I won the PAT

For those of you that don’t know what a PAT is…all those wanting to enter the PGA program need to pass a Play Ability Test.

You have to play 36 holes in a day, they set the course up easy and you have to shoot a pair of 77’s or so. It depends on the course rating. The number was 154 yesterday (77-77). Only about 20% pass.

Yesterday was a little nasty. 45* and light rain when I teed off and under 50* for most of the first round, then upper 50’s and 15-20 mph winds for round two.

Knowing it was going to be a marathon of slow play in the bad weather, I came up with a plan. Instead of attacking the course and getting agro (aggravated) with the slow and bad play, I decided to challenge myself. Play one ball for all 36 holes.

There was OB left on all 18 holes and any quick hook or pull was a trip back to the bag for another ball. I spent the day hitting driver on the par 5’s an hitting my new hybrid on the rest.

It was a shotgun start and we were supposed to play 36 holes consecutively without a break. I started on 8-B. Some dolt who was supposed to be 8-B, decided he was 8-A and they teed off as a foursome and my group as a twosome. Through 7 holes, they were two holes behind…and I was agro. One under par, but agro. Finally the officials figured it out (after it took 2:15 to play the first 7 holes).

I played with two really nice Korean fellows, that spoke enough English to communicate. One paced off putts and used his laser (allowed) to get yardage on chips and pitches. He shot 85 in round 1.

I shot 72 in round 1, with some pretty nasty putting. Both bogeys I made were three putts and I also three putted for par once. There were a few missed 10-15 footers, as well. I didn’t hit it all that well, but hit it in play off the tee and 20-30 feet for birdie most of the round.

The driver was weak and the putter was worse. I also didn’t pitch or chip very well…the few I had.

I shot 69 in round two which included bogeying two of the last three holes when I just ran out of focus. By all accounts, it should have been 62 if I was even decent with the putter. I was so awful, it was hard to describe. I hit it in a fairway bunker off the tee on the first hole (8 again), then hit a wedge uphill into the wind to about 8 feet and missed it…and off to the races.

I feel the need to do a blow by blow to show how well I am able to hit the ball now when get in a rhythm. I am hoping I get more of this and then show some actual ability to read greens and putt…which I am normally good at.

Started on 8

8-Wedge from fairway bunker to 8 feet and a miss
9-Driver on par 5 up against a tree. Pitch out sideways. 8-iron to 1 foot
10-Wedge to 15 feet, miss
11-Driver on par 5. Hybrid from 250 in rough on down slope with ball below feet…to 6 feet made eagle
12-7 iron to 30 feet, 3 putt
13-9 iron from fairway bunker to 10 feet, miss
14-8 iron to 15 feet, miss
15-SW to 12 feet, miss
16-SW to 6 inches
17-Perfect cut 8 iron to nasty par 3 with water. 15 feet, miss
18-Par 5, driver 9 iron to 6 feet, miss
1-Driver and a pitch to 8 feet miss
2-9 iron par 3 to 6 feet, miss
3-Miss clubbed 6 iron to par 5 and chipped to 1 foot
4-SW to 8 feet, miss
5-SW to 20 feet, 3 putt
6-9 iron to 20 feet, miss
7-SW to 30 feet, 3 putt

It was more misreads, then bad putts. It’s a course on the side of a hill and I kept misreading the speed. I won’t lie, I didn’t put as much effort into reading the greens during this marathon as I probably would have if I didn’t know I was going to make it.

Long day and a nice little success. It was a pass/fail, but it was fun to win a tournament again. I would have been really mad at myself for mailing it in the last 3 holes if I wouldn’t have been the low score.

It was a meaningless win in an extremely weak field…but it’s a baby step in the right direction.

I did play all 36 holes with one ball.




  1. north

    I guess we’ll give you a pat on the back for that :-).

  2. Wally

    Congrats, Monte no win is meaningless

  3. Peter B

    Congratulations Monte. What is this good for?

  4. The Original Brian

    If we’re being honest you probably went in there thinking you’re a much better player than these guys, but at least you proved it.

    Congratulations, now hit the practice green!

  5. banner12


    Does this mean you are going through the PGA Apprentice program(teaching, seminars, etc.)? How long does it take and how many stages until you reach Class A?

      • banner12

        I guess you’re going for an A-6?

  6. Rex

    Congratulations, Monte! I’m most impressed that you were able to play all 36 holes with only one ball, especially under those conditions.

  7. Calvin

    Well, it’s obvious the swing is working. Great ball striking.
    The putter will fall in line when you can focus on it.

  8. HoldTheLag

    I guess you can aim for the PGA Championship this year at least!

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Have to wait till I am a member. I will be an apprentice shortly.

  9. MikeR

    Nice one Monte, well played.

  10. Eric

    Congrats, Monte! Great job!!!

  11. Jason

    Well done Monte. Just to put it into prespective, what you have achieved is what most of us can only dream about. Celebrate on a job very well done and thought out.

  12. Steve Pratt

    Well done sir. May I take all the credit for your swing and none for your putting? 😀

    As your mental coach, I say no more dwelling on that putting performance. You are usually a fantastic putter and that was just an easily explainable outlier. Now onward and upward!

  13. hackgolfer

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?

  14. Ant Lockyer

    Nice work and nice report.


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