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11 hours ago, leezer99 said:

Correct. Less focus on golf, instructor a plane ride away, girls or boys, other distractions and so on. A singular focus would be better for their development. 

Wolff got 1.5 strokes better and went from T2 as his best finish to 6 wins He got unquestionably better. 

 

Spieth played 1.5 seasons so that's harder to analyze and the stats from back then are hard to access. It's also hard to look at thomas'. 

 

A player not getting better over their college career is the exception not the rule. Akshay would likely have been better served going to college for at least a couple years as he is continuing to flame out besides that t9

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Looking up for the kid.. T-9: Akshay Bhatia, 272/-16, $166,650.00

Nothing sexist about that comment.  Only thing missing is "Keep back in the kitchen woman."

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All of those players mentioned would have either gotten much better without going to college or could have stepped on stage sooner and gotten exponentially better in the time they wasted in college. Look at any country outside of the US and their elite players skip university and go pro. No wonder the PGA has gone from 90% American players to 50% in the last 20 years. Same goes with LPGA, if they miss their window of opportunity when young they have a very difficult time making enough money to keep playing. 

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You have no way of knowing that 

 

no one is missing their window of opportunity because they go pro at 21 instead of 18. 
 

an 18 yr old kid isn’t ready to travel the country and play golf 24/7 and it puts them in a really weird spot socially . If anything college puts them around people to compete and interact with , gives them structure to succeed and teaches them how to get better. it also gives them a greater challenge without making an insurmountable one. It’s pretty much the perfect path to making someone a pro golfer , hence why 99.9% of people do it.
 

Did it ruin tiger or Phil ? 
 

Rory is probably the only person I can think of and while he was good initially, he wasn’t winning for the first couple years. Who is to say he couldn’t have gone to college for a year or two and then burst on scenes like Wolff spieth or JT 


 

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2 hours ago, Medson said:

Didn't PGA Tour start this PGA University program that give college graduates more runway to make onto the pro circuits? 


The top 5 get KF status. And it’s only eligible for D1 seniors that have played in at least 9 events. 

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First, I believe anyone athlete should have the choice to become a professional and forgo college if they want regardless of the sport (golf, basketball, baseball, etc.). However, I'll never be convinced that it is a good decision to do so regardless of their skill level. There is so much you learn in college and I'm not even talking about the athletics part of it. 

 

Unfortunately, if you just look at the NBA... for every 1 Lebron or Kobe there are dozens of others who skipped college to play pro ball and never made it past 1-2 years in the league if that.

 

It's no different with golf. Of course Ty Tryon is the failed experiment that comes to everyone's mind. A great junior player who turned pro when he was 17 after making the cut in a tour tournament as an amateur. Once the shine wore off and his sponsor exemptions ran out he was left without a tour to play on. Since he turned pro in 2001 he has ONE professional win and it was a Hooters tour event in '05 where the prize was $11k. He hasn't played a PGA Tour event since 2011.

 

Is it possible for someone to not go to college and be a successful tour player? Sure and there are some examples of that with international players, but if you look at the younger American players (Wolff, Morikowa, Thomas, Schauffele, Reed, Scheffler, Cantlay, and so on) all of them played college golf. 

 

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1 hour ago, iteachgolf said:

Ty Tryon earned his tour card and he kept that card only playing half that season. He battled some health issues that definitely affected his career.  

 
Not to it pick but he didn’t actually keep his card that year. He was given a medical exemption for the next year after he missed half the season with mono and ended up finishing around 180th on the money list the year he played on the medical exemption. He never earned his tour card again. That was in 2002. 

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2 hours ago, Abh159 said:

 
Not to it pick but he didn’t actually keep his card that year. He was given a medical exemption for the next year after he missed half the season with mono and ended up finishing around 180th on the money list the year he played on the medical exemption. He never earned his tour card again. That was in 2002. 

Must be getting old.  Memory fading

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5 hours ago, iteachgolf said:

Ty Tryon earned his tour card and he kept that card only playing half that season. He battled some health issues that definitely affected his career.  

