Dispatches from Hazeltine

August 10, 2009

__Editor's Note:__Greg Bisconti, an assistant professional at St. Andrew's Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., is playing in his third PGA Championship this week thanks to his tie for 13th finish in the 2009 PGA Professional National Championship. He will be sharing his thoughts on his experience each day with

CHASKA, Minn. -- Since this is my third appearance in the PGA, I feel like I've got a couple of things going for me. One is that I put together one of the most memorable rounds of my life in this tournament three years ago at Medinah, when I shot two-under 70 in the first round and briefly appeared on the leaderboard.


Even though I went on to miss the cut, that performance is something that gives me a lot of inspiration, not only when I play in the PGA, but even in club pro tournaments at home. It's a reminder of what I can do, and something I replay in my head often.

But the other advantage of experience is just being used to the whole process here. Even the stuff you wouldn't think about -- where to eat, where the range is -- is all easier when you know the lay of the land a bit.

One of the best things I ever did before playing in my first PGA was talking to a bunch of club pros who had played in some of these before. They all said a variation of the same thing: not wear myself out, and to make sure I'm not feeling rushed during the practice rounds.

That's one of the reasons I decide not to play with tour pros during my practice rounds here. I know a lot of club pros like me like to do that, and I did it, too, my first year -- playing with guys like Jay Haas, Tim Clark, and Carl Pettersson. But even if it's just a practice round, you almost feel like it's a competitive environment in trying to keep up with them. Instead of working on your game, you're trying to prove to them you belong here.

And to be honest, I feel like I'm going to need to be sharp here. This golf course is long. I hit it pretty good, but there's going to be a lot of holes that I'll be hitting long irons and hybrids into. Based on that day at Medinah, I know I can play a golf course like this. But I also know it's not necessarily going to be easy.