insight!! Thanks Josh. It’s great to see these players pursuing their dreams. I hope we hear more about life and events on the mini-tours.

  2. joselo

    Apr 2, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    wow! didnt know must of the things here, impressive

  3. Matt

    Apr 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I worked at Echo Farms in Wilmington, NC when a Hooters Tour event came through. Those guys are good. REALLY good. There were a couple of range rats in that group. Get up early and hit balls until they tee up in the afternoon or play in the morning and hit balls till dark. It helped me understand what it was gonna take to make it. That and the one guy that showed up in a 1972 Winnebago that his grandparents had given him. It was nearly worn out but it made life a little easier for the guy and his wife. All they asked us for was a place to plug in and get water. I can’t remember what the winning score was but the winner had won the week before in Myrtle Beach.

  4. FraBreezy

    Apr 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

    “I was awakened by some people making out on the hood of my car at 3 a.m.”

    Well, yeah. All the hotel rooms were sold out.

  5. James

    Apr 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

    There used to be a NGA Hooters Tour event held at my home club but when they lost the sponsor the tournament left too. Mostly it was young guys fresh out of college or even high school with the goal of making the PGA Tour. The course was always set up difficult and these players blistered it. The last year it was held the winner came in at -22. Was a great event and yes those guys are good.

  6. Jeff Pelizzaro

    Apr 1, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Josh, I work with a few guys that are trying to make it on some of these tours and I would have to say that the general public doesn’t realize how hard some of them are working and how slim the margins are. While the life of a golf pro sounds pretty luxurious, I think you’re article sheds some light on the fact that it’s not all glitz and glamour like we see on the TV on Sundays.

    These guys are grinding it out week after week, shelling out cash hoping to make some of it back. I know a few of the other readers above eluded to the fact that these are all privileged kids floating on their parents bucks, but I think you and I both know that’s not the case for all of them.

    And I don’t know about the rest of the readers, but I don’t know how well I would handle that much stress week after week, not knowing if this gamble of a career path is going to pan out or not as you stand over a 4ft. putt.

    • Nagar

      Apr 9, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Have a friend who played on the Troppo Tour hear in Australia. In the late 80’s. He said it was the best time of his life. Frienships and competition was great. He said though it was extremely cut throat. 2 Missed puts inside feet said would take you from 8th to 33rd in 2 holes. Love hearing his stories.

  7. andy

    Apr 1, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Spot on article! As a former professional who played for 8 years after college it is difficult. Don’t forget to mention PGA Qschool entry, and travel expenses! 5k entry, then caddie and travel expenses. Took me 3 years to pay off all of the debt I accumulated trying to make it! The check I made with a Web.com win (as a caddie) helped pay it off!

  8. Evan

    Apr 1, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    The only golfers I have known that have tried mini tours are college/ young adults who come from upper/ upper middle class families. Who else has $30000 to risk playing one year of small purse tournaments. That money for most people is needed to get an education or start a business, which has a much higher chance of payoff than a golf career. I think the “sleeping in a car” and “sharing hotel rooms” is somewhat misleading as one would think these individuals are poor or are roughing it. The opportunity for someone to be on the road for weeks at a time without working a “real job” is not available for most. How does working a part-time low-paying job in a pro shop pay for your food, rent, car all year? Many adults with full time jobs only make $30000 a year.

    To have individuals sponsor you is also limited to very few as you have to have relationships and ties with people who have thousands of dollars to risk. The chances of these people sponsoring someone who has a successful enough career to repay is very slim.

    Professional golf and the opportunity to attempt professional golf is reserved for only those who have had a privileged upbringing.

    • RG

      Apr 1, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Well said. This article expresses the rift. Sleeping in a car and splitting hotel bills is not difficult. He thinks he’s had it tough.

    • GJR

      Apr 2, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Evan..it’s a shame you have such a short sided view of this. I hope you are happy in your life and have the courage to chase a dream every now and then. From the sounds of your post, intended or not, you are making some very blanket statements that make you sound like you’re choking on sour grapes because your struggle or someone else you know, was harder. We all make choices in life. Some guys come from normal middle to low middle class upbringing and say ‘screw it, I’m going for it’, no matter if it’s golf, minor league baseball, or starting a lawn care company. You come across with the attitude that only those with money in the bank can do things like this or get ahead. I hope that’s not what you meant. If it is, please, educate yourself. In more ways that just a degree. Good luck to you Evan. I sincerely mean that.

