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How coming from money helps guys reach the tour..

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  • AppAlumAppAlum  799Members Posts: 799
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    Golf is the one sport where 90% of the kids getting college scholarships are the ones who need it the least. Doesn’t mean they aren’t the most talented, it’s just the nature of the game. Sure talent, desire, and hard work matter but coming from the financial means to allow a child or teenager to focus on golf 250+ days a year is a huge advantage.
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  • ShilgyShilgy Phoenix 11962Members Posts: 11,962
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    So we have thread after thread that says modern players aren't hungry enough because the money's good.... But this thread says to, it's this huge advantage.

    Modern amateur rules are more lenient than ever. Talented kids get assistance like never before.

    I would think the family money would help a bit, in the very early years. After that it comes down to talent and desire.
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  • golfer07840golfer07840 Smart ass from Northwest NJ 1818Members Posts: 1,818
    Joined:  edited Mar 11, 2019 12:04am #34
    Talent is overall winner here.



    However, money helps.



    And that will be on full display at the Drive, chip and putt event the Sunday morning prior to The Masters. Most of those kids (I know, there are exceptions), come from money.
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  • Jordan SpeethJordan Speeth  1091ClubWRX Posts: 1,091
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    I guess I mostly agree with your thoughts but I don't like the examples you used. Of that entire swath of "wealthy" kids who make it in golf, those two probably worked as hard or harder than most JUST so they wouldn't be thought of as rich kids. In fact, Maverick and his brother shared a bedroom with bunkbeds and had nothing special growing up. With that kind of money, the opposite becomes more the norm. Parents who've made lots of money on their own want the same for their kids. The fact is, that you need SOME money, but not anywhere near McNealy money. It's more like putting a kid through school for 12 years instead of four but the good news is that most of them end up at a D1 golf school with scholarships so it all shakes out ok. I'm not even sure if McNealy had a scholarship at Stanford. He was a freshman walk-on before having an amazing freshman year.
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  • J2puttsJ2putts  613Members Posts: 613
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    herdman wrote:
    Football and basketball are the two sports where it takes less money. In football you can't teach size and speed. Basketball you can play on a local court or gym somewhere. That is why there so many minorities at the highest levels in both. Many from very humble or very poor beginnings. In the USA, baseball now takes money for travel leagues. Same for hockey and some others. Golf still takes some money because at some point you are going to have to pay for green fees and likely lessons.
    I'd argue against baseball requiring money seeing how many Dominican players make it to the big leagues from meager upbringings.
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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolina 28877Members Posts: 28,877
    Joined:  edited Mar 11, 2019 6:50am #37
    Man_O_War wrote:

    herdman wrote:


    Football and basketball are the two sports where it takes less money. In football you can't teach size and speed. Basketball you can play on a local court or gym somewhere. That is why there so many minorities at the highest levels in both. Many from very humble or very poor beginnings. In the USA, baseball now takes money for travel leagues. Same for hockey and some others. Golf still takes some money because at some point you are going to have to pay for green fees and likely lessons.






    had to laugh a little....playing at a local court or gym somewhere...isn't that equivalent to playing golf at a public/muni course? if most of these players were ending up in the NFL/NBA from playing around on local grounds only, every one would be doing it... indeed, they are minorities mainly but most go through the college path, where the colleges pour a ton of money into the athletes for them to manifest their size and speed.....then they end up in the NFL/NBA...far from cheap...even relatively.




    Nah. If you have the size and or speed you can get on from the street in basketball. Shaquille O’Neil is a good example of that.



    Take Zion Williamson. He’s from my town. Play high school ball at spartanburg day school. He didn’t travel the world playing basketball. He got the most coveted of basketball scholarships. Basketball and football are definitely the sports that you can just walk in the building and be somebody. Size and speed trump all. Bring out a big kid with speed to a golf course and they will first want to know. “ but can he score. “.
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  • TNGolfer8TNGolfer8  259Members Posts: 259
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    J2putts wrote:


    Been thinking about this . Out of all the sports i watch , golf is the only sport to me where it is equally important to have the financial resources as it is to have the talent . Right off the bat guys like Peter Uihlein and Mav McNealy come to mind. These guys had unlimited financial resources and even more important no worries about money as they made their ways up the level of tours. YouTube is chock full of guys with serious game , but lack of resources which basically puts extreme pressure on guys like that as opposed to other kids like Uihlein , McNealy ...and now following George Gankas who teaches kids who come from serious money like Tristan Gretzky. So generally speaking , I know there are guys who didn't come from money ...but generally speaking is it more important to have the deep pockets or the deep talent ? Just seems like a player with superior talent might lose out on opportunities to that of a player with good talent , and unlimited funds.


