For my money, building a successful career on the PGA Tour where you earn enough money that you’re not worried about your next check, where you’re not consistently losing your card,and you’re able to control your schedule, is as tough as making it any sport out there. There are no guaranteed contracts. There are no drafts, trades, or free agencies. There’s you and your game vs. the best players in the world. And if you don’t play well enough, your career is over.
So if you manage to put together 10+ years on the PGA Tour that include 3 wins, you have a career that a lot of tour players would love to have. And if you know where Jim Herman came from and his path to the tour, his career is even more impressive. Jim always aspired to be on the PGA Tour, so he left college and hit the mini-tours. Each fall he’d go to PGA Tour Qualifying School, and for six years in a row, he failed to make it to the final stage and get out at least to the Nationwide Tour, now the Korn Ferry Tour. In between trips to Q school, he worked as a Golf Professional doing all of the duties that so many of us do each and every day, running clinics, placing orders, teaching lessons, and everything else. And that’s where I met Jim.
In 2006 and 2007, we were Assistant Professionals together in New Jersey and at that time, while Jim still felt strongly about chasing his dream of making it to the tour, reality was getting close to setting in. Was life going to be playing and competing as a Club Professional and always wishing his dream came true? Or could he actually make it out there?
In 2007, he finally made it through. He had status on the Nationwide Tour. A couple years later, he notched a win on that tour and made it to the big leagues. There were plenty of bumps in the road that ensued, lots of ups and downs, lessons learned, and as Jim says...definitely some luck too.
But as we enter the 2021 PGA Tour season, he’s still out there. He’s exempt for two more seasons after his third career win last summer and at this point, life is good.
He’s as humble as they come and that’s why he’s easy to root for. I hope after this conversation you become a fan as well. We get into some great insight into how he’s handled these pressure situations that feel like life or death at the time. He’s a throwback to a former era before players relied on data, stats, and a coach standing behind them 24/7. He’s proof that there are a lot of different ways to get it done out there, and more proof that through hard work, belief, and persistence, dreams can come true.
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