      • DRHolmes

        Apr 2, 2014 at 11:38 am

        I think you missed Evan’s point completely.

        Guys dont just say “I’m going for it” and then have $30,000 magically appear in their bank account. Golfers from lower class upbringings dont just say “I’m going for it” and the tournaments agree to let them compete for free. Guys find the money somewhere. But to fully pay for all of your life expenses as well as your tournament fees/expenses I cant imagine there are any guys at all that are doing that working the low wages they would in a golf shop in the off season.

        I know a couple of guys who have played mini tours for a season or two that worked at my local range in the winter. Those guys work ridiculously long hours for next to nothing, I’d be surprised if their work-wages covered their car payments and rent. Both of them had to have a group of sponsors footing the bill for their tournament fees. The math just doesnt add up, you cant work for a few months at minimum wage and save enough money to pay $1,500+/week in expenses during the golf season.

        • Daniel V

          Apr 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

          I had the pleasure of having a “mini-tour” player caddie for me at Rio Secco. Man could he hit the ball. He worked several different golf related jobs so he could pursue his dream. He was as blue collar as golf allows.

        • Evan

          Apr 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm

          Thanks DRHolmes,

          I think my original statement was misunderstood. MOST if not ALL, middle to lower class individuals CANNOT even attempt a full year or two of tournament golf. It is not at all like team sports that make sure you at least have your room, meals and travel covered. If you make a minor league baseball team, you are essentially sponsored. Not making a lot of money, but not doing it on your own. They are apples and oranges…

          Most individuals from a middle to lower class family don’t have the support to use all of their part time money for travel and golf. My parents would have laughed me out of the house if I said I was going to take two year and all of my earnings to play a mini tour. How far behind in life does that put you? Unless of course your family can absorb a couple of fruitless years.

          This reminds me of a economic study on Minor League sports, baseball in particular. Chasing a dream too long and risking too much to become a pro athlete is usually disastrous. For every one who makes it, there are a thousand who have really damaged their adult lives.

      • Evan

        Apr 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm

        Yes, I am making a general statement. Your similarity between starting a local business (lawn company) and joining a mini tour are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Your return and chance of long term success with the lawn company are much greater than a pro golf life.

        Many people who come from middle to lower class families only get a chance or two to make something of themselves. If I took a couple years and $20k to $50k I might not ever fully recover from that sacrifice.

        Considering your response to what I wrote, I think you should educate yourself. Their have been studies on the risks and effects of chasing a dream in minor league sports. This is not only my own experience as someone who comes from a lower middle-class family, but as someone who has studied the risk and reward of playing pro sports.

    • benseattle

      Apr 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      This comment is perhaps the most off-base, most ill-informed piece of nonsense I’ve ever read. The stories of professional golfers (both on the PGA Tour level and the mini-tours) who come from humble beginners are legion. For every surgeon-father Charles Howell III, there are a dozen who scrape and work just for the opportunity to play golf. Even Phil Mickelson used to drive the range cart at the old Stardust in San Diego just to be able to hit balls.) What… you’re saying that Tiger Woods came from a “privileged” background? Just what do think the U.S. Army pays, anyway? Why not do a little research next time rather than simply display your ignorance?

      • Evan

        Apr 3, 2014 at 10:33 am

        Once again, you might want to do your homework… Earl Woods was an officer in the Army, a LT Col to be exact… 0-5 pay grade. Which is very good, especially in the era he grew up in. Yes, it’s not trust fund or CEO money… but by military standards, he was white collar. Pro Golf is a full-time sacrifice and career these days. Back in the Jones/ Hogan era, many of these men had jobs and lives away from golf, the tour wasn’t as demanding. I understand that everyone’s definition of “wealthy” or “well off” is different, especially in the golf community. If your household income is under $50000 a year (which much of the population is), you most likely will not have the opportunity to give pro golf a legitimate run, let’s say 2 years on mini tours.

        • Evan

          Apr 3, 2014 at 10:39 am

          Phil grew up in San Diego CA (one of the most expensive places in the country). His father was an airline pilot and naval aviator… I pity that he had to work part time at a golf course. BTW, Earl Woods was also a defense contractor after his Army officer career. I think you need to educate yourself… the examples you gave are completely contrary to the point you’re trying to make.