He kept his card how? Looking at the numbers and it doesn’t add up.  I am guessing the “kept his card was a medical exception “ as it does not appear he was top 125. Please explain.  Thank you.
 

https://www.pgatour.com/players/player.25450.ty-tryon.html

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Just now, Shilgy said:

He kept his card how? Looking at the numbers and it doesn’t add up.  I am guessing the “kept his card was a medical exception “ as it does not appear he was top 125. Please explain.  Thank you.
 

https://www.pgatour.com/players/player.25450.ty-tryon.html

Scrub all of that...asked and answered immediately.  My error in posting too quickly.

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College is a waste of time if your dream is to go pro.  It used to be that college athletes could skate by with poor grades to focus on their sport but nowadays you've got to carry a higher GPA to be on the team.  That means more time studying, taking more classes, etc.  Not to mention all the time a kid loses in high school studying to get good enough grades to be eligible.  Losing time is the biggest issue in these players development.  A bunch of players realized this and left early... Tiger, JT, Spieth, Adam Scott.

 

And lets look at your college freshman on a 10 or 12 man team.  Colleges take 5 and count 4.  You have less than a 50% chance of competing and having your score count.  Growth happens during competition.  If you're the fifth man on a team and aren't playing well it's likely the kid just mails it in.  What are you learning from that?

 

College for the player inspired to play on the big tour is a waste of time.

 

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1 hour ago, leezer99 said:

College is a waste of time if your dream is to go pro.  It used to be that college athletes could skate by with poor grades to focus on their sport but nowadays you've got to carry a higher GPA to be on the team.  That means more time studying, taking more classes, etc.  Not to mention all the time a kid loses in high school studying to get good enough grades to be eligible.  Losing time is the biggest issue in these players development.  A bunch of players realized this and left early... Tiger, JT, Spieth, Adam Scott

 

And lets look at your college freshman on a 10 or 12 man team.  Colleges take 5 and count 4.  You have less than a 50% chance of competing and having your score count.  Growth happens during competition.  If you're the fifth man on a team and aren't playing well it's likely the kid just mails it in.  What are you learning from that?

 

College for the player inspired to play on the big tour is a waste of time.

 

 

By this logic every 18 year old golfer should turn pro because I guarantee you that 99.99% of them dream about becoming a pro golfer. College golf is a great way to not only get an education that will help you later in life, but to also compete against top-tier players which can help them determine whether or not they are actually good enough to be a professional one day. 

 

If a kid isn't good enough to beat half his/her teammates, what makes you think they could compete with the best players in the world? And if he/she is "just mailing it in" because they aren't the best player on the team what makes you believe that person has the motivation and dedication required to make a legitimate living playing golf?

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1 hour ago, leezer99 said:

College is a waste of time if your dream is to go pro.  It used to be that college athletes could skate by with poor grades to focus on their sport but nowadays you've got to carry a higher GPA to be on the team.  That means more time studying, taking more classes, etc.  Not to mention all the time a kid loses in high school studying to get good enough grades to be eligible.  Losing time is the biggest issue in these players development.  A bunch of players realized this and left early... Tiger, JT, Spieth, Adam Scott.

 

And lets look at your college freshman on a 10 or 12 man team.  Colleges take 5 and count 4.  You have less than a 50% chance of competing and having your score count.  Growth happens during competition.  If you're the fifth man on a team and aren't playing well it's likely the kid just mails it in.  What are you learning from that?

 

College for the player inspired to play on the big tour is a waste of time.

 

How about playing D3 or NAIA rather than at a D1 institution?

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On 12/2/2020 at 8:36 AM, leezer99 said:

College is a waste of time if your dream is to go pro.  It used to be that college athletes could skate by with poor grades to focus on their sport but nowadays you've got to carry a higher GPA to be on the team.  That means more time studying, taking more classes, etc.  Not to mention all the time a kid loses in high school studying to get good enough grades to be eligible.  Losing time is the biggest issue in these players development.  A bunch of players realized this and left early... Tiger, JT, Spieth, Adam Scott.

 

And lets look at your college freshman on a 10 or 12 man team.  Colleges take 5 and count 4.  You have less than a 50% chance of competing and having your score count.  Growth happens during competition.  If you're the fifth man on a team and aren't playing well it's likely the kid just mails it in.  What are you learning from that?

 

College for the player inspired to play on the big tour is a waste of time.

 

 

On 12/2/2020 at 9:46 AM, Abh159 said:

 

By this logic every 18 year old golfer should turn pro because I guarantee you that 99.99% of them dream about becoming a pro golfer. College golf is a great way to not only get an education that will help you later in life, but to also compete against top-tier players which can help them determine whether or not they are actually good enough to be a professional one day. 

