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The interesting reason Blayne Barber is going to sleep a LOT better in retirement

November 21, 2023
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David Berding

When I asked Blayne Barber if the word "retirement" was OK to use in this headline, he responded succintly.

"Retirement is totally fine," Barber said. "Although, it's more like unemployment."

Point taken. Barber, who shot 82 in the opening round of the second stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q School, then bounced back with a final-round 64, is officially jobless. He said going into Q School that this would be his last shot, and considering he no longer has status on any tour, he's able to stick to his word. Perhaps a forced retirement is the correct phrasing. 

Despite being just 33 years old and clearly still having some good golf left in him, it's a decision Barber won't be losing any sleep over. In fact, he might actually sleep better. Throughout his career, Barber would lie awake at night worrying, but not for the common reasons you might think, like how to provide for your family or how to avoid starting bogey-bogey the following day. No, Barber would stare at the ceiling wondering if he had done something earlier that day that would be a breach of the Rules of Golf. 

"I don't think I played a round on the PGA Tour in four years without laying in bed that night thinking .. 'did I take that drop right?' or 'Should I have called an official when I took that free drop?," Barber said on The Loop podcast. 

"There's things that guys deal with on the course that maybe you don't--you just see them shoot 72 at home and you think, well why didn't they capitalize on that opportunity or whatever," he added. "And I was literally on the PGA Tour for four years just living in this constant fear of, am I going to make a mistake and not find out about it for a week or two and have to pay the money back?"

Of course, Barber had history with rules situations, specifically incorrect scorecard situations. In a span of 18 months between 2012 and 2013, Barber signed an incorrect scorecard three separate times and was disqualified each time, including once in PGA Tour Q School. In other words, he had plenty of reason to be constantly worried. 

"All those things are a part of my story, and I'm grateful to have overcome a lot of them," Barber said. "I've played mostly crappy golf for five years. I've had some flashes of brilliance in there, but being able to overcome all that stuff is really what I'm hanging my hat on at the end of the day."

To hear our full chat with Barber, who also discloses what's next for him and why he's excited to become a recreational golf, please have a listen below. And like and subscribe to The Loop wherever you get your podcasts.