Danny Balin - June 22, 2012

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Danny Balin is a PGA of America Assistant Professional at Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is playing in the PGA Professional National Championship beginning on Sunday in an effort to qualify for the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. Balin has qualified for the PGA Championship in each of the last two years.

There are 312 players competing for 20 spots in the field for the PGA Championship and when you are an assistant professional, you have to have great time management capabilities if you want to also compete in big events.

He has known Johnson Wagner for a number of years and it has been inspiring to watch Johnson become a better player over that time. Wagner is a great person and his success on the golf course has inspired him to try to become a better player as well.

He likes to arrive at golf tournaments early to try to get a feel of the golf course as well as the surrounding areas. Over the years, he feels that he has been able to effectively manage his time by not spending too much time on the course and instead spending more time on the practice range.

The trip to Whistling Straits for the 2010 PGA Championship was very eye-opening certainly because of the golf course but also because of the sheer size of the event. He admitted that he was a bit distracted by the tournament surroundings in 2010 and did not play nearly as well as he thought he could and should have played that year. Although he missed the cut in 2011 at the Atlanta Athletic Club, Balin felt that he was able to handle the surroundings and not allow himself to be too distracted. If he can focus on his own game, he feels that he can be successful at any event, including the PGA Championship.

When asked if he wants to be a touring professional, he said that he really wants to try. He has played golf for just 10 years and he wants to at least give it one serious try before he gives up that dream. In order to pursue this dream of being a touring professional, he knows that he will have to eventually leave Burning Tree CC and focus only on his golf game for at least an entire year instead of just four months. He also knows that he will have to move to a place like Florida from the northeast in order to practice and play year-round.