Can Warriors’ Steph Curry Play Pro Golf? experts chime in

In early July, the NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers made an appearance at a celebrity golf tournament in Tahoe, where he took a shot from the fairway, 97 yards from the pin. This was another viral clip of Curry golfing shot during the NBA off-season.

Curry actually posted his worst result at the event in years, finishing 16th out of 87 players. He had been in each of the top 11 in the last five years.

And his interest in golf extends beyond celebrity events and pro-ams.

They have competed twice on the Korn Ferry Tour, a developmental tour roughly equivalent to the NBA’s G-League. Curry posted a pair of 74 in his first year, and began the following year with a . done with 71. round of Before drawing a card of 86 in the second round.

Despite missing the cut in both events, the basketball star earned respect of many pro golfers.


But let’s take it a step further. How will Curry’s game retain the rigors of the pros? SFGATE asked several golf experts to join in.

Samuel Purrier, head coach of the men’s and women’s teams at Howard University, believes the hardwood hero can do just that.

“I think he’ll probably have a chance to make the cut at some point,” Purrier said of keeping Curry on a professional tour. “He generates a really, really good amount of clubhead speed through the impact zone and he puts a lot of spin on the ball, especially on his approach shots.” (To be fair to Purrier’s optimism, Curry helped create the Howard Golf Program and is funding it until 2026.)

Craig White, the PGA coach based at Pleasant Hill, agreed, but with caution.

“I definitely think he has the ability to make the cut,” White said. “However, I think he’s going to need a lot more rep and he’s definitely going to have to clean up his 100-yard-in-game a little bit more … where you see your professional PGA Tour players shine and a little bit more. Scores low. Small play area.”

Small game often surfaced.

“The biggest thing from an amateur golfer to a pro is how many short game shots they have,” said Andrew Larkin, a former professional and now head coach at Santa Clara University. He also pointed out that versatility is an essential component in making the leap to professionals. “As the terms and demands of the course get tougher, you’ll have to get more sophisticated in your skills. And I think that’s probably where the next difference will be. That easy pin on an easy day and easy, regular situations.” can do all the basic stuff with. When all of a sudden stuff is really firm or it’s really windy or it needs great spin control, all kinds of next level stuff, I think maybe this is That’s where the difference will be between him and the pros.

It’s clear to Larkin that the Warriors star doesn’t equal the true world of golf.

“It’s the equivalent of the best guy in your RE league trying to say he can make it through the G-League,” Larkin said. “but [Steph] Those guys are a far cry from how good they are, even though, you know, they’ve shown some glimpses of some really good golf. ,

Cal head coach Walter Chun drew a similar comparison.

“It’s like asking if Colin Morikawa went to the NBA, how many rebounds, how many points would he get,” Chun said. (Morikawa, a two-time major winner, played for Chun at Cal.) Chun joked that Curry’s performance might depend on where he was competing. “Oh, are we talking PGA Tour or LIV Tour,

While Larkin and Chun provided a realistic assessment of Curry, both praised his game.

“He’s got great swing and he clearly works hard to hone his mechanics,” Larkin said. “He’s essentially become a scratch golfer, and you don’t get there without being very technically proficient.”

“He has a strong mental game and that’s what you need to be a good professional golfer,” Chun said of Curry. “You have to be really strong between the ears. And it’s hard to train, but given Steph’s success on the court he has that ‘it’ factor between his ears, I could see him doing really well.

Although he does indeed have a laser focus, Curry himself has pointed out that the mental play required of professional golfers is superhuman, even compared to his own.

“I know they play a lot of events and sometimes they don’t have it, but they can recalculate like this and turn a bad hole into a springboard for an amazing comeback or a great round, ” Curry Said on the Drop Zone podcast in 2019. “I didn’t have that talent. I had to be completely dialed in or I was completely out. Just that level of consistency is something I am in awe of.”

Outside of mental play, other coaches noted the natural physical talents that Curry has also acquired through basketball, pointing out how well they translate to golf.

“He has that natural ability that some people can’t coach,” White said. “There are things in their swing that it’s really hard to coach from a pace, tempo, timing standpoint, if you’re able to coach at all. Some people would spend their whole lives not getting that kind of rhythm. Huh.”

In addition to his involvement with the Howard Golf Program, Curry Launch announced One of the Underrated Tours, a free tour for aspiring college golfers.

“What Steph is doing is creating a world of opportunity for a lot of young people,” Purrier said. “He is opening a door that has never really been opened. And now you have a lot of young people who have the opportunity to come out and compete at the highest level.”

Curry may not have enough to become a professional golfer. But it’s easy to imagine the generosity of someone who launched their career.

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