For those of you that have followed the career of Cordillera Ranch member and PGA Tour player Jimmy Walker, you know there have been a few ups and downs along the way. What is not hard to notice is the continued steady improvement each year that Jimmy has shown that has led to a career that is one of the most promising on the PGA Tour today. I sat down and visited with Jimmy last month to discuss a number of different things and learn more about some of the keys to his success and continued improvement.
Jimmy, tell us something about your life on the PGA Tour that the average golfer might not know?
“Actually, it is probably not as glamorous as one might think. Traveling each and every week can be very difficult. However, I still set my own schedule and make his my own flight arrangements. The most difficult travel is traveling to the West Coast because it is hard to catch a flight back to San Antonio because of the time difference.”
How has family life and a new baby changed things for you?
“The biggest change is th new sense of calm that I feel and that carries over to the golf course. Things can get hectic at home and on the road, but there is a certain peace that comes with having a family and knowing that even though it might be hectic at the time, everything is going to be ok in the end.” Jimmy continues, “For the last couple of years my family has started traveling in a big RV Bus from tournament to tournament. With a second child on the way due early next year and beginning construction on our new house in Cordillera Ranch, traveling this way gives me the most time with my family with my hectic schedule.”
What were some of the keys to your great play in 2012?
“Familiarity with everything makes a huge difference. After being out on tour for a few years I know the golf courses better, where to stay, where to eat, etc. This allows more time to prepare each week. I also hired a new agent this past year that has opened a few new doors and created a few new opportunities that otherwise might not have developed.”
How has working with world renowned swing instructor Butch Harmon changed your game?
“I really like Butch’s direct style – he told me exactly what I needed to do. We developed a game plan and what steps to take to get there. I trust Butch, knowing that he has helped so many great players along the way.”
The PGA Tour has recently announced plans to eliminate the Qualifying School. How does the change in Tour Policy affect players trying to earn their card and the PGA Tour in general?
“The biggest reason for the change is to protect the sponsors and field quality. Numbers show that better players come from the Web.com Tour. Web.com truly needs to be the developmental tour for the PGA Tour.”
What was the most important or best round you played last year?
“The last 20 holes of the Wyndham Championship were probably the most important this year. I birdied 17 and 18 and hung in there after not playing well for most of the 3rd round. I shot 4-under in the final round to finish 4th. This validates the work I was doing with Butch. Jimmy continues, “I played very well in the PGA Championship and would have had a top 5 finish if I would’ve had a couple of better breaks in the last round. I also shot 63 in the final round in the Frys.com Open. It’s always fun to shoot 63 on a Sunday!”
What do you think it will take to get your breakthrough PGA win?
“I need to improve my score of 57 in 2012. I need to play the Par 4-s better this year. I also need to understand par is still a good score on Par 4’s. I don’t have to birdie every Par 4. Who knows, I might’ve already won if I had played the Par 4’s closer to even this past year.”