Life Unscripted - The Real Rookies of the PGA Tour

One of the more talked tweeted about off-the-course golf stories of the past week was the strategically placed rumor? report that a group of PGA Tour wives were pitching a reality show.  The topic was timely and the packaging was perfect. It came just as our voyeuristic hunger for the unscripted adventures of attractive people reached new heights. Thank you Charlie Sheen.

Various elements of the PGA Tour wives reality show story have since been denied, and the golf talk on Twitter has reverted back to its default: Tiger Woods. Though he's not playing this weekend Tiger was being talked about... a lot... by fans and detractors, by fellow tour players and golf icons of the past.  And by many writers, bloggers and journalists who are as fascinated as his fans and who know the value of his name in a headline.

Tiger was omnipresent on Twitter this weekend where tweets like "I keep thinking of Tiger Woods whenever someone mentions " were popular.  Once again, thank you Charlie Sheen.

When you look at who's commanding attention in today's fragmented, pop-culture obsessed, search-engine-optimised media landscape there's a pretty good chance it won't be the one with the most relevant message... or the most important story.  Kelly McParland addressed this idea today in a pensive piece for's National Post. Seeking anonymity? Join the PGA Tour. is the sobering title and in it he ruefully declares, "Golf needs Tiger like a politician needs votes".

A couple of days ago I finally got a chance to check out  Chief Executive Golfer,  a blog written by PGA Tour rookie, Scott Stallings, for BNET, the CBS interactive business network.  The PGA Reshuffle: What Happens When You're Not Making Money was the post that caught my eye.  It was Scott's most recent post, and as I read it... then read his previous posts... I was captivated by the narrative.  It's Scott's personal story and it brings to life his dreams... and his disappointments... many of which are certainly shared by touring pros everywhere as they attempt to build sustainable golf careers.

I'd first heard about Scott and his blog via an interview he did for The Grill Room, the with Golf Magazine senior editor Alan Bastable (who, by the way, also introduced the wives reality show story). Scott started the blog a couple of years ago and writes regularly.  His early posts find him grinding along on the Nationwide Tour his describes the frustration when he narrowly missed getting on the PGA Tour in 2009 and the joy of making it in 2010.  He talks about the crazy travel schedule, the relationships with his caddy and swing coach, the money issues and missed cuts and the sheer unpredictability of it all.   For the casual golf fan... and even for avid fans... I suspect many of the stories in Scott's blog would be a revelation.

Scott is a preachers son, raised in Oak Ridge, TN.  His quintessential Middle American innocence and unaffected enthusiasm come through clearly in his writing.   He travels 300 days a year with Jennifer who he first met when they were both... in kindergarten. They started dating in seventh grade and she's now his wife.  Though she's as beautiful as any of the PGA Tour wives mentioned in the reality show story,  her look is decidedly more "winsome, storybook princess" than "fierce bad girl glamazon".

Jennifer manages the couple's complicated, constantly changing itinerary and acts as devil's advocate for her sometimes overly optimistic husband.  She's also a talented photographer... and a prolific blogger in her own right.  Life on the Road is where Jennifer chronicles the unconventional touring pro lifestyle from a partner's point of view.  Like her husband she describes the hardships as well as the joys and paints an engaging, eye-opening picture.

Scott missed the cut for the Honda Classic so right now he and Jennifer are in rain soaked Bogota, Colombia for the Nationwide Tour's Pacific Rubiales Bogota Open. Scott's currently in a tie for 22nd as the last group finishes their second round and the third round gets underway. Rules don't allow for play on Monday so the the tournament... and the next move for Mr. and Mrs. Stallings... will be decided this afternoon, on the completion, it's hoped, of 54 holes.  Theirs is far cry from the lifestyle of the top players.