 

If a kid isn't good enough to beat half his/her teammates, what makes you think they could compete with the best players in the world? And if he/she is "just mailing it in" because they aren't the best player on the team what makes you believe that person has the motivation and dedication required to make a legitimate living playing golf?

Ah yes, the great debate we had for decades for the NBA has reached the PGA.

 

While this sounds like a huge cop-out, it is my belief--after many years of being pro-college--that each individual case is different, and this topic should treat all amateur players as a monolith.  

 

Leezer is right--if a kid just wants to golf and could care less about his education, then he should turn pro if he has the talent, work ethic and means.  Every elite prep golfer will not fit this narrative, as many of this know--and that's OK.  But for the small handful of kids who come out of HS and want to chase the tour right away and have little intention of being a serious college student--YOLO.  Go chase it, get that experience, and if it fails you are still young enough (and now armed with experience going to Q-school and maybe kicking around mini-tours with an intense travel schedule and practice regimond that comes with it) to carve out a niche for yourself in another facet of the game.  If you are sick of golf, go to school and get that degree (gasp!) on your own.  After you graduate, guess what you get to put on your resume?  How does that look compared next to the average applicant who is fresh out of college.  Let's say you are a bank hiring someone with a finance background--do you hire the 21/22 y.o. fresh out of college with an internship under his belt, or do you hire the 24/25 y.o. who can help win scrambles for your office?  Kobe got a 1300 on his SAT and many said he should have went to Duke, Temple, G'Town or wherever--but he had one goal, and that was to be like Mike--and he was.  Not all guys make it, of course, but do you think Ronnie Fields and Sebastian Telfair really had backup plans to be anything else but a baller?

 

Abh159 is also right, in a way--College is, indeed, something that can help you later in life if golf doesn't work out for one reason or another.  I use Rob Pelinka is as the ultimate "just go to college" story.  Pelinka, now an NBA superagent who is pretty much as rich as a successful NBA player, is a great example of a guy who really improved his professional stock by going to a top college and playing sports at what was then a top program knowing he would just be a role player.  Pelinka could have maybe went to a mid-major and been a borderline AA player, but would he have gotten the connections he did had ne not gone to Michigan?  Want a better example?  I played baseball against Mr. Michigan baseball '91, Ron Hollis, as a senior.  Mid 90s heat (but no movement), good curve, was drafted but went to Michigan as a pitcher--but was the best amateur hitter I've ever seen in person.  He ended up playing at Michigan for three years, until the Dodgers drafted him as a pitcher in the 10th round.  He made it to AA, had a lifetime 3.1 ERA at 23 y.o., but quit to go to med school because of the influence of Dr. Frank Jobe, who successfully operated on his torn labrum (which he came back from with no pain).  Hollis has a nice career as an orthopedic surgeon in the Twin Cities area, and maybe takes a different road if he plays right out of HS.  He only got drafted in the 37th round as a senior because he was a lock to go to Michigan.

 

There are two valid sides to this debate, but when it gets down to it, each individual amateur must decide what he wants to put his heart and soul into and got hard in that direction.

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11 hours ago, leezer99 said:

Great write up @MB19  All I read though was the part where you said I was right.  LOL

 

That being said, Akshay shot a nice 4 under today with 7 birds and 3 bogies and is currently sitting T5.

I have Akshay in my betting pool at work.  Pick three golfers and drop one for the lowest combine of the day.  People were like who is Akshay.  Doesn't everyone pick the Monday qualifier?

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On 12/2/2020 at 12:00 PM, leezer99 said:

You’re all missing one simple fact. Playing golf is a trade. You need about as much education to play golf at the top level as a plumber. 

It's not about education, it's getting better, learning to manage game, facing an increasing, but not insurmountable challenge which forces you to get better. 

 

Turning pro as an 18 yr old kid is like the person who says they are 500 pounds and they want to weigh 200 lbs. Well why don't you set 490 as your goal, then get there and reset? 

 

He went from playing against the best juniors in the country to the best pros, with little real success an the elite amateur circuit in between those two. He won a jones cup but didn't have any significant us am or obviously college results. 

