The GCAA Interviews NGA Pro Golf Tour Alumnus Lee Williams
The Golf Coaches Association of America, in cooperation with its long-time corporate partner, the NGA Pro Golf TOUR, will feature a monthly Q&A with former collegians who are currently playing or have played on the NGA TOUR. Long considered the premier developmental tour in the United States, thousands of former college players have started their professional careers there. More than 250 NGA TOUR alumni have or continue to play on the PGA TOUR.
This month we spoke with Lee Williams, an NGA Pro Golf Tour alumnus who is currently paying on the PGA TOUR. Lee played collegiately at Auburn University and represented Team USA in two Walker Cups.
Q: How long have you been playing golf? At what point did you realize you wanted to play golf professionally?
I always had it as a goal to play professionally since high school. I saw it becoming more of a reality when I was a sophmore in college.
Q: You played collegiately at Auburn. What about your time playing in college do you think has helped you the most as a professional?
Our college schedule was very competitive and so was out team at Auburn. I believe that combo made me work harder and set my goals higher.
Q: Is there something you know now that you wish you had known when playing collegiate golf?
I don’t. I feel like you learn from your mistakes and making mistakes grows you as a player and as a person.
Q: You had the opportunity to represent the United States twice in the Walker Cup while in college. What were those experiences like?
Great! I learned what true pressure was all about. There is no more pressure than playing for your country!!
Q: You played on both the NGA Tour and Web.com Tour before playing on the PGA TOUR. What did the chances to play on those tours mean to you and how did they impact your game?
For me it all started on the NGA Tour. It taught me how to travel and manage my time on the road. Everything on the NGA Tour is designed to simulate the Web.com and PGA Tour. When I got to the Web.com Tour it was an easy transition because I had done the exact same thing while on the NGA Tour.
Q: What are some of your best memories of your time on the NGA Tour?
Traveling with friends and staying in private housing in small towns that truly embrace the NGA Tour. I also miss the staff out there. The NGA Tour has the most personable management team of any tour I have ever been a part of.
Q: Have you changed the way you prepare for a tournament at all between your time playing in college and now on the PGA TOUR?
No! I work hard. I prepare hard and that’s something I’ve always done. I had a lot of success in college with my routine so why change?
Q: What is your favorite golf course you have had the chance to play?
I have too many favorites but Harbor Town and Pebble Beach come to the top of my mind.
Q: What advice would you offer current collegiate golfers that would like to turn professional?
You have to have perseverance. Nothing in life with big rewards is easy.
Q: You made an amazing 50-foot putt earlier this year on your final hole of the Web.com Tour Championship to secure your PGA TOUR Card. What were you thinking before and after that putt?
Before I hit the putt I thought about a putt I made from a similar distance at the 1999 Future Masters to win. I told myself I had done it before and I could do it again. I kept picturing that putt from 1999 over and over. I also told myself to make sure it had enough speed. After I hit made the putt I felt like I had won a tournament. It completely turned my year around. I couldn’t wait to call my wife and hear her screaming with joy!