Local News

Club Pros Hit the Links in Pinehurst

Posted June 24, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The PGA Club Professionals championship has returned to Pinehurst #8. Almost 150 of the top golfing club pros will tee it up in the Sandhills Thursday, playing for much more than the trophy.

You've probably never heard of the guys on the Pinehurst leaderboard because they are club pros-- you know, the ones who are responsible for taking tee times at your favorite course. This week, they will tee it up for their national championship.

"The Masters, PGA, US Open and British Open all wrapped up into one," says defending champion Bruce Zabriski of the tournament. "So, it's our biggest tournament of the year, and it's one everyone wants to win."

If they can't win, players at least want to finish in the top 25. That will automatically qualify them for the PGA Championship in August. It's golf's final major tournament.

"I couldn't go to Sahallee," explains Gary Groh. "I've got events at the club. I couldn't even play if I finished in the top 25."

That's right. Sometimes the job comes first with these guys. That job is making sure everything runs smoothly back home. Because of that, there's not much time to practice. That's why you won't see many of them on the regular tour.

"When I go to my club and I go back home, they'll say how'd you do?" says Sam Adams, "I'll say 'I think I beat everyone there who had a job.'"

The talent may not be as good as the regular tour, but the competition sure is. The guys can't wait to tee it up on Thursday.