  9. Sean

    Apr 1, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    All you guys are great ball strikers. What separates the mini-tour players from let’s say the Web.com, or the PGA Tour?

    Thank you,

    Sean

    • Josh Thompson

      Apr 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Hi Sean! I would say the putts gained stat you would see a slight difference. Every year there are a numerous mini tour players that go on to play the PGA and Web.com Tour. Thanks for the question and have a good one 🙂

  10. L

    Apr 1, 2014 at 11:41 am

    You forgot to mention how you could end up being real smelly for not taking a shower for a few days while you slept in the car!

  11. Golfraven

    Apr 1, 2014 at 7:13 am

    assuming you make the cut, how high on the leaderboard do you need to be on Sunday evening to at least cover your expenses for the week – entry, stay, food? Cheers

    • Josh Thompson

      Apr 1, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Hi Golfraven, it all depends on the entry fee, purse and your expenses for the week. Some tournaments you need to finish higher because the purse is small.

  12. Alex

    Apr 1, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Would be really interesting to know how the details work out.

    How do you get host families? Do the tournaments arrange it? Do you get any perks while at the courses, like meals? What about the equipment deals? Do they have tee up money on the mini tours like they do on the bigger ones? What about lessons and coaches? Do people get free lessons? Do they pay a reduced rate, etc?

    Really wondering how people can afford to play golf, afford the fees, the practice, the equipment and travel earning so little prize money.

    How much do you need to have set aside to start out?

    • Josh Thompson

      Apr 1, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Some great suggestions–Thanks Alex!

    • Richard L Cox III

      Apr 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Alex,

      As a former hack pro myself I can answer each of your questions with 90% certainty.

      How do you get host families?
      *They’re only offered at some events.

      Do the tournaments arrange it?
      *They tell you it’s available. You either say, “I want in,” or not.

      Do you get any perks while at the courses, like meals?
      *You’re lucky to get a discounted practice round unless you’re playing a Hooters’ event.

      What about the equipment deals?
      *Josh has a great explanation here, but ‘equipment deals’ on mini-tours basically amount to getting free balls, hats, and gloves mailed to you every couple of months or a set of wedges if you made the cut last week.

      Do they have tee up money on the mini tours like they do on the bigger ones?
      *No. Not even close.

      What about lessons and coaches?
      *It’s player specific, but 90% of the guys have regular instructors, etc.

      Do people get free lessons? Do they pay a reduced rate, etc?
      *No. No. No.- not even Philly Mick gets free lessons.

      Really wondering how people can afford to play golf, afford the fees, the practice, the equipment and travel earning so little prize money.
      *You sir, have just figured out why playing mini-tours can drive a person to drink.

      How much do you need to have set aside to start out?
      *I’d say $30,000 would last you one year.

  13. terry

    Mar 31, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I always loved the Waterloo Open in Iowa. I didn’t have a caddy one year. Some guy volunteered to carry my bag and refused payment at the end of the round. Had a beer with him and called it a night…not before I hit up Shag Nastys

  14. Kelly

    Mar 31, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Nice article. I live in Morganton, NC and am a member at Mimosa Hills.

  15. Mat

    Mar 31, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Great article, Josh. I can’t imagine…

    Maybe your next article can be about how to best interact and become involved… be better advocates. For example, how do you get to play in a pro-am? Should you tip your player?

    I always wondered if it was ethical for guys to sell “shares” of their career winnings for an investment… e.g., I pay $1,000 into a player for 0.2% of his winnings for 6 years, or something like that. I would imagine that there are a lot of guys who would take a chance on a guy if for nothing beyond the same thinking as fantasy football.

  16. Paul Kaster

    Mar 31, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Nice job Josh! I have lots of great memories of my time playing minis but it’s definitely tough. Well worth trying for anyone who thinks they may have what it takes. Best of luck!

  17. Don

    Mar 31, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Great article man! I wish the PGA and the big golf companies would pour more money into these mini tours. This is a great way to grow the game. I personally pull for the mini tour turned big time pros like Zach Johnson. Who by the way is one of the top five players on tour right now. “What an incredible Cinderella story”

    • Josh Thompson

      Mar 31, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks! I know what you mean Don. The tour now runs the Canadian and Latin America Tours – so who knows whats next.

