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Tiger's Tribute to PGA Club Pros

erku's picture

The PGA Tour vs. PGA of America; professional golfer vs. golf professional. 41 years ago they became separate golf organizations, this week you are seeing players from both sides looking to realize their dream of becoming the next PGA champion. Are PGA Tour players really that much better than their cousins, the club pros?

Most club pros can go out and shoot under par on any given day with their peers or members. Read you local paper and if the coverage is good, they will list local club pro tournaments, the winners are generally in the 60s. Oh yes, in addition to playing golf everyday at their clubs (hardly), they also do the following:

* Give lessons, conduct clinics
* Organize junior golf programs (hopefully)
* Buy and sell merchandise
* Hire and manage a golf staff
* Mentor young golf professionals
* Organize tournaments
* Collaborate with golf course superintendent
* Get up a 4 am every day
* Close the shop at 7 pm most days
* Take Mondays off
* Listen to members complain about pin placements and unclean clubs
* Conduct 200 rounds per day on public courses
* Oh yes, spend hours working on their own games (not)

There are more than 28,000 PGA of America members, they all have the dream of being a tour pro…all of them. Just 20 qualified for this PGA Championship, just two made the cut for the weekend. Grant Sturgeon, assistant pro at Oakmont, is even par for the tournament (tied for 13th), and Greg Bisconti is +3 (Greg is a teaching pro at St. Andrews in NY, likely responsible only for bullet point #1 above).

So here we are after two rounds, with Tiger leading by four strokes. If he shoots even par on the weekend, he wins. Perhaps this is his tribute to club pros everywhere by evening the playing field , making everyone else look like a club pro in comparison. He played gutsy golf all day on Friday and although his birdies on 14, 15 & 16 put him out front, it was the long par putts that kept him in it throughout the day. His mental toughness, physical fitness, work ethic, desire to win, confidence, all at a different level. He missed a long par putt on 18, Paddy missed a short par putt just after. Lee Westwood 3-putted from 3 feet on 17 to drop to -2. Vijay has suddenly found himself in the final group on Saturday, good luck V.

Hats off to the hard working, under-paid PGA of America club pros around the country and especially to those who can really play the game despite their long list of duties. Nice job Grant and Greg on making the cut, really unbelievable.

Written by Coach Dave V

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