You’re gonna play the Senior Tour? Right!

I have heard +2 to 10 handicaps for years talk about taking time off at 48 and preparing for the Senior Tour. Retired athletes from other sports as well.

Now I don’t want to stamp on anyone’s quixotic dream, as I have one of my own, but let me point out a few things.

My chase at windmills is based on previous success at a high level and I know what it takes both mentally and physically.

You think Q-school is tough? There are 25 spots in that. Senior (Champions) Q-school there are just 8 spots.

You are going up against guys who have played the regular PGA Tour for 20+ years and are turning 50, club pros who have been at the course every day for the past 20+ years, not to mention guys like me.

In order to even consider it, you need to have a reference point. If you can shoot in the mid to high 60’s basically every day at the courses you are familiar with, break par fairly easily when you play a new course and go play a course where Tour events are held immediately after the Tournament and break par with the same rough and pin positions they faced during the actual tournament…and feel you can do that 3 days in a row.

Sincerely, I know there are a few of you out there capable, I just want to point out the baseline level of skill needed.

If you can do these things, give it a shot. Until then, and I am honestly not trying to be condescending, enjoy winning your club championship by shooting 218 for 3 days.

What prompted this rant against chasing a dream is a friend who had a nice 2 week run playing internet poker. He has hit some wacky flops, turns and rivers to win some big pots. He is now serious about taking a leave of absence from his job to play full time.

Considering he is probably the 3rd or 4th best player at our home game, this is a bad idea…and so is taking a leave of absence from your job to make the Champion’s Tour because you just shot 69 on your home course with the pins in the middle of the green.




  1. Will

    I really like this post. I think that, because we see pro athletes competing against other pros, or in venues set up for pros, we regular joes don’t have a realistic understanding of just how good they really are.

    A good example:

    My brother is a good basketball player, one of those guys with in-the-gym range; just about anything inside half court is a shot he’s likely to make. In one rec league game, he hit twelve 3-pointers and had over 50 points. People have actually told him that he should try out for a pro team. Well, one day he was playing ball at a gym where Lindsey Hunter showed up, when he was nearing the end of his career. For those who don’t know, Hunter was a long time NBA player. Not a perennial all-star.

    Well, after watching him play (and it was obvious that he was not playing all-out), he said “If Lindsey Hunter is that good without even trying, and he’s over the hill, and he can’t even crack the starting line-up, there’s no way that I’m even close to being ready for the NBA.”

    There was no crisis of confidence; he still knows how good he is. And he wasn’t being defeatist. He just understood that there’s good, and there’s PRO good.

    You gave some great benchmarks for knowing how good you need to be to give it a shot. Nice reality check.

  2. Michael

    After watching the final table at this year’s WSOP, I think your friend would have done just fine with all the wacky breaks he gets. Hopefully you watched some of it or this post makes no sense lol

    • Monte Scheinblum

      How about hand where The Grinder had AQ against pocket 9’s. Q on the flop. 9 on the turn, Q on the river?

      I would have thrown up if I were involved.

  3. gwlee7

    Reminds me of those older PING ads where the guy mentions that he might take a stab at the Tour and the voice over announcer goes “WHOA big fella……”.

  4. Wally

    Good post.
    There are Dreams, and then, there are PIPE DREAMS.

  5. Dave

    Only 5 spots now Monte, not 8 this year. It’s pretty a closed tour nowadays.

  6. retired guy

    I think they made a big mistake reserving the “Champions” Tour for former tour players. Who gives a crap about watching some washed up drunks with wacky swings, just because they played back in the day? It’s not like anyone bothers to show up for the tournaments either or tunes in to watch.

    The problem is these aren’t the best senior players and everyone knows it. There are plenty of guys who played high level amateur golf or club pros who would be winning if they got a shot. Guys who either got a lot better over the years or who for various reasons didn’t want to go on tour when it didn’t pay like it does now. Watching one of those guys competing against a former legend would be very compelling. Instead it is the same guys who weren’t that interesting when they were on the regular pre-Tiger tour.

    Now of course monte is right. Your average club champion doesn’t stand a chance against guys who have been beating balls nonstop for decades. It’s the same in every sport. They are pros for a reason. But in senior golf, there are plenty of exceptions. Unfortunately, the Tour looks on this as a retirement plan for old pros and doesn’t want any newcomers horning in.

  7. Dave

    Allen Doyle for example, the man never even turned pro until he was 50. He made a killing on that tour.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Actually, he was a very accomplished amateur. To me guys like that don’t count. They are professional amateurs.

      I am talking about guys who have worked their whole loves and shot 72-78 at their home course the last 25 years.

  8. Dave

    True Monte, to me the true amateurs of the world nowadays are normally found in Mid-Am tournaments. Guys that actually work for living and play the game for love of it. Not a bunch of kids just waiting until they turn pro


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