For Scott Stallings and other PGA Tour rookies... and for all of those trying to reach the PGA Tour through the Nationwide Tour or regional and developmental tours... the stakes, week-in and week-out, are arguably far greater than they are at the top, where players have status that allows them to worry much less about keeping their jobs.  To my mind, these rookies... and aspiring rookies... have a far more dramatic story to tell.  A good showing has got to mean more... and a heart break must be far more heartbreaking... when the specter of starting over at Q-school is hanging over one's head.  If these stories can be heard over the cacophony that's created around the glamorous lives of top players, I'm sure they'll find an enthusiastic audience... even in this fragmented golf media landscape. 

With the huge proliferation of new online golf platforms and multimedia golf entertainment networks, a well produced web series starring Scott and Jennifer Stallings might not be that much of a stretch.  In the meantime check out Chief Executive Golfer and Life on the Road for an ultra-engaging glimpse into the lives of the real rookies of the PGA Tour.


  1. Sooo true. Hopefully one of the new golf platforms coming online will be brave enough to cover stories that everyone else isn't covering.

  2. Well written. I'd caught Scott's blog quite by accident. You did a great job of detailing and exposing his travails. It's a bit of a microcosm of our current society, being the gap between the highest echelon and those striving to be.

  3. Somehow we've reached the point where bad behavior trumps good behavior every time. The more outrageous and appalling the behavior is the more people want to see it, the Charlie Sheen thing is just the latest example. I'll definitely look forward to reading Scott's blog.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I was't aware any tour players were doing this. Very cool.

    I will be interested to see how his and his wife's blogs progress throughout the year. Should be great perspective for fans.

  5. .

    having been around the block myself i remember the story of arnold palmer first meeting his wife winnie...

    "The time and place are set in stone – September 1952 – at Shawnee-on-the-Delaware, Fred Waring’s Pocono, Pennsylvania resort (2), but it was social circumstances and the state of the game of golf at the time that would create a situation that would change the nature of the game forever....."

    today, i cannot help it, but the word golddigger keeps coming into the conversation

    lost in the tiger story is that he married a former nanny, whom by all accounts is a wonderful mother and may yet come into her own as an individual, but more typically IMHO, it is better for these people to stay in the protective cocoon of great wealth

    i would be more interested in an individuals' story if they take the public exposure and produce something more worthwhile than just modeling and preening themselves

    i don't think the world needs another snooki story - do you ?

    ftliquordale soFLA

  6. Wow! Thanks to google alerts I was about to find you nice write up. Thanks!

  7. Knowing pretty well the struggles of quite a few LPGA and Futures players, life is not glamorous most of the time and is no bed of roses. I can't tell you how much I admire them! Even the very successful women put a lot into each week.

  8. You're so right Ducks for most professional golfers it's their golf career is a labor of love. Pure and simple. The problem is the the general public doesn't see it that way. They imagine all golfers making huge amounts of money plus they never think of the expenses most have to pick up themselves. What's really good about Scott's blog is that it goes into the economics of a golf career the expenses and the business of getting sponsors and investors. I've got the site bookmarked for anytime someone says - "they get paid all this money and all they do is play golf all day".

  9. I have a message for the wives with the reality show. Most guys far prefer natural looks to fake ones. Jennifer is the dream girl not you ladies.

  10. Frank, did you have to mention Snooki?
    ;) It's amazing how popular shows like Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of... wherever... are. Can anyone relate to those people... and would anyone want to?

    I think Scott and Jennifer show would be great.

  11. .

    from a historical perspective, young talent would be "sponsored"

    typically an entire country club memebership would "front" the costs of one of their favorite golfing prospects to live on the traveling tour for a season

    it would bring recognition to the club and provide financial security for the prospect during the time spent traveling

    it was truly an endearing part of the game, and back-in-the-day, many players took that route to eventually find fame

    neither college scholorships nor advertising money existed then

    anyway be well

    ftliquordale soFLA

  12. .


    snooki was even on a poster at my grocery store selling pistachios

    the whole middle east is erupting and all TV is worrying about is charlie sheen winning or some such nonsense

    its how we live today

    to be exposed to bernard darwin et al would simply take too much effort - we would have to R E A D !


    ftliqourdale soFLA


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