A heartwarming story this past week - the culmination of Michal Visacki’s emotional roller coaster. After years of grinding it out on his Knish-like leather ass, the 27 year-old successfully qualified for the Valspar Championship.
Mr. Visacki, the quintessential mini Tour legend, in a nutshell:
- Winner of 37 West Florida Pro Tour (WFPT) events since 2017 (37!!)
- All-time WFPT money winner ($141,505 in 164 starts)
- One made cut on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018 ($4,590 windfall)
- 18 career holes-in-one (just a fun unrelated nugget)
Golf, the ultimate sport; you can’t fake it, you either deliver or you don’t. Though a prolific minor professional circuit player, Visacki has played exactly one KFT event and zero PGA events (until now). And unlike many professional sports, teammates can’t bail you out on a bad day.
Clearly, getting onto the PGA Tour, or even the minor leagues, is a truly difficult task.
The average touring player and their weekly/daily To Do list:
- Adapting to different golf courses with ever changing conditions
- Playing most courses at their most difficult and lengthiest
- Playing well enough to qualify for and cover the expenses for next week’s event
In additions to the golf, also consider the following:
- Events are separated by great distances
- Distances you are driving
- Sleeping in a rat-infested “motel” to save a buck, usually with 2-3 “buddies”
Not exactly conditions ripe for playing your best. So, why do aspiring professionals go through this cauldron of hell?
The payoffs can be life transformative at the highest professional levels.
The biggest obstacle to chasing the neon rainbow of high level professional golf is the almighty dollar; lots of dough is needed to launch your career, especially at the entry level.
Having entry fees, travel costs, and laundry covered is beneficial to free one’s mind/body up for playing as well as possible.
Pretty sure swing thoughts of “pick your number and put a solid swing on it” are vastly different from “don’t whiff this putt or we are back to plugging our cake-hole with a steady supply of gas station hot dogs”.