The GCAA Interviews SwingThought.com Tour Member Andy Winings
The Golf Coaches Association of America, in cooperation with its long-time corporate partner, the SwingThought.com Tour, will feature 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. More than 250 SwingThought.com Tour alumni have or continue to play on the PGA TOUR.
This month we spoke with Andy Winings, a current SwingThought.com Tour member. Winings was a collegiate All-American who played at the University of Kentucky.
Q: You played collegiately at the University of Kentucky – what were some of your best experiences as a college golfer?
If I had to pick a single moment it would be from my freshman year when we qualified for the NCAA tournament in dramatic fashion and then went on to a top five finish, the best in school history. However, I think my best experiences came from the day in and day out relationships you build with your teammates and coaches.
Q: What about your experience playing in college do you think helped you as you became a professional golfer?
I just think the experience you gain of playing 4 years of college golf is invaluable. I learned so much about how to play the game the right way whether it be from my own mistakes, my coaches, or by observing other players.
Q: Are there some things about professional golf that you find similar to college golf? Are there also some differences that stick out?
There are definitely some similarities. In college I think you learn to get accustomed to the travel and preparation that professional golf requires even though it's multiplied when you play professionally. As far as differences go, we played a lot of difficult golf courses in difficult conditions and even par could be a great score. Playing professionally you need to learn to shoot the lowest scores you possibly can because if you're not someone else is.
Q: Are there some things you learned in college, outside of golf, that you think helped prepare you for a professional career?
I would have to say the responsibilities that come along with being a student athlete help you going forward. You definitely learn to manage your time.
Q: Did you reach out to any other pro golfers for advice when you started playing professionally? Have any new professionals reached out to you for advice?
Not a whole lot to be honest. My father played professionally some so I've always relied on him for advice throughout my golfing career. There's been a few guys that have asked a few things here and there. It can be a little overwhelming when you first turn professionally so it's nice to have some guidance from time to time.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of playing professional golf?
I really enjoy the competition.
Q: What are your earliest memories of playing golf?
My father is a head golf professional so I have always been around the game. I just remember going to the course with him and spending all day there.
Q: At what point did you realize you wanted to play golf in college?
I don't remember a specific point to be honest. It was something that I had always had the desire to do.
Q: What interests do you have outside of golf?
I love the outdoors. Fishing and duck hunting are huge passions of mine.
Q: Several alumni of the SwingThought.com Tour have gone on the great success on both the PGA and European Tours. What about the tour prepares golfers for continued success as they progress through their careers?
I think the biggest thing is getting used to the travel and the routine of playing every week.