    I love Tony Finau's story. And there have been many similar stories on tour

    for years,
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  • jasonfish11jasonfish11  430Members Posts: 430
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    Bingo1976 wrote:

    J2putts wrote:

    DavePelz4 wrote:


    Travel hockey parents would like you to consider their investment.
    I thought of hockey after my initial post ...




    Formula 1 and other forms of motorsport make golf pale into insignificance.




    I was thinking fishing also makes golf look like a cheap game. I grew up fishing and when I got older I realized it cost me about $200 every time I turned the key on my boat. I would fish in tournaments and I was the smallest/cheapest boat in the mix, I knew guys that would burn 200 gallons of gas a each day in a 2 day fishing tournament. That alone was $1000 (not counting the oil, prep work, something will break, etc). Tournament fishing makes golf look dirt cheap.
    Posted:
  • J2puttsJ2putts  613Members Posts: 613
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    Hawkeye77 wrote:
    J2putts wrote:

    Hawkeye77 wrote:


    Two examples out of hundreds of pros. "Coming from money" seems to be your idea of wealthy parents and a very limited and somewhat biased opinion - big difference between "coming from money" and figuring out how to come up with the money, which is what lots of parents/aspiring pros go through. And yes, it takes money.
    There are more than two examples of players coming from money. Those two i mentioned are on the extreme level of financial luxury , but the tour is full of private country club kids .




    Again, money is needed and your bias is clear.
    What is my bias ??? I am not condemning them for coming from money.
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  • MattyO1984MattyO1984  5563Members Posts: 5,563
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    Money in theory makes everything easier, practically speaking will it make a difference? It's too broad a question to be able to answer on objective basis, there are way too many variables.



    It does seem interesting to me that great players like Uihlein and McNeally haven't achieved what would have perhaps been expected of them. Both looked like they had all the gifts, best players in college, Uihlein won the US Amateur but neither has really set anything alight since becoming pro. Whereas the likes of Koepka who came through at the same time as Uihlein and Cameron Champ who came through at the same time as McNeally have achieved some great things.



    All the signs were that it should have gone the other way but could it be said that BK and CC have more of a point to prove compared to their peers?
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  • SMcGavin1SMcGavin1  119Members Posts: 119
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    J2putts wrote:

    Hawkeye77 wrote:
    J2putts wrote:

    Hawkeye77 wrote:


    Two examples out of hundreds of pros. "Coming from money" seems to be your idea of wealthy parents and a very limited and somewhat biased opinion - big difference between "coming from money" and figuring out how to come up with the money, which is what lots of parents/aspiring pros go through. And yes, it takes money.
    There are more than two examples of players coming from money. Those two i mentioned are on the extreme level of financial luxury , but the tour is full of private country club kids .




    Again, money is needed and your bias is clear.
    What is my bias ??? I am not condemning them for coming from money.




    All sports take money, NBA isn't full of kids who played AAU all over the country? Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kobe Bryant, Trae Young, Luka Doncic all are "country club kids"
    Posted:
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  • FergusonFerguson  5448Members Posts: 5,448
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    Reaching the tour, yes. Winning on tour, no.



    Gentlemen, I give you Briny Baird.





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  • mocokidmocokid  2039Members Posts: 2,039
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    the more humble the more hungry, not saying this always works but there's lots of examples. Seems USA golfers are much more middle class and higher affluent than worldwide. Years ago it definitely was different, lots of working class guys from caddy ranks, especially Afro americans who ranks have much declined, not increased in last 20 years or so. Now golf draws lots of affluent kids, lot harder to compete against them.



    Seems more Euro guys came from working and lower middle class backgrounds, with lots of fire, Seve, Poulter come to mind. Not too many toffs from Euro zone, where professional golfers were treated as a lower social class (not so much in the USA). Just my $.02.
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  • marmadukmarmaduk  232Members Posts: 232
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    J2putts wrote:


    By no means am I implying that money is the blueprint to success . I'm just thinking about a guy like Uihlein who to his credit was the #1 amateur in the world . However ...he spent quite a few years spinning his wheels a bit over in Europe . He didn't have the pressure of " if I miss another cut , that's it i can't afford to do this anymore" That is a MASSIVE advantage mentally , over the guy low on the money list who is trying to figure out if he can afford to keep going .




    It sounds like you’re saying having money is a disadvantage to becoming a pro golfer.

    Some people perform under pressure and some crumble. I guess it depends on what type of person you are.

    For me I think the money would help but I’m a lazy bum.
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  • VNutzVNutz  6433Members Posts: 6,433
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    Of course it helps to have abundant financial backing while trying to make it on tour. But don't pretend that golf is the only area of life, let alone sports, where that can play a significant supporting factor.



