PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Erik Compton might make you scratch your head watching him tee it up at No. 10 during this week’s Honda Classic at PGA National.
He has been navigating the Champion Course since he was the nation’s No. 1 junior. He knows all the shortcuts, and he isn’t afraid to take them, even when it makes him look as if she’s driving the wrong way on I-95.
So if you see him with an extremely closed stance at the 10th tee, pay attention. It’s a 508-yard par 4 that doglegs right. If the wind is right, and the flagstick is left, he likes to ignore the 10th fairway and bomb his tee shot over the trees and way right into the adjacent ninth fairway. He likes the second shot to the 10th green from over in the ninth fairway, even if he’s playing against the traffic coming at him from the 9th tee.
“I am wacky like that,” Compton cracks.
Compton said playing the 10th normally with a driver can still leave him needing to hit a wood 260 yards into that green. In the same conditions, he can play up the ninth fairway hitting 3-wood and 4-iron.
“It depends on the wind, and where the pin is,” Compton said. “But it can be easier going up the right side.”
Compton, who lives in Miami, will have his wife, Barbara, and their daughter, Petra, with him this week at PGA National. His parents, Peter and Eli, will be there, too. They observed an anniversary of sorts Wednesday. It was 22 years to the day that Compton underwent the first of his two life-saving heart transplants.