Rookie diary: Staying positive is key

Feb. 4, 2010

My name is Billy Horschel and I will be writing a weekly diary about my experiences on and off the course as a PGA Tour rookie. Along with Chris Wilson, who is also writing a diary for Golfweek.com, you will get a good view of our life on Tour.

First, a brief background: I was born and raised in Grant, Fla., which is located about 45 minutes south of Cocoa Beach. I turned 23 a little over a month ago, ironically on the last day of Q-School – the day I got my PGA Tour card. Not a bad birthday present! I graduated from the University of Florida last May. The four years at Florida were the best four years of my life. I would not trade it for anything, and there is nothing I would change about my experiences there.

Life on the PGA Tour is not what I expected. In fact, it’s better than what I expected. Before I earned my card last December, I played in the St. Jude Classic and AT&T National on sponsor exemptions. I will always support these events and their charities since they were kind enough to give me my first two PGA Tour starts.

People always think that the toughest things for rookies to adjust to are travel, trying to figure out where to stay and finding one’s way when you get to a new city. Fortunately, the PGA Tour does a terrific job of giving us information about hotels and restaurants near each tournament. Also, I have an amazing team assembled through my management company, IMG. They assist with my travel needs and other requests so I can concentrate on playing golf. With each new site, there is a new setup – tournament registration, locker room, player dining, fitness and therapy trailers, and the tournament office are all in different spots. After a day or two, I get the lay of the land, and I am good to go.

My performance thus far has not been as good as I had hoped. I have missed my first three cuts, but my play and my game have improved every week. I know I am really close to playing well. I am going to continue to approach each day with enthusiasm. In a month’s time, I will have forgotten about my play in these first three events, but I will certainly remember what I have learned and take it with me moving forward.

I am not in the field this week at Riviera so I am looking forward to the week off. I have some really cool things planned while I stay on the West Coast. I am going to be meeting with the Travis Mathew guys. They are my apparel sponsor and have some awesome gear! The guys at Travis Mathew and I are going to play some golf and talk about the clothing I have so far and future styles they are developing with my input.

Horschel’s Rookie Diary

Ever wonder what life is like for a PGA Tour rookie? Well, Billy Horschel is here to tell you. Horschel, 23, will file a weekly diary on Golfweek.com to give you an insider’s view of the PGA Tour. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/BillyHo_Golf.

On Wednesday, I’m going to do some work with my teacher Todd Anderson (T.A.). He’s going to be in town for Northern Trust Open working with Charles Howell III and Brandt Snedeker. Charlie and Sneds are great guys and have given me great advice thus far.

As I said earlier, I feel really close with my game. I just haven’t been hitting my irons like I want. I usually hit about 14 greens per round and so far, I am barely hitting over 50 percent. I know after I work with T.A., I will be in good shape the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Speaking of Pebble, on Friday I will be driving up Highway 1 to Monterey for the event. I am excited to get up there because I know it’s going to be a fun and exciting week.

Talk to everyone soon!

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