SwingThought.com Tour member and Auburn alum Jimmy Brandt talks about professional golf and his Big Break experience
(Norman, Okla.) – The Golf Coaches Association of America, in cooperation with its long-time corporate partner, the SwingThought.com Tour, features a monthly Q&A with former collegians who are currently playing or have played on the SwingThought.com Tour. Long considered the premier developmental tour in the United States, thousands of former college players have started their professional careers there. Hundreds of SwingThought.com Tour alumni have or continue to play on the PGA TOUR, Web.com Tour, European Tour, Champions Tour, and even LPGA.
Q: You recently were a competitor on and won Big Break Myrtle Beach. What was the best part of that experience?
Brandt: The best part was the experience underneath the cameras. Never really experienced anything like it. Also, I loved the crew and cast; everyone was fun to work with!
Q: How was the experience different than competing in other amateur or professional tournaments?
Brandt: The biggest difference was having to wait in between shots. Then having to hit a shot inside 5 feet or it's not good at all. Then there is the pressure, more pressure than I have felt in all the years of my career.
Q: Can you explain the process of how you got the opportunity to compete on Big Break?
Brandt: Big Break offers a few auditions before the next episode. They see a lot of people so you need to stand out. For example, have a great story, great resume, cool personality, or something that is good for TV.
Q: As a part of the prize package for your win on Big Break you received free membership and entry fees in all SwingThought.com Tour Pro Series events in 2015. What is that sense of security like knowing you have the membership for the year?
Brandt: Out of all the prizes I won this is one of the best!!! Having a free place to play for a year is huge. A lot of people out there don't know how much money us mini tour guys are spending. Entry fees are one of the biggest expenses and I'm really blessed the SwingThought.com Tour has given me this opportunity.
Q: What are your goals for the season on the tour?
Brandt: I really just want to play good golf. Playing good takes care of everything. In our sport one great week can change your life.
Q: You also received an exemption to the 2015 PGA TOUR Valspar Championship in March. How much are you looking forward to your first PGA TOUR event?
Brandt: I have been waiting patiently for about 5 years now to play in a PGA TOUR event. It's finally going to happen and I just hope I can perform to my capabilities. It's going to be an incredible week no matter what!!!
Q: You actually started playing golf later than many of your peers. Can you talk a little about how and when you got started playing?
Brandt: I started when I was about 15. I was actually a very good baseball player and wanted to play in the MLB. Well, one year I came back to school and all the kids grew twice as big as me. I couldn't compete at a high level being a small fella. Then my dad said "well you know there is a sport for short slow kids like you". He is the one who got me into golf. I picked it up very quickly and was beating him the next year at 16 years old. Pops had a scratch handicap.
Q: Do you think there are some advantages to starting the game at a later age?
Brandt: The only thing I could think of is maybe the burn out factor. I was just starting at the age of 15 and some kids had already been playing for 10 years. I was so excited and enthusiastic about the game at 15 it was all I did every day. Some kids might have been burned out.
Q: What do you like to do in your downtime off the golf course?
Brandt: I like to spend time with my family and pets. I'm gone so much during the season I have to get as much quality time as possible with them. Love to fish. Fishing is my getaway from everything.
Q: Finally, what advice would you impart to young golfers dreaming of a career in professional golf?
Brandt: I would say learn how to play golf. I mean learn how to get yourself around a golf course. I have never been the best ball striker out there but I am one of the smartest, which has been a big part of some of my success. Finally, learn how to GRIND (I believe this is the biggest difference between a guy who will make money professionally and one who will not!!!).
For full interview, visit: http://collegiategolf.com/news/a-qaa-with-swingthoughtcom-tour-member-and-big-break-winner-jimmy-brandt-2105.html
The SwingThought.com Tour is currently taking memberships for the upcoming 2015 Pro Series. Players may join by contacting the SwingThought.com Tour offices at 800-992-8748. The 2015 schedule consists of 16 $140,000 Guaranteed Purses events and 6 54-hole Q-School/Qualifier Prep events played primarily throughout the southeast and southwest running February through August. The sixteen (16) guaranteed purse events and over $2.5 million in purse money paid out will by far be the largest for a Pro Series in the United States for 2015.
SwingThought.com Tour alumni have won an amazing 16 Major Championships and include 2012 and 2014 Masters champion Bubba Watson, 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and 2003 US Open Champion Jim Furyk, 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson, two-time U.S. Open Champion Lee Janzen, British Open and PGA Champion John Daly, and recent PGA Tour winners such as Michael Thompson, Ted Potter Jr, Gary Woodland, Russell Henley, Mark Wilson, George McNeill, Scott Stallings, Scott Piercy, current FedExCup Points Leader Robert Streb, and many more.
For more information on the new SwingThought.com Tour visit swingthought.com (new site coming soon), ngatour.com, or call 800-992-8748.