    • Nagar

      Apr 9, 2014 at 7:42 am

      What an incwedable Cindawella Story. Ha Ha. Remember the Super in Caddy Shack had a r lisp!

  18. Gary

    Mar 31, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    That Hooters girl second from the left is gorgeous!

  19. Derrick

    Mar 31, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Saw you mentioned Morganton, NC. Did you play at Mimosa Hills? One of my all time favs.

  20. Curt

    Mar 31, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Great insight Josh, thanks for sharing! Good luck to you!

  21. Adam

    Mar 31, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Great stuff man, cool to hear what those guys go through and prepare myself if i ever get a chance to play pro.

    • Josh Thompson

      Mar 31, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks Adam! Hope to provide more insights of the tour life to the Golf WRX community. Any thing you want to hear about in particular in future articles? Have a good one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion & Analysis

A Letter from the Editor: Big changes are happening at GolfWRX

Published

on

For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Andrew Tursky. I recently went from the right-hand-man of former GolfWRX Editor-in-Chief Zak Kozuchowski, to running the show here at GolfWRX as the Editor-in-Chief myself. In my new role, I’m going to help GolfWRX fulfill its fullest potential as the best golf website in existence, and that means making a number of immediate changes, all of which I’ll highlight below.

First, a look back. Over a decade ago, GolfWRX started as a small community golf forum for golfers to discuss golf equipment, courses, instruction, rules, bargains, and everything else golf related. The forums continue to grow everyday, and they’re stronger than ever with over 250,000 members who are the most knowledgable and passionate golfers on the planet. They also helped us determine the Best Driver of 2018. Additionally, sometime around 2011, Kozuchowski took GolfWRX.com from simply a community golf forum to a golf media powerhouse by adding a front page section of the website, equipped with ultra-professional editorial. He built a team of Featured Writers — consisting of some of the biggest names in the golf industry — to help produce content that readers love and need. Since 2013, I’ve been helping Zak run the site by writing/producing original content myself, and working with the Featured Writer team. Currently averaging over 1.8 million unique readers per month, GolfWRX has been doing just fine. But I believe so strongly in the GolfWRX brand that I don’t want to settle for “just fine.” I believe we have more to offer, and I want every golfer in the world to garner entertainment or knowledge from our website.

As such, and building upon the foundation that is GolfWRX.com and the forums, I’ve been empowered by the “powers that be” at GolfWRX — you know, the guys who cut paychecks — to grow and shape the best golf website on the Internet.

So what does that mean going forward? Well, that’s what I wanted to discuss.

Here at GolfWRX, we’ve always been great at telling stories through the written word and images, and we will continue to do so with our Featured Writers team and legion of golf writers who love and know the game of golf. But after taking over the editorial direction of the website, I also wanted to help give GolfWRX a voice and a face. There are so many amazing people in the world of golf, and I wanted to provide platforms for us to help them tell their stories… to provide our readers the chance to see how golf clubs are made, how courses are designed, why professionals play certain equipment, and so much more. I wanted to bring readers where they’ve never been and hear from the people they’ve never heard from. Here at GolfWRX, we have the opportunity to speak with amazing people and play golf at amazing courses, and it’s about time the GolfWRX readers got to enjoy those experiences with us.

Therefore, we’re implementing our own original video and radio initiatives.

On the video-end of the spectrum, GolfWRX has recently hired Johnny Wunder full-time to the GolfWRX Staff. He’s a Hollywood producer (check out his new film Josie, starring Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones, that was recently in select theaters across the country!) and is also the new Director of Original Content at GolfWRX. If you’ve enjoyed the Bob Parsons interview, Paige interview, PXG Gen2 Editor’s Journal, or how PXG irons get built, you have Mr. Wunder to thank. Also coming soon are experiences with Mike Taylor at Artisan Golf, David Edel, Bert Lamar of Iliac Golf, the Criquet Golf team in Austin, a short game series with Gabe Hjertstedt, a new fashion series and much more. We’re extremely excited to bring our own original content to the world, and help highlight the people in golf who we think deserve a platform. See the things you’ve never seen, go places you’ve never gone, and meet people you’ve never met; that’s what we want to do with our new GolfWRX original video content. We truly hope you enjoy it, and learn a lot from the content we produce.

