Courtney Sucher's Own Best Seller

By Bailey MosierMay 11, 2011, 6:57 am

Go to the self-help section of your neighborhood Barnes and Noble and there you’ll find advice on everything from diet and exercise to parenting and relationships. Of the thousands of already penned ‘how-to’ books, there isn’t a one of them that can help Courtney Sucher with her dilemma. The manual she needs doesn’t exist.

“I joke with my girl friend that there needs to be a book about this sort of thing,” Courtney said.

The paperback she wishes she could get her hands on? ‘How to be a Professional Golfer’s Wife: A Woman’s Guide to Navigating the Lonely Road.’

Most people understand that the life of a touring pro is an isolated one – in and out of hotels, different cities every week, often driving 10 or more hour days from tournament to tournament – but very few consider the seclusion wives and girlfriends endure when their significant others are on the road.

“I don’t think anyone would say it’s delightful. It’s a rollercoaster,” Courtney said, wife to professional golfer Zack Sucher, currently playing a full schedule on the Hooters Tour and Nationwide Tour events when possible.

“You cannot plan with golf. I was one of the biggest planners you’d ever met in your life. And now I’m completely changed.”

Her ability to be more flexible isn’t the only thing that’s changed since she started dating Zack. Before Courtney met Zack in the fall of 2006, she had very little exposure to the game of golf or the lifestyle of the men who play it.

“Golf was always boring to me. When Zack and I first started dating he would be watching golf and I would say, ‘Turn that off,’ and I was like ‘Really? That’s what you do?’”

Courtney didn’t understand golf or Zack’s affection for the game. Luckily, though, it didn’t take long for her to come around.

“The more Zack and I got to know each other the more I wanted to know about [golf] because that’s what Zack’s passion is,” Courtney said.

The two dated all throughout college but Courtney was robbed of any sort of summer romance. Zack would be gone, on the road during the summer months playing golf tournaments – as most serious golfers do – and thus she learned quickly that dating a golfer was anything but textbook.

“He was usually gone every other week [in college] if not every week. So I kind of already had an insight,” Courtney said.

As much as she missed not having Zack around, she understood then and can appreciate now the positives that result from being apart so frequently.

“I think it’s good in the fact that you really get to know each other. It helps get to know real personalities. He showed how much he cared because he took the time to call and he put forth the effort. Unless men are in it for the long-haul they don’t put in the extra effort.”

Zack’s efforts in their marriage and on the golf course do not go unnoticed by Courtney. She’s undoubtedly his biggest supporter and wants nothing more than to see Zack achieve the pinnacle in his sport.

“I hate that he hasn’t made it by now but I think that he can. I’m not ready for him to give up. I try to keep encouraging him. If anyone has a chance to live his dream, I know he can,” Courtney said.

She’s not letting Zack give up, nor is she putting an expiration date on his golf career.

“You can’t really put a timeframe on golf … I mean, he can win next week. Most people say you don’t even prime until you’re 30, so who knows,” Courtney said.

Whether or not Zack ever breaks onto the Nationwide or PGA Tour, there’s one thing she certainly hopes they don’t wait until they’re 30 to do – that is, to have a family. Preferably, the couple wishes for a more stable environment before bringing a child into this world, but, as is the life of a struggling professional golfer and his wife, you can’t really plan for stability.

The Suchers moved last month from Mobile, Ala. into a house in Birmingham located minutes from Courtney’s family.

Now, with free babysitters nearby and larger living quarters, Courtney can see herself getting pregnant by the end of 2011.

“At the beginning we wanted to wait ‘til he had Nationwide status but it’s been two years and he doesn’t. Everything can change in a matter of minutes. You have to set your own pace,” Courtney said.

The move to Birmingham has been immensely better for Courtney already, since she is now able to fill with family the void of Zack being on the road all the time.

“The last two years in Mobile was a struggle for me. All I did was work, eat fast food and sit down with my dog and watch TV at nights. It was really, really lonely.”

Lonely, yes, but never once has Courtney considered asking Zack to give up on his dreams. Simply because she’s anchored at home doesn’t mean she’s the only one suffering.

“You can always allow yourself to focus on the negative which would be to say ‘You are out on a beautiful golf course doing what you love with no worries and I’m stuck at home alone,’ but the truth is that in reality, he has more stress than I do,” Courtney said.

Through her travels with Zack and in getting to know some of the other married couples in the professional golf circuit, Courtney’s noticed that her woes are felt by many other wives and girlfriends. The manner in which they handle their relationships, however, is starkly different than how she and Zack work at their marriage.

“I’ve noticed that most golfers and their wives live separate lives because I think that’s easy to do. But Zack and I really listen to each other. You can easily get lost and forget about each other’s needs and I think that’s really what makes us as a golfing couple work, is that we try not to forget what’s important,” Courtney said.

And what’s important to Courtney is that she and her husband maintain their strong, loving bond no matter the distance, no matter the dilemma.

