TMGP: Can you describe your best moment or day on the golf course?
Chris: I have been playing golf since the age of 3, tournament golf since the age of 6, international tournaments at the age of 13, college golf, and now professional golf. Over the course of that time there has been ups and downs, but there’s one tournament that sticks out more than others. In 2010 I won the Phil Cotton Invitational, a tournament that I grew up as a young kid dreaming about. As I was walking off the 18th green knowing I had won, my mother was there to meet me with a proud smile and big hug. That meant a lot to me that day and I hope to do it one day on a much larger stage.
TMGP: Do you take lessons and have a regular teacher? Describe what you do to fix things when needed. Go to a teacher? Work things out yourself?
Chris: I have the honor and privilege of working with Pete Buchanan with Plane Simple Golf. He is much more than just a swing coach; he is a mentor, friend, and nothing short of my Yoda. I am currently living in Florida and Pete is in St. Louis, but this has not deterred our progress. I send him a video of my swing about every two weeks and he sends me back a video recap where he can give me both and audio and visual lesson using his software. I speak with him on the phone nearly every day and he always has the answers for me. He has taught me in a cause and effect matter, so even when he’s not with me I can make improvements. He has taught me to listen to the ball flight and that tells me everything I need to know about the swing and what changes I need to make. This not only gives me the ability be my own coach, but make immediate changes on the course when I’m having problems. Furthermore I have helped Pete and Plane Simple Golf develop a training aid the reinforces everything he has taught me that can be used in every aspect of practice that can be found on www.planesimplegolf.com
TMGP: What/who got you started into the game of golf?
Chris: I have my Dad to thank for getting me started in a game that has shaped my life. He would take me out to the course when I was about 3 and when I was 6 we entered my first tournament as a father son duo in the Show-Me games. Some of my best memories as a junior have been traveling across the country with my Dad playing in tournaments. He was my first coach when it came to handling my temper and course management, many of the lessons I’ve learned from him on and off the course I apply in my everyday life. Thanks Dad, for everything.
TMGP: Do you have a regular “game” with friends?
Chris: There is nothing more I love than a little money game with friends. When I was living in Columbia, MO I would play in a game 2-3 a week at Al Gustin that strongly enforces timely birdies, and I learned a lot from it. Playing for something encourages gamesmanship, confidence, focus, determination and tenacity. All qualities you need to be a successful tournament player. I encourage anyone to tee it up with their friends for a friendly wager, whether you or like it or not it uncovers your strengths and weaknesses. Till I tee it up with my regular foursome, Jace Long, Nick Wilson, Lucas Black, I PRESS!!!
TMGP: What’s your best score? Number and what was it to par?
Chris: My best tournament score was -17 for a 3 round tournament which tied the Mizzou scoring record. My best single round is 63. I’m working towards breaking both those numbers every day.
TMGP: What’s the most beautiful/scenic course you’ve ever played?
Chris: I’ve been extremely lucky to play hundreds of golf courses. Probably the most difficult was PGA National where they play the Honda Classic and the most scenic and most well-kept was The Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes.
TMGP: Have you ever met or played with a current or former PGA Tour player?
Chris: Probably the most well-known PGA players that I’ve played a lot of golf with is Peter Malnati and Scott Langley. Scott and I played a lot of the same junior golf tournaments growing up. I’ve played with Peter Malnati at the University of Missouri, he’s taught me a lot about hard work and dedication and what it truly means to love the game.