We’ve also started three great podcasts — the “19th Hole with host Michael Williams,” “Two Guys Talkin’ Golf,” and “Gear Dive” — with plans to expand in the very near future. Check all of them out here on SoundCloud, or here on iTunes.

The 19th Hole is hosted by Michael Williams, who was the PGA Mediaperson of the Year in 2014 and is a longtime titan in both golf media and radio in general; he has produced and hosted shows on CBS Radio, Fox Sports Radio and Voice of America. Michael is a true professional, knowledgeable golfer, and knows how to conduct one heck of an interview. So far on the show, his guests have included Greg Norman, Bob Vokey, Rees Jones, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Scott Van Pelt, Byron Scott, Michael Breed, Louis Oosthuizen, Jim Nantz, Roger Cleveland, Mike Taylor, and many more.

Two Guys Talkin’ Golf (TG2), is hosted by equipment expert Brian Knudson and myself, a former Division I golfer and GolfWRX Editor. Together, we discuss all things golf, but mostly focus on golf equipment… and the occasional hot take. TG2 welcomes guests on the show as well, ranging from GolfWRX forum members to club builders to Tour professionals to caddies. If you’re hungry for more equipment knowledge and high-level golf conversation, TG2 is your type of podcast.

The third, and all-new podcast, is called “Gear Dive,” hosted by Johnny Wunder. What you can expect is a weekly podcast where Wunder interviews anyone who’s anyone “in the know” of golf equipment… and he’s going deep. To give you an idea, his first guest was legendary clubmaker Larry Bobka who made Tiger Woods’ old Titleist irons.

Also, as I discussed before, GolfWRX is great with telling stories via the written word. To make sure we continue to do so, we’ve hired Ben Alberstadt who’s been writing for GolfWRX for over 5 years now. He was previously a freelance journalist who worked with a variety of media and news outlets, and he now wears the GolfWRX hat full time. I cannot be more excited to have him aboard the ship because he’s a true, hard-working journalist and he’s great at telling a story in his own unique style. If you’ve read any of his stuff, you know what I mean.

And as for me, I promise to continue providing GolfWRX readers with the content they want and need to read/hear/see on a daily basis. It’s my duty to help our readers be the most knowledgable golfers and golf buyers, and be entertained while learning more about the sport we all love. I simply love GolfWRX and our readers/listeners/viewers, and I want you to have the best website of all time to visit every day… a website to be part of and proud of.

What do I ask from you GolfWRX readers? Your feedback! If we write a bad story, tell us why you think it’s bad. If we publish a video you like, tell us why in the comments or on social media. If you love the new podcast, tell us that you loved it and support by subscribing. (If you want all of our podcasts transcribed, we’re working on it!) We want to have the best website in the world, and we want to provide information to golfers in the way they want to consume it. We care deeply about your opinion. GolfWRX began as a forum community, and we will always be a community. Personally, I was a GolfWRX reader myself before ever writing for the site. So was Alberstadt and Williams and Knudson and Wunder. We love golf and we love GolfWRX. We want to see it thrive, and you, the readers, are a huge part of that success.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this letter, and I hope you continue to be a GolfWRX reader and participant. And if you do, make sure to tell your golfing buddies how much you love the site… in real life or on social media. The more we grow, the better stories and podcasts and videos we can create. I love and appreciate the opportunity to be your GolfWRX Editor, and I won’t let you down!

 

Hit em between the tree line,

Andrew Tursky

Your Reaction?
  • 162
  • LEGIT8
  • WOW2
  • LOL3
  • IDHT4
  • FLOP2
  • OB2
  • SHANK24

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

Fantasy Preview: 2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Published

on

Just as in 2017, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans will once again provide a change in format for the players this week. Players will team up once more at TPC Louisiana for a combination of Best Ball (Rounds 1 and 3) and Alternate Shot (Rounds 2 and 4). Unfortunately, the change in format means that there is no DraftKings this week.