    But that still doesn't guarantee success, it still takes talent and desire, and for every player that comes from a wealthy family there's 3 or 4 more that dug it out of the dirt themselves. It's just that when those without money fail they might not get a 2nd, 3rd or unlimited chances to redeem themselves that the wealthy do, and again, not just in golf.
    Posted:
  • ctsgolfctsgolf  186Members Posts: 186
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    I'm 26 years old and I can't name one person that could take one year off work, let alone 5-15 years, and just focus on golf instead.
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 Austin 6334Members Posts: 6,334
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    bscinstnct wrote:


    A kid can play basketball for free, just the cost of sneakers, until he goes to college.



    In golf, the cost is many, many thousands to get to that point.




    Not true at all. Many of us never saw a private course until we were adults.



    Student green fees are $13 or less at many courses. And if you play in High School, range balls and green fees are often free.



    Yes, golf costs more than basketball.



    No, golf doesn't cost "many, many thousands".
    Posted:
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 Austin 6334Members Posts: 6,334
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    AppAlum wrote:


    Golf is the one sport where 90% of the kids getting college scholarships are the ones who need it the least.




    I wasn't aware that need had anything to do with sports scholarships.
    Posted:
  • HuntsvilleGatorHuntsvilleGator  30Members Posts: 30
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    J2putts wrote:


    By no means am I implying that money is the blueprint to success . I'm just thinking about a guy like Uihlein who to his credit was the #1 amateur in the world . However ...he spent quite a few years spinning his wheels a bit over in Europe . He didn't have the pressure of " if I miss another cut , that's it i can't afford to do this anymore" That is a MASSIVE advantage mentally , over the guy low on the money list who is trying to figure out if he can afford to keep going .




    It can help and hurt. Many of the wealthy kids lack the drive\fire\chip needed to propel a good player to a great player. I think the advantages for younger players are more pronounced now than in the past. Trackman\simulator time isn't cheap and can be very beneficial.



    As for true amateurs, it's a huge advantage. I know someone who plays in a bunch of the large amateur events. Instead of flying out a couple of weeks early and renting a house, he's working a day job and practicing in the evenings then flying out close to the events.
    Posted:
  • gvogelgvogel  7982Members Posts: 7,982
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    bscinstnct wrote:

    Catty wrote:


    I'm living proof of the theory. I didn't come from money and I play like crap.




    Keep telling yourself that.



    Lol, kidding, and I know youre being sarcastic.



    Id agree that the money is a factor. And to the extent that money is required to play golf relative to say, basketball, it has impacted the volume, demographics and cultural backgrounds of participants with significant potential..



    There is a lower level of quality of athlete playing golf relative to other sports due to this.




    Maybe there is a lower level of quality of athlete playing golf because golf is hard. There are a lot of very good athletes who don't have the determination to continue to work at a difficult craft.



    It is simply a different kind of game, and the Tim Herrons on the tour prove that you can make money at it without being an "athlete."
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 Austin 6334Members Posts: 6,334
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    And that will be on full display at the Drive, chip and putt event the Sunday morning prior to The Masters. Most of those kids (I know, there are exceptions), come from money.




    How do you know that?
    Posted:
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  • DatSliceDoeDatSliceDoe Camerons & Cobras One fairway over 2413Members Posts: 2,413
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    I went to an exceptionally wealthy public high school. I played on the team for a year and then went to pursue other extracurricular that conflicted. Only one person on that team went on to play for one year in a minitour. He was a +3 hdcp at that time, but couldn't find a way to win. Granted, he had his own personal driving range in his "backyard" if you could call it that, and a tennis court, and a private jet his dad owned. Still couldn't make it happen professionally.



    Then again, he had a backup career in tennis to pursue, and did play at the ATP level for a year, so there's a silver lining....also requires massive funding, talent, genetics, etc.
    Posted:
  • CrazyCoolieCrazyCoolie  43Members Posts: 43
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    J2putts wrote:

    Rosco1216 wrote:


    A child/kid//teenager who is fortunate enough to have access to world class instructors(not just your local driving range pro) and top of the line facilities throughout their childhood is certainly more likely to reach their full golf potential VS. one who does not have any of that.
    Exactly . Uihlein grew up in my town . He moved to Florida with his mother to specifically focus on golf and went to some world class golf academy




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  • SullGolfSullGolf  9060Members Posts: 9,060
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    I'm not so sure it's different than most other sports. Baseball, hockey, soccer, and basketball all have expensive traveling leagues in which parents have to shell out a lot of time and money to let their kid be involved. Football may be an exception. There are plenty of places where a golf membership is cheaper than those other sports. And if you are already a member somewhere, the marginal cost of upgrading to a family membership is definitely cheaper.



