“Live” from the 50th PGA Professional National Championship – Day 1

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Day 1 June 17, 2017

Hello everyone. Coming to you live from the 50th PGA Professional National Championship in Sunriver, Oregon. Just wanted to give y’all a little insight as to what it takes to try and compete at the highest level. I hope you enjoy this, and I’ll do what I can to give you more insight as I go along, and hopefully have a good week.

I won’t bore you with the details of traveling, but just know that it took me nearly 10 hours, two flights, and one layover to get to Oregon.

On Wednesday morning, after some much needed sleep, myself and my caddy made a visit to Columbia Edgewater Country Club to play and practice for the day. I had made arrangements in advance with the Head Professional there, after scouting out the best courses in the area. One of the perks of being a PGA Professional is that often times you can reach out to other PGA professionals nationwide and get on a golf course you might not be able to otherwise.

We spent all day at CECC. Literally. We pulled up at 9:15 a.m. and left the property at 4:30 p.m. What did we do in all that time? Played 27 holes and practiced for two hours. I can’t tell you the amount of hours that it takes in order to play golf without thinking about how to do it. Ironically, we didn’t realize that we would have to walk the golf course, but it was a blessing in disguise. I’ll get to that later.

The drive from Portland to Sunriver took about 3 hours. But that three hours had some of the best scenery you’ll ever find. We pulled up to the facility to get a quick look at it, and then got to our rental house, got settled, grabbed some dinner and settled down for the night.

Thursday morning, I was so tired from travel that I got my practice round tee time screwed up. Fortunately, there was a spot available so I slotted in there.

Now a little about the Crosswater Club. It is ranked #50 on Golf Digest’s Best Courses You Can Play for 2017-2018. It measures 7,560 yards from the championship tees. It has hosted numerous championships in its history and is a formidable test. The hardest part about it so far is the sheer size of it. It makes for a VERY long walk. Our step tally? 18,450 steps and 10.5 miles. Fortunately, we had a day prior to dust the rust off of walking the golf course. If we hadn’t, chances are Friday’s practice round might not have happened as we focused on recovery.

On Friday, we got our practice round in at the second course for the tournament, the Meadows Course. We went off around 10 a.m. and did the same thing as the first day. Multiple tee shots, wedges around the greens, putts, just seeing how the greens move. One thing you have to keep in mind is that in championship golf, one stroke can mean the difference between playing the last two round of the tournament, or going home early. So you have to pay critical attention to all of the information that you have available to you in order to eliminate any doubt that you may have about a certain situation. There is no room for doubt in tournament golf. If there is any, you might as well pack up and go home early. So I make sure that I do my prep work before hand to eliminate any doubt.

Today is a practice and rest day. I’ve done my homework for the golf courses, and now it’s time to compete. There is a fine balance between not working hard enough to be ready, and overworking yourself to the point that you don’t have time to rest. I believe we’ve done a good job of managing that line.

I tee off tomorrow at 2:25 p.m. local time (5:25 p.m. Eastern) on Crosswater. Now it’s time to see if all of the work I’ve put in over the past six months pays off. First round coverage begins on Golf Channel at 5:30 Eastern time, so make sure you tune in and watch myself and 311 other PGA Professionals compete for the Walter Hagen Cup and the 50th PGA Professional National Championship!

I hope you enjoyed, and wish me luck!!

 

Coach Justin

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