Michigan Golfer ON-LINE

PGA Tour perhaps not as glamorous as it seems

Jason Buha, the most recent Michigan native to qualify for play on the PGA Tour, is busy enough trying to survive on Tour, but now he also is building a new home. He took time out from his hectic schedule recently to share another of his ongoing journal entries.

As a rookie on tour this year I have really just been trying to do my own thing out here. Most of the people I hang out with are guys that came off the mini tours with me and who got through the Q-school this past year with me. Two of them played on the NGA Hooters tour with me last year and we all go out and have dinner together as well as play practice rounds together. As a new player on the tour you feel like the new kid in school. It takes a little while to get comfortable and become somewhat accepted. That’s not to say that many of the veterans aren’t very nice, it’s just that they all tend to have their own groups of people that they spend time with.

The hotels we stay in are just your average run-of-the-mill Hampton Inns, Best Westerns, or Comfort Inns, with the exeption of some of the resort hotels that are located at some of the courses. We rarely stay at the resorts because we don’t want to pay the excessive room rates. As for the traveling, my wife has been traveling with me all year so it has not been so hard to be away from home. I feel that wherever she is, that is my home.

As far as money is concerned, although I haven’t played well yet, there is still some money to be made off of the golf course. We get paid a flat rate to play in pro-ams, anywhere from $500 to $2,500 per appearance. Rookies like myself are not usually going to get into many of the high-end pro-ams unless they have some kind of connection with the people or person running the event. We also make a certain amount of money per event for the driver and putter that we play. The amount paid differs from one club company to another, with some companies not paying tee-up money at all.

Presently I don’t have any golf club contracts which pay me to play the clubs I play. I carry an array of different manufacturers‚ clubs in my bag and I don’t want to get tied into playing only one brand of clubs. As a result, I am looking for a corporate sponsor to put on my bag and hat rather than go with a golf industry contract.

I have been struggling in these first three months with my game though. I haven’t seen the results that I have wanted out here yet, but I know that it is going to come around pretty soon. I have never seemed to be a fast starter; I always seem to get going about mid-year. The hardest thing about being in somewhat of a slump right now is that I have a hard time enjoying myself off the course, when things are going so badly on the course. Thankfully I have incredible support from my wife and family. I know that if I can just relax and let my natural ability take over and just enjoy being out here I will come to see the results that I expect.

—Jason Buha

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