Big Break Indian Wells Competitor
Hometown: Plainview, Texas
Current Residence: Floydada, Texas
Home Golf Course: Floydada Country Club; Hillcrest Country Club
Profession: Professional Golfer
Justin Payne’s golf career has been victimized by bad breaks and bad timing. One of the top junior golfers in Texas with a natural golf swing, Justin’s long-term plan was to have a prolific collegiate career and compete around the world professionally.
Or so he thought.
After entertaining numerous scholarship offers to several colleges, he enrolled at Stephen F. Austin University. After one year, he planned to transfer to Texas Tech to continue his education and his collegiate career – except Stephen F. Austin would not release him from his scholarship. Justin, who struggled his freshman year both on and off the course, did not compete in a single collegiate event in his two years at Texas Tech, and elected to turn professional after his Junior year.
“My first professional tournament was on the Tight Lies Tour (now called the Adams Tour), and because I hadn’t played in collegiate competition, I was extremely nervous,” said Justin.
He missed the cut by one shot. Even so, he quickly realized that he can “hang with the boys,” as he put it, and began to devote himself full-time to honing in his game. Months later, after preparing physically and mentally to hit the road for the mini-tours, he suffered a rib injury that put his golf career on hold.
“After my injury, I asked myself, now what?” said Justin. “I decided to go back to school to get my marketing degree, just in case.”
He lasted four semesters before the golf bug bit him again, and he decided to return full-time to professional golf, knowing that the business world be a fall-back option. After earning enough money to be comfortable with traveling and competing on the mini tours, his father became ill. Justin – who is very close to his father – abandoned plans in resuming his golf career to attend to his family.
“Family always comes first in my life. That was something that my dad taught me long ago,” said Justin.
The Payne family owns a 2000-acre ranch in Floydada, Texas in the Texas Panhandle. While Justin’s father was recovering, Justin attended to the ranch. That from 2006-2008. Three years later, Payne juggles tending to the ranch and trying to play competitive golf on the Adams Tour. He has had moderate success, with a best T-11 finish in 2008.
Justin’s mental toughness has been tested. He believes if he is able to focus solely on his golf career, his dream of playing on the PGA Tour will become reality.
“I just need a good break. I’m overdue.”
Maybe he just needs a Big Break.
Related TV Shows:
Big Break Indian Wells