World Long Drive champ Kyle Berkshire plays in first golf tournament as a pro
WARNING: The video you're about to see might be a bit jarring. It features Kyle Berkshire teeing off . . . with an iron?
That's right. The two-time reigning World Long Drive champ wasn't just hitting drivers on Thursday. It was time to play a bit more sensible as he made his first tournament start as a pro. Have a look:
OK, so if you follow Berkshire on Instagram, you've seen him hit plenty of irons. Although, usually, he's still trying to drive a par 4. But this was much different. Not that it wasn't expected.
In December 2020, we examined Berkshire's desire to try to make the transition from long driver to tour pro. Actually, the 25-year-old's hope is that he can excel at both, although, obviously, the money is better should he ever make it to the PGA Tour like his buddy Bryson DeChambeau.
As Berkshire writes, he's been working extremely hard on his all-around game. However, he certainly hasn't neglected long drive, as evidenced by him breaking the record for the fasted recorded ball speed in December.
On Thursday, he teed it up at a Minor League Tour event in Florida. Berkshire, a former golfer at North Texas before leaving school early to pursue a career in long drive, had a solid even-par front nine at Fountains Country Club in Lake Worth, Fla. But he stumbled to a 41 on the back and a round of 76 in the one-day event won by Ben Silverman at seven under. Not great, but also not embarrassing for his first attempt at tournament golf in nearly six years. Here's a look at his scorecard:
"I’ve been working my butt off the past few months and getting this first competitive round under my belt was a big step for me," Berkshire wrote. "Because while I’m used to being in the public eye as a long driver, I’m not used to that as a golfer, and I definitely felt a lot of pressure to perform to a certain standard which made it tough to feel relaxed out there. As I continue to get more competitive rounds under my belt I know I’ll start learning how to handle things better and that should lead to lower scores."
Good luck, Kyle. And in the meantime, check out our Local Knowledge podcast episode on Berkshire's unique pursuit: