Director of Business Development
I recently had a chance to play in a couple’s pro-am for the Fry’s.com Open, which was held at Grayhawk Golf Club. Kirk Triplett created this event along with the Fry’s.com people to raise money for his charity – Fore Adoption. Now, I’ve been lucky enough in my career to meet many professional golfers and become friends with them, including Mr. Triplett. It was fun to watch how other golfers playing in the pro-am were in a sort of “awe” about the professional golfers that were also playing in the event. Jason Gore, Patrick Moore, Leif Olson (who I had the pleasure of being paired with) and Aaron Oberholser, were just a few of the pro’s that were there. When you play in a pro-am, it’s your chance to get close to these guys and get to know them on a personal level.
Here are a few tips for enjoying your pro-am experience:
Get rid of the “gaga” feeling – When you first arrive, you’ll see all the PGA TOUR Pro’s on the driving range or putting facility. Yes, they are there and you watch them every week, but remember these guys are just like you. They put one pant leg on at a time, just like you. Remember that!
They don’t care – These guys are good and you do want to be just like them. You want to play well and not make a fool of yourself when you are playing with them, but guess what – they only care that they are hitting the ball well. These guys play in so many pro-ams and have seen some really bad (I mean really bad) shots, that you have to remember – there was probably someone worse they have played with before. So, when you are on the course with them, RELAX – they don’t care. (Just make sure to handle yourself when you do hit a bad shot).
Don’t sell yourself short – We all have “great” days, but most of the time, we shoot what our handicap is, so make that your goal. If you’re a 15 handicapper, don’t try and shoot a 75. Be realistic and play your game.
Let the pro-am push you – You probably know that you will be playing in the pro-am a month or so before you do, so let it make you a better player. Go out and practice (both putting and swing), play more, take a lesson, etc. Work on your game so you can make the pro-am, the best round you ever shot.
Take it all in! Last, but not least, enjoy the time. Enjoy that you are out on the course, have fun (even if the game isn’t cooperating), and laugh. Get to know the pro you are playing with, ask questions about them and watch him, as they are great at what they do and you’ll be able to pick up some tips from playing with them.
It’s not every day that you get to play with a PGA TOUR Professional, but on the rare occasion that you do, have fun!
Tiffany Nelson is Director Sales & Marketing at TPC Scottsdale/ PGA TOUR located at 17020 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255. You can reach her at 480.585.4334, ext. 226. Follow TPC Scottsdale on Facebook (The TPC Scottsdale) and on Twitter www.twitter.com/tpcscottsdale) and keep up with all the action!