For as much as Courtney Sucher wishes there were a book telling her how to be a professional golfer’s wife, it seems she’s already laid the foundation – both in theory and in practice – for her own byline on a best seller.

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Watch: Tiger's Saturday birdies at Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 8:07 pm

Tiger Woods looks in complete control of his iron play at PGA National.

Four back to start the day, Woods parred his first seven holes before pouring in his first Saturday birdie with via this flagged iron from 139 at the par-4 eighth:

Woods' hit three more quality approaches at 9, 10 and 11 but couldn't get a putt to drop.

The lid finally came off the hole at No. 12 when he holed a key 17-footer for par to keep his scorecard clean.

One hole later, Woods would added a second circle to that card, converting this 14-footer for a birdie-3 that moved him back into red figures at 1 under par for the week.

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O. Fisher, Pepperell share lead at Qatar Masters

By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2018, 5:13 pm

DOHA, Qatar - Oliver Fisher birdied his last four holes in the Qatar Masters third round to share the lead at Doha Golf Club on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Englishman shot a 7-under 65 for an overall 16-under 200. Eddie Pepperell (66) picked up shots on the 16th and 18th to catch his compatriot and the pair enjoy a two-shot lead over American Sean Crocker (67) in third.

David Horsey (65) was the biggest mover of the day with the Englishman improving 31 places for a share of fourth place at 12 under with, among others, Frenchman Gregory Havret and Italian Andrea Pavan.

Fisher, winner of the 2011 Czech Open, made some stunning putts on his way in. After an eight-footer on the par-4 15th, he then drove the green on the short par-4 16th for an easy birdie, before making a 12-footer on the 17th and a 15-footer on the 18th.

Like Pepperell, Fisher also had just one bogey to show on his card, also on the 12th hole.

Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

''I gave myself some chances coming in and thankfully I made them,'' said Fisher, who has dropped to 369th in the world rankings.

''You can quite easily make a few bogeys without doing that much wrong here, so it's important to be patient and keep giving yourself chances.''

Pepperell, ranked 154th in the world after a strong finish to his 2017 season, has been a picture of consistency in the tournament. He was once again rock-solid throughout the day, except one bad hole - the par-4 12th. His approach shot came up short and landed in the rocks, the third ricocheted back off the rocks, and he duffed his fourth shot to stay in the waste area.

But just when a double bogey or worse looked imminent, Pepperell holed his fifth shot for what was a remarkable bogey. And he celebrated that escape with a 40-feet birdie putt on the 13th.

''I maybe lost a little feeling through the turn, but I bounced back nicely and I didn't let it bother me,'' said the 27-year-old Pepperell, who hit his third shot to within four feet on the par-5 18th to join Fisher on top.

The long-hitting Crocker is playing on invites on the European Tour. He made a third eagle in three days - on the par-4 16th for the second successive round.

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 24, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Uihlein fires back at Jack in ongoing distance debate

By Randall MellFebruary 24, 2018, 4:32 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Wally Uihlein challenged Jack Nicklaus’ assault this week on the golf ball.

Uihlein, an industry force as president and CEO of Titleist and FootJoy parent company Acushnet for almost 20 years, retired at year’s start but remains an adviser.

In an interview with ScoreGolf on Friday, Uihlein reacted to Nicklaus’ assertions that the ball is responsible for contributing to a lot of the troubles the game faces today, from slow play and sagging participation to the soaring cost to play.

Uihlein also took the USGA and The R&A to task.

The ball became a topic when Nicklaus met with reporters Tuesday at the Honda Classic and was asked about slow play. Nicklaus said the ball was “the biggest culprit” of that.

“It appears from the press conference that Mr. Nicklaus was blaming slow play on technology and the golf ball in particular,” Uihlein said. “I don’t think anyone in the world believes that the golf ball has contributed to the game’s pace of play issues.”

Nicklaus told reporters that USGA executive director Mike Davis pledged over dinner with him to address the distance the golf ball is flying and the problems Nicklaus believes the distance explosion is creating in the game.

“Mike Davis has not told us that he is close, and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there,” Uihlein said.

ScoreGolf pointed out that the Vancouver Protocol of 2011 was created after a closed-door meeting among the USGA, The R&A and equipment manufacturers, with the intent to make any proposed changes to equipment rules or testing procedures more transparent and to allow participation in the process.

“There are no golf courses being closed due to the advent of evolving technology,” Uihlein said. “There is no talk from the PGA Tour and its players about technology making their commercial product less attractive. Quite the opposite, the PGA Tour revenues are at record levels. The PGA of America is not asking for a roll back of technology. The game’s everyday player is not advocating a roll back of technology.”

ScoreGolf said Uihlein questioned why the USGA and The R&A choose courses that “supposedly” can no longer challenge the game’s best players as preferred venues for the U.S. Open, The Open and other high-profile events.

“It seems to me at some point in time that the media should be asking about the conflict of interest between the ruling bodies while at the same time conducting major championships on venues that maybe both the athletes and the technology have outgrown,” he said. “Because it is the potential obsolescence of some of these championship venues which is really at the core of this discussion.”