Saturday, February 6

Rookie Chris Wilson Has a Lot to Learn


















The short par-3 7th hole at Pebble Beach.

CHRIS WILSON, A NORTHWESTERN GRAD and former Big Ten champion who earned his PGA Tour card at Q-School in December, is writing a weekly diary at GolfWeek.com. His most recent installment addresses the steep learning curve, especially when it comes to the golf courses on the PGA Tour.

It’s something that’s easy to forget or completely overlook as a golf fan. You figure if a guy earned a card, he must be great with the sticks. These guys are good, right? Enter a few tournaments and ka-ching, ka-ching.

As the rookie points out, it’s far from that simple. There are many adjustments to playing on the PGA Tour: the level of competition, the travel and more. But let’s get back to the courses, which is what Wilson mentioned. At the Bob Hope Classic, Farmers Insurance Open (where he missed the cut) and next week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Wilson had (and will have) a total of nine courses to learn.

Nine courses. For three events!

Granted, most weeks on Tour there’s only one course to face. For Wilson, whether it’s one, two, three, or four, they’re all new to him. Maybe it’s not such an easy way to earn your supper after all. You can see why many pros have to play the circuit for years before they get comfortable.

“There is a lot of cramming into a short amount of time,” Wilson wrote. He’s not complaining, though. “It is a great problem to have because nothing beats being on the PGA Tour!”

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: ghz/Flickr)

2 comments :

Jordan Caron said...

As a Canadian I am closely following the two Canadian rookies this year in Graham Deleat and Chris Baryla. The biggest obstacle they face is learning the courses that some of the veterans have been playing for 15+ years and now like the back of their hand.

There is other stuff getting adjusted too but the biggest is learning how play each course and feel comfortable off the tees and on the greens. Lee Trevino had a comment a few years ago. He said something along the lines of "if you are thinking of playing on the PGA Tour, go out and play 10 courses from the back tees and if you don't shoot under par 5 times, then look for another job".

The Armchair Golfer said...

Love the Trevino quote, Jordan. So true. Not that I would know.