    I suspect the golf issue just looks different on the surface because wealthy adults are playing golf, then get their kids playing golf. So you end up with wealthy kids at the elite level. There are definitely reasons why less wealthy parents don't get their kids in to golf, but I'm not sure they are as financially based as we'd like to think, because they are paying the same amount to play other sports.



    As a side note to your actual point, I don't like the Peter Uihlein example. He won the US Amateur when he was in college. He hasn't been an elite professional, but he's made almost $3 million in Tour earnings. He wasn't some mediocre talent that worked through the mini tours for years with the financial support of his parents. Most professional athletes got supported by their parents through college, so I don't see him as that different even if his parents do have a large bank account. For every Uihlein or McNealy, there are several McIlroys, Woods, and Rahms who came from more modest means.
    Posted:
  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 Austin 6334Members Posts: 6,334
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    mocokid wrote:




    Seems more Euro guys came from working and lower middle class backgrounds, with lots of fire, Seve, Poulter come to mind.




    Sounds like an opinion based on very little info. How about Boo Weakley, Rich Beam, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson?
    Posted:
  • SandyAndy59SandyAndy59  19Members Posts: 19
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    I can only lend my personal experience to this discussion. At age 25, I started playing really well, winning several local amateur events and shooting sub-par regularly. Quit my job to work on my game full time. Cashed out my savings, had a "sponsor" who would give me $100/week for expenses. We're not talking big money, here. Anywho, scraped my last thousand bucks together to travel and Monday qualify for a mini-tour event. Qualified, and missed the cut by one (double bogey on the 35th hole arghhh!) Had I made the cut, I would have been in the next event and had enough money to continue. Had I not been broke, I would have tried to qualify at the next tourney. Had plenty of drive, hunger, and confidence in my game. But the money ran out. Had to go back, get a job, and the rest is history. Obviously, there's no substitute for game, but there's also none for $$$$ either. Skill=score Money=opportunity. My .02.
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  • gvogelgvogel  7982Members Posts: 7,982
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    If you think that lots of money is involved with becoming a tour pro, and you lament that fact, I leave you with this:



    If the golf ball were rolled back and 6,400 yard courses again became a very difficult test for up and coming golfers, and if drivers were rolled back to "plain and simple" (no artificial intelligence faces or faces designed to be too hot, and then modified), then golf equipment would become a commodity. Good golf equipment would be be much more widely accessible to all, because it would be less expensive.



    I envision going back to steel for drivers and fairway wood heads - leave titanium to the aerospace industry. Driver heads could be 230 cc, with face COR of .80, or even less. Such drivers could be easily made by many companies. Of course, there wouldn't be enough mark up to pay professionals, or advertise on TV. But the same level of quality would be accessible to a wide range of golfers.



    We could do the same with the golf ball. Make it go 10% shorter. Limit construction to two pieces - core and cover.



    Now I guess that this is heresy on a site where the readers can't wait for next year's driver, and discuss the merits of 4-piece and 5-piece golf balls. We love talking about equipment as much as playing the game.



    But commodity golf balls and clubs would definitely make the game less expensive.
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  • gvogelgvogel  7982Members Posts: 7,982
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    J2putts wrote:

    Rosco1216 wrote:


    A child/kid//teenager who is fortunate enough to have access to world class instructors(not just your local driving range pro) and top of the line facilities throughout their childhood is certainly more likely to reach their full golf potential VS. one who does not have any of that.
    Exactly . Uihlein grew up in my town . He moved to Florida with his mother to specifically focus on golf and went to some world class golf academy




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  • jmkenn0jmkenn0  762Members Posts: 762
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    Yeah especially in the US with the rise of kids specializing in sports, money matters more and more. People have mentioned several really expensive sports to break into like auto-racing, tennis, hockey, etc. Golf is right up there with them. You can play football, basketball, even tennis on a "free" court at parks everywhere. Golf? Not so much. You need a special place to practice, special equipment, and god-forbid you lose a ball. The barrier to entry is very high relative to the other sports, and it takes a long time to play.



    Also, exposure, which you could equate to money, is also a big thing. How many people had a basketball goal in their backyard or driveway growing up? Now how many people had a driving range or putting green image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />?
    Posted:
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  • Z1ggy16Z1ggy16  8325Members Posts: 8,325
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    I think it matters (to have the $$) but not as much as people probably think.



    Tony Finau talks about growing up hitting balls into a freakin' mattress in his garage as his common practice set up. Talent will always trump money. You can have talent and no money and still make it, but all the ca$h in the world can't buy you a good golf swing OR the mental fortitude it takes to win in high pressure environments.
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Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.