 

It's like the first round draft pick qb who is made starter day 1 as a rookie. Sure some guys do ok, most don't. Most probably do better when they have a year or two to develop first. 

 

You look at college as a 4 year thing to get a degree. I look at it(for someone like Akshay) as a pseudo-pro D league where the kids gets a year or two to develop before their make or break moment. 

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54 minutes ago, pinhigh27 said:

It's not about education, it's getting better, learning to manage game, facing an increasing, but not insurmountable challenge which forces you to get better. 

 

Turning pro as an 18 yr old kid is like the person who says they are 500 pounds and they want to weigh 200 lbs. Well why don't you set 490 as your goal, then get there and reset? 

 

He went from playing against the best juniors in the country to the best pros, with little real success an the elite amateur circuit in between those two. He won a jones cup but didn't have any significant us am or obviously college results. 

 

It's like the first round draft pick qb who is made starter day 1 as a rookie. Sure some guys do ok, most don't. Most probably do better when they have a year or two to develop first. 

 

You look at college as a 4 year thing to get a degree. I look at it(for someone like Akshay) as a pseudo-pro D league where the kids gets a year or two to develop before their make or break moment. 

 

So your take is that college should be used to get better at a sport and not for the overall education and personal development outside of the sport?  Seems like your reasons to go to college are misguided.

 

Anyone wanting to go pro could use those 40 hours a week going to class and studying on getting better, learning to manage game, etc. Guys like Akshay that skip college to play mini tour events and the like are getting a more relevant education toward their goals than college kids.

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3 hours ago, leezer99 said:

 

So your take is that college should be used to get better at a sport and not for the overall education and personal development outside of the sport?  Seems like your reasons to go to college are misguided.

 

Anyone wanting to go pro could use those 40 hours a week going to class and studying on getting better, learning to manage game, etc. Guys like Akshay that skip college to play mini tour events and the like are getting a more relevant education toward their goals than college kids.

For Akshay yes that would be primary purpose, obviously not for the average person . 
 

no college athlete is going to class for 40 hours a week. d1 athletes are in essence professional athletes. 
 

Do you think akshay should have finished high school? Why didn’t he just go pro at 16? Elite juniors make tour cuts , why waste your time with algebra when you can get checks on tour ? 

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Being good at golf is pretty expensive. Someone has to pay for all the practice, training, travel, and so on. If you are good enough to go to a D1 school, they are paying for it and you just have to hold up your end of the bargain by maintaining a 3.0 GPA. However, if you are good enough at age 16-18 to get a sponsor to pay for you (Akshay Bhatia has Callaway among others) then why would you waste time going to class and doing all that ancillary stuff associated with school? He's proven he's capable of playing on Tour, he had a top-10 finish last year and will earn well into 5 figures this week alone after making the cut (btw I watched and he had his B/B+ game this week). This is way more valuable experience for him than playing in college events with zero eyeballs on him, inferior competition, and significantly less pressure

 

If you are good enough, you go for it. There aren't many top college golfers out there who are good enough to play on Tour RIGHT NOW yet are finishing up college to fulfill a lifelong moral goal to get a business degree and make their family proud. Nope. In reality they just aren't quite good enough to play on Tour and want to keep practicing and getting better on their school's dime. Either they become good enough to make the turn after graduation, or they realize they would be better off utilizing their degree in another profession

 

Golfers develop their game at different ages, for Akshay it was younger than most. Doesn't mean he will win 20 majors, it just means what it means, he developed at a young age and is starting his pro career early. There are plenty of teenagers in pro tennis, basketball, and other sports/industries who are doing quite well and working their way up

 

People who are truly committed do not have a "backup plan". That's a middle-class mentality

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1 hour ago, tungstenplug said:

In reality they just aren't quite good enough to play on Tour and want to keep practicing and getting better on their school's dime. Either they become good enough to make the turn after graduation, or they realize they would be better off utilizing their degree in another profession

I'm not saying he has to graduate. 1-2 years of college would have been immensely beneficial for him. 

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Just so you all know, I only debated the other side of the argument to get some conversation going.  My kid is going to college regardless.

 

That being said, here's the difference in what 20 years of knowledge and none looks like.  CHIII got better every day while AB went backwards.  Not saying college has anything to do with this per se but 'golf IQ' is a huge factor.

 

image.png.bb46bb46d4f78efe6de1417f631ac0e7.png

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