The Loop

Best Route to Tour

April 27, 2007

__"Golf." Doug Sanders, asked what he majored in at college. __

Hank Haney argued in the March issue that the best route to the tour was, gulp, not college.


For a younger player with the ability and burning desire to be one of the best players in the world, my advice would be to skip college. And as more of our elite juniors make that decision, the better chance America will have to regain dominance in golf.__

His provocative piece drew tons of response, a lot of it negative. Among the challengers was 8-time PGA Tour winner Bob Tway, who played his college golf at Oklahoma and whose letter appears in the May issue.

The number of pros making it to the pros is very small; the liklihood of becoming the next Tiger Woods...I'd recommend playing the lottery instead.

...nothing is for sure. The closest thing to a guarantee in life is this: Whatever your passion, attend college if you possibly can and you will broaden your horizons. Golf is the sport of a lifetime, but the college experience lasts a lifetime.

Tway's letter produced this one from Gordon Martel, a history professor from the University of Northern British Columbia.

I’ve always admired Bob Tway’s demeanour and composure on the golf course, as well as the clarity and thoughtfulness with which he expresses himself when interviewed. His response to Hank Haney’s suggestion that aspiring golfers should skip college has further increased my admiration. How sad that anyone in a position to influence the future decisions of thousands of young people would promote the pursuit of the golf swing over an education, but how encouraging to have a touring professional respond so effectively and persuasively to this unfortunate advice. Well done, Bob

The upcoming NFL draft, peppered with underclassmen, serves as a reminder that this debate is hardly over. Don't be surprised if more and more high school golfers take Haney's advice and don't even attend college for two or three years.

—Bob Carney