What PGA Tour Pros Really Think

Two golf writers I know fairly well, John Huggin and Dave Shedloski, did a survey for Golf Digest asking 46 PGA Tour pros a series of questions.  No names were used—just percentages of answers and some anonymous comments. Fair enough.

But some of this is interesting stuff. Let’s dive in.

You get to choose one tour pro to be on your side in a bar fight. Who are you picking?

Ernie Els: 27.5 percent
Jason Kokrak: 10 percent
Scott Stallings: 7.5 percent
Gary Woodland: 7.5 percent
Ricky Barnes: 5 percent

Tony Finau: 5 percent
Brooks Koepka: 5 percent

I have no beef with any of those answers. But speaking of beef, I would have included Andrew “Meat” Johnston in my list. Big fella. Might be useful in a bar fight.

Will Tiger Woods win a major in 2020?

Yes: 60 percent
No: 40 percent

I’m in the “no” camp.  Surprise me.

Will Tiger be competitive in the Masters until he’s 60?

Yes: 46 percent
No: 26 percent
Don’t know: 28 percent

You’ve got to be kidding, right? Tiger is a great player, one of the best ever. He’s also barely hanging on, with some duct tape, AAA batteries and the finest pharmaceuticals money can buy, to his physical capabilities to play golf at the highest levels. No, he won’t be a factor at the Masters or anywhere else when he’s 60. Or 50.

Will Rory McIlroy ever win the Masters to complete the career Grand Slam?

Yes: 89 percent
No: 11 percent

I’m a strong “yes” on this one. Though I do like the comment of one of the pros: “It’s not inevitable. Ask Ernie Els or Greg Norman.”  Of course, Ernie is out winning bar fights at the moment.

Which season would you rather have?

One win, but it’s a major: 95 percent
Three wins, but no major: 5 percent

Comments: “Come on, we all want the major.”

Winning a regular Tour stop gets you a lot of money. Winning a major gets you lots more money, plus a chance to capitalize even more on being a major winner: endorsements pour in. That’s why they all want a major. Plus it creates a little immortality—your name is always on that Cup or Trophy.

Which major would you most like to win?

Masters: 77 percent
Open Championship: 16 percent
U.S. Open: 7 percent
PGA Championship: 0 percent

Now this one bothers me.  Bob Jones once described his own tournament as “the championship of nothing.” As usual, he was correct.  It’s a completely made-up tournament, played on a golf course that is engineered Nature. And the people who run it are, traditionally, some of the biggest a-holes on the planet.

The U.S. Open, on the other hand, is the national championship. Win that, and you are King of the Hill, at least for a year. The Open Championship is the worldwide championship, and the winner is identified as “the Champion Golfer of the Year.”  These guys don’t want that? Unbelievable.

But I think the ranking the PGA Championship gets is just about right—I rank it in importance right alongside the Greater Milwaukee Open.

Name a course that has never been the site of a U.S. Open but would be a good test.

Pine Valley: 18 percent
Spyglass Hill: 8 percent
Cypress Point: 5 percent
Muirfield Village: 5 percent
Point O’Woods: 5 percent
Quail Hollow: 5 percent
Sand Hills: 5 percent
Harding Park: 2 percent
L.A.C.C. North (2023 site): 2 percent
Pinehurst No. 4: 2 percent
Quaker Ridge: 2 percent
Seminole: 2 percent
TPC Sawgrass: 2 percent
Trump Bedminster: 2 percent
Yale: 2 percent

The Open at Pine Valley would be a hoot. Of course, it will never be held there because of logistics (middle of nowhere). And the membership likely wants no part of all the hoopla.

Spyglass Hill and Cypress Point would both be worthy Open venues. I’ve never played Cypress, but I think Spyglass Hill is a much sterner test than Pebble Beach. But it doesn’t finish next to the ocean.

The rest are ho-hum to me (never heard of Point O’Woods), save perhaps Seminole, which is where Hogan used to go to warm up for Augusta. But it’s in Florida which is a hellhole in June.

They did ask who’s wife is the best-looking, but I’m not going there. Totally subjective, and also sexist!

You can read the whole thing here.

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