The course is long at over 7,400 yards, but it’s also very generous off the tee. TPC Louisiana offers the opportunity to go low, and players took advantage last year despite the inclement weather conditions. It took a Monday playoff to separate them, but eventually Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt pipped Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown by making birdie on the fourth playoff hole to take the title after both teams had posted 27-under par in regulation.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson 7/1
  • Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay 12/1
  • Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley 14/1
  • Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar 14/1
  • Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer 14/1
  • Jon Rahm/Wesley Bryan 16/1
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello/Sergio Garcia 22/1

For the first time, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar (14/1) will team up for this event. Last year, Watson played alongside J.B Holmes. The two performed well, finishing in a tie for fifth place. TPC Louisiana has been a course that has suited Watson’s game over the years, his prodigious length being a significant factor. Along with his T-5 in 2017, Watson has a victory and three other top-20 finishes at the course when the event was an individual stroke-play tournament.

While Watson can be feast or famine at times, Kuchar is Mr. Consistent. He hasn’t missed a cut in over a year, and he has been a top-10 machine over the past few years on the PGA Tour. Despite this, Kuchar hasn’t been able to convert many of his top-10 finishes into wins, but playing alongside Watson this week — who has already notched two victories in 2018 — may help his cause. Over their last 24 rounds, Watson ranks third for Strokes Gained-Off the Tee and eighth in Strokes Gained Total. Over the same period, Kuchar has been predictably consistent, ranking in the top third in the field in every major Strokes Gained category. It’s an intriguing partnership, with Watson’s explosiveness combined with Kuchar’s consistency, and it’s a cocktail that should prove to be a formidable force at TPC Louisiana.

Two men with the hot hand coming into this event are fellow Americans, Jimmy Walker and Sean O’Hair (25/1). Last week at the Valero Texas Open both men excelled, posting the highest finishes of their year thus far. Walker finished solo 4th, while O’Hair grabbed a T-2. It’s the pairs first time playing TPC Louisiana together, but Walker has some good course form to lean on. Back in 2012 and 2013, he posted back-to-back top-20 finishes, which shows that TPC Louisiana is a course that fits his game. Accuracy off the tee has never been Walker’s strength, but the generous fairways may be one of the reasons that he has performed well at this course.

O’Hair has been in good form as of late. The Texan has three top-15 finishes in his last six events, and last week he recorded his highest Strokes Gained Total at an event in years. Walker also seems to have turned a corner with his game. Along with his excellent performance last week, he managed a top-20 finish at the Masters, and his Strokes Gained-Total at the Valero was his highest since his 2016 PGA Championship victory. With both men coming off their best performances in a long time, they should be confident. The duo looks to be a decent value to mount a challenge this week.

Last year’s runners-up Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown (40/1) are hard to ignore at their price this week. Brown has struggled mightily for form in 2018, missing six cuts out of 11 events played so far this year, but the prospect of playing alongside Kisner may be the boost that Brown’s 2018 is needing.

Kisner’s form has been strong as of late. He backed up his runner-up finish at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play with a T-28 at Augusta before grabbing a T-7 at the RBC Heritage. At Harbour Town, Kisner’s iron play was especially sharp, with his Strokes Gained-Approaching the Greens total being the highest since the Memorial last year. Despite Brown’s slump, in a highly tricky format to predict, the pair showed enough chemistry last year and an ability to excel in the format, which is enough for me to consider their price a little undervalued this week.

Recommended Plays

  • Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar 14/1
  • Jimmy Walker/Sean O’Hair 25/1
  • Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown 40/1
Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Podcasts

Gear Dive: Legendary club builder Larry Bobka speaks on Tiger’s old Titleist irons

Published

on

Legendary club builder Larry Bobka joins us in the first episode of our new podcast called “Gear Dive,” hosted by Johnny Wunder, GolfWRX’s Director of Original Content. Gear Dive is a deep look into the world of golf equipment, and Wunder will be interviewing the craftsman, the reps and the players behind the tools that make up the bags of the best golfers in the world.

Bobka, our first guest, is a former Tour rep and club builder involved in some of the most important clubs of the past 25 years. From his days at Wilson Golf working with legends such as Payne Stewart, Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer, he transitioned into the Golden Age of Titleist/Acushnet building clubs for Tiger Woods, Davis Love, David Duval and Brad Faxon. He currently runs Argolf where he builds and fits handmade putters for Tour players and amateurs alike. He’s one of the Godfather’s of modern golf equipment.

Skip to 45:30 for the discussion about Tiger’s Titleist irons.

Check out our podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

What do you think of the new podcast? Leave your feedback in the comments below!

Your Reaction?
  • 86
  • LEGIT10
  • WOW9
  • LOL4
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP8
  • OB4
  • SHANK71

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending