In this Podcast, Elk catches up with his good friend Colt Knost. Having had surgery early this year, Colt is about to make his return to golf and explains how his major medical exemption works. In addition, with the FedEx Cup Playoffs about to get underway in New York, 'Big Gravy' breaks down the points system and explains how the Web.com Top 25 works.
[THEME SONG] THEME SONG: It's Secret Golf. It's what I'm looking for. It's why I get up every morning, call my good timing friends. Keeps me coming back for more.
Secret Golf. We're headed down the road. We just loaded up the big show going looking for the heart and soul. Rolling until the wheels fall off, it's Secret Golf. Shh, It's a secret.
- This is "Secret Golf" with Elk and Knoxy. I hope you're doing great and enjoyed all the action from the Solheim Cup last weekend. Massive congratulations to the US team who defended and retained the cup. And also a huge deal done to our "Secret Golf" girls Gerina Piller, Stacy Lewis, and Brittany Lang, who of course, did us all proud.
I'm sure in fact, I know for a fact that they were celebrating on Sunday night. You know what? The celebration may still be going on, and rightly so.
- This week, we turn our attention to the boys. Two big events going on, two things that we're talking about. Number one being the FedEx Cup playoffs starting in New York. And the second being the final event of the Web.com season. Now here at "Secret Golf" we have players signed to us to play on the PGA Tour and the Web.com tour. And we're going to be talking about some of them in just a little while.
If you haven't already, make sure you check out our web site, SecretGolf.com, and you can see what we offer for you there. The main thing being our clear channels and our instructionals where you can go on and learn exactly how the big names do it. Names including Pat Perez, Jason Dufner, Stacy Lewis, as I mentioned Gerina and Brittany, and Martin Piller, Gerina's husband who plays on the Web.com tour. We have lots of players. You can find them all at SecretGolf.com.
- Another of our players, who we decided to call upon this week and feature on this podcast, is 32-year-old Colt Nost. Actually Elk doesn't call him Colt. He has a nickname for him, which you will hear in just a little while.
But Colt and Elk are great friends. Colts hasn't been playing due to an injury since the beginning of the year. He had surgery in February. And he is on a our medical exemption.
We're going to find out more about that in just a little while. But I caught up with Elk on the phone this morning to find out what's been going on with him.
- Elk, how's the weather in Houston today?
- It is the same as it's been for the last 100 days. It's African hot down here.
- [INAUDIBLE] any similarity [INAUDIBLE].
- You wouldn't like it. I would take all the curls out of your hair.
- That's exactly it. I [INAUDIBLE] the humidity in Florida right now, the worst is now, but we can't complain. I need to start off by asking you what did you think about the Solheim Cup for the weekend?
- Well, I watched the Solheim Cup, like a lot of people. In fact, I encouraged a lot of my guy friends to go on and watch the Solheim Cup. And I had a group of them yesterday that sort of gave me some feedback. They were like, I had no idea how compelling the Solheim Cup was.
And I probably converted five guys to the Solheim Cup. They said the performance that Lacy Thompson put on on that back nine where she shot eight under for seven holes and she came back and tied that match, that was one of the best matches that probably anyone's ever seen in the last five years or that I can recall. Because we were all pulling very strongly for our three "Secret Golf" girls, Brittany Lang, Gerina Piller, and Stacy Lewis.
It seems like Diane, and you've watched, I know the Ryder Cup as a kid, the Europeans are always putt better than the Americans. But you know what? The tables turned this year. The American putted lights out.
- [INAUDIBLE] And we did hear from some of our girls who were celebrating very hard on Sunday night.
- Yes, indeed they were. I sent them all a text message and congratulated them. You know, Gerina and Stacy lost both of their foursomes matches. They both didn't have great records. This one, I think Stacy was 1 and 3, and Gerina Piller was 2 and 2.
And then Brittany Lang-- of course, Brittany, she was [INAUDIBLE] all over the place. I texted her on Saturday night. I'm like, girl, you're like the greatest putter in the world. She's like, oh my god. I wish I could take this to the regular tour.
Because she called out a shot from the fairway. And I think she made 10 birdies in her match with Brittany [INAUDIBLE] on Saturday afternoon. It was just fantastic.
What about that podcast we did of the pod system Diane? You noticed, I'm sure, and a lot of people that heard the podcast-- it seemed like it worked very well. They stayed in their pods.
- Yeah, I mean, it was a really interesting point that the fact that [INAUDIBLE] did break the US team into small little groups of four with a vice captain kind of managing them. And yeah, you're right, it works. So going forward, it's maybe something that they will adopt again. And you never know, [INAUDIBLE] US [INAUDIBLE] Cup Team have adopted it in the past. So we'll have to wait and see.
- Overall, there was a couple of stars that had emerged. That young girl Ying that went to play on the American team that hits the ball 350 yards. That was certainly surprising by me.
They had the track man on the TV and I was watching the ball. That's even past me by 40 yards. That would be embarrassing. [LAUGHTER]
- That, I would like to see. With the Solheim Cup over and done with, it's a big week this week. And we've got so much to talk about in this podcast.
First of all, on the PGA tour, it's the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs in New York. And it's also the final week of the Web.com season in Oregon. So you wanted to talk to someone who knows about both sides of it.
- I'm [INAUDIBLE] on my one person that if you want to know everything about how to break down the tour and know every description of every possible conceivable angle that would know what it takes, was my friend Colt Nost, aka Big Gravy.
- Wait, I need to clear this up first of all, because I've heard you call him Big Gravy for a long time now. Where does this name come from?
- It literally came out of nowhere, like most great nick names. I remember my dad used to have a guy that he had no hair when he was younger. And they called him Curly. And it stuck to him his whole life. Jason Dufner says we call him Big Gravy because he puts gravy on everything.
So we'd call him Big Gravy. And I remember last year, at the Players Championship, I think he was in second place on national TV, and he hit that T shot on 18 down that famous hole. And there was like, three guys behind the TV all yelled out all in unison, Big Gravy! And that kind of solidified it in forever. I think.
- So you coined the nickname in the first place.
- I did. I gave him Big Gravy maybe three years ago. You know who loves to call him Big Gravy? His friend Justin Thomas. And we talk about Justin Thomas on this very podcast. But it's so confusing Diane, when I start-- we've broken this podcast into a certain category, but one is the FedEx Cup and the points system.
And what all is that about? And we also know that Big Gravy has been on a medical exemption. And a lot of people here on the TV, when they say he's on a major medical, he'll come back next year, and he's going to make so-and-so and so-and-so. And you know what? It's very confusing.
So you know what we did? We got Big Gravy on the phone. And we let him explain everything about the major medical exemption and the FedEx Cup. Take a listen.
- All right. So you went to the doctor today. You're about to come back on tour. What did the doc say?
- Yes sir. You know, got a little bit of an issue that's kind of going to be there probably the rest of my career. But you know, he's ready for me to get back out there. And I'm going to start up with Web playoffs next month in Boise, Idaho.
- So what do you say-- you've been off. And you know, this is interesting because even me who's played the tour for a long time, I don't know all the rules. I was lucky enough not to get injured where I had to sit the bench like you had to. You hurt yourself when?
- It happened a few years ago but I finally just decided to get it fixed in February. So I played a little-- February of this year, 2017. I played a little bit in the fall before and then two events. So basically, I went under the knife in the first of February.
So I started taking a major medical exemption. And what they do is they take my average number of events over the last three years, which was 28, and then-- I played five so far this year. So they just do the math, and I get 23 events to keep my card this coming season.
- OK, so the year before, for people that don't realize, you had your best year you ever had. That was six 16, right? I get a little confused sometimes with the wrap around season. But, so you won $1.8 something like that?
- Yeah, somewhere around there.
- And so we got hurt in February, you played five events-- I'm just clarifying this for myself here-- they took 5 off the average of 28. So you got 23 events. So you actually walked back on tour for the 2018 season knowing that you have to get your money that the one that you lost? Or you just got to do [INAUDIBLE] in '18?
- So they go off of-- now it's strictly just points. Money doesn't matter anymore.
- It does to us.
- Yeah, it does, for sure. So as far as keeping your job and your card. So that ended yesterday at the Wyndham. So I have to make what? 125 did this past year, which I think was 364 points.
- OK, so you'll walk on to the tour in 2018, which will be soon, or will actually be this year in the wrap around season. And you'll have to get 300 and how many points?
- 364 points, which you'll have sort of a simultaneous money list going on. Will everybody be playing on their own list? But you're actually playing against the list just finished yesterday, right?
- Yes, that's correct. And then pretty much-- so I go right behind the guys that finished top 125 last year. So I pretty much get in every tournament I want to except for the invitational.
- You're allowed to be invited to those. For example, you're allowed to be invited. Like, the typical one-- you're from Dallas-Fort Worth. You could get invited to the Colonial.
So that's what we call an invitation. Another invitation would be the Jack Nicklaus or the old Arnold Palmer. Those are invitationals.
- Yes, that's correct.
- What's a good week point-wise? I mean, you know, I don't even know anything about points. I mean, of course-- and you know, there's one too long ago when I was on tour, [INAUDIBLE] money.
Just top 125 money winners. I know you guys are all still looking at the money, but you have to keep your eye on the points, because that's the rule. That's the name of this game, right?
- And you know, I mean, like, so all the other normal PGA Tour events, you know, it's 500 points to the winner. I believe 300 is second. I mean, you can knock it all out really quickly. But you know, if you go out and have a finish where you finished 15th to 20th, you make between 50 and 75 points normally. Those add up really, really quickly.
- So let me ask you this. So that's interesting that you just said something there. So you said 300 points for second, right?
- I believe it's 300.
- OK, so let's just hypothetically say it was 300. And let's say you did finish second just right out of gate. And you would win probably for the second place check, what's that? A $500,000 check?
- It just depends on the week, but most are $6 million purses. So we earn around $600,000 [INAUDIBLE].
- So then you would only need 64 more points. So you could actually win a lower number than what we used to on the 125 to get in. In other words, it used to be sneaking around $800 to a million to keep your card, three 364 points in two events, and could possibly win less, right? Is that true?
- Yeah, but then I also have 27 events left to add [INAUDIBLE]. But, you know, the money and the points, they're trying to get it to where they're closer and closer. Because they tweak it every year to try to get it to where the money more represents.
Because they kind of used me as an example last year, where you know, I made 19 out of my first 20 cuts last year. And you know, I finished around 20th a lot. And I was like 35th in points, but I was like 60th in money. So there was a big reference there.
Because I mean, it used to be if you finished 20th to 30th every week, you just killed it in points. But you know, the difference between 20th and 30 can be $60,000, $70,000 as far as checks for us. So they're trying to get that closer. And that's why they're kind of going more off points. But I looked yesterday, and I know that like, you know, Shane Lowry finished 127, and he made $800,000, whereas JJ Henry who finished 125th, I think made $700,000. So [INAUDIBLE].
- Let's just try to keep this into the context of what it is. We just finished Greensboro. Henrik Stenson of course, won that event. And that completed the task 125 money winners or point getters. Is that true?
- Point getters, point getters.
- Yeah, and that's what you're chasing next year. That's the 364. How many people go to this first play off event? All 125?
- Only 125. There's no alternates. There's nothing.
- Explain what happens here. We go to 125. They all go up to New York City and the get to play a tournament. Do they have a cut?
- So yeah. So the first two events are just like normal events where there's a cut to 70 and ties. And then I think the point value quadruples compared to a regular event.
So there's 2,000 points at each event. So now these points carry over from the regular season. After New York's done, they add up the point again, and the top 100 advance to Boston.
- 25 gets knocked out. Second event, you got 100.
- Yep. Cut to 70 and ties. And the same thing, points are quadrupled. And then we cut the top 70 guys. So 30 more gone.
- So is it four events or three? And then it just goes to the top 30? Or there's one more event?
- No, so 70 go to, I think it's Chicago this year. I think last year was Indy. So Chicago this year.
And then no cut at Chicago. Everybody plays. And then the top 30 advance on to Atlanta for the championship.
- We're talking about a guy who-- let's say you were 125th, and you had 364 points, you have the first event. And you said that they had double or quadruple, I mean, you get 1,000 points up there and another 1,000 and another 1,000. Are all those points money? Are they worth money?
- No, you trade on that. Other purses are $8 million. So the purser are bigger than a normal tour event. But yeah, so I mean, if you're 125 and you go out and win New York, I mean, you're a lock to go to tour championships, which is huge.
- And at the end, you may finish up with it. If you did indeed win an event, you would have in the thousands points. Someone could start the FedEx Cup with 364 points. They could finish up with 4,364.
And that could sit them right at the top of all the money when it's distributed. Correct? Is that right?
- Totally. That's why it's very volatile in those FedEx playoffs. I mean, you can just sneak in there. And you can go out. And you can honestly win the FedEx Cup if you get hot at the right time.
- That's what Billy [INAUDIBLE] did, right? He stuck in. And then he won like, three of them. Or something like that?
- And then he won the BMW, which was in Denver that year. And then he won the tour championship.
- That one in the whole show?
- Yeah. $10 million.
- $10 million. So all you got to really, is just get in that thing.
- Yeah, get in and get hot. That's the key.
- To me, as a golfer, and now you know, I don't play, but I'm obviously, you know, talking to you guys all the time, like, I'm slightly confused. What do you think about the system? I mean, I know as a player, you'll have different views.
And you're like me. You'll have an opinion either way. It is more confusing to the golf fan? Because you just took your five minutes to explain to someone who's played the tour for 30 year what that was?
- Yeah, I think they've done a good job of simplifying some. At first, it was really, really, really confusing. Because I remember like, the first year, I believe Heath Slocum was 125, and he won the New York one. And basically, if you're top five going into Atlanta, you control your own destiny. So if you win the tour championship, you win the whole thing.
And like, [INAUDIBLE] went from 125 to like, second in points in one week. It was a little nuts. But you know, I mean, it's cool.
It's cool to have a playoff system. I mean, everybody loves playoffs in other sports. And for us, I mean, it's exciting. Because I mean, you can honestly have an $11 and 1/2 million putt on [INAUDIBLE] team in Atlanta, which is pretty awesome.
- Certainly is awesome when you think about money. Now let me ask you this though. In my day, you know, we had a player of the year. Let's say someone that we know, [INAUDIBLE] that Tom Watson might have won five times in my day. He was the gun.
He's in the top 30. He finishes 15th in the top 30, but he still has enough money to win the whole-- the money list, he won the Vardon trophy, he wins the player of the year. I mean, it was very simple to see who was the best player of the year. To me it seems like it's just the best player of the last month, right?
- Yeah, because that's the whole thing. That's why they're trying to make the FedEx Cup exciting, as like I said, if you're top five going into Atlanta, you can control your own destiny. So if you're fifth, so say Dustin Johnson is fifth, and Hideki Matsuyama, who's you know, leading the money list right now, is number one, well, if Dustin beats Hideki by a shot in Atlanta, he wins the FedEx Cup and wins the whole $10 million bonus and everything.
--win player of the year, but he's going to win the FedEx Cup.
- Who's the player of the year now?
- I think Justin Thomas is right now.
- No, Justin Thomas has three others, right? Yeah, he has four now.
- He has a major in three tournaments. Yeah, and Jordan has a major in two other tournaments. So it's going to be close.
- So that is Colt Nost, aka Big Gravy, and Elk talking about the FedEx point system, the playoffs, also of course his major medical exemption. Elk, I have to ask you a tough question though. Who do you think is going to win player of the year this year?
- You know, you always have to look at the major championships first to see. In my opinion, they're the only four that are in play, because that's the biggest ones. Now, Justin Thomas of course, won the PGA, but he's won three other events this year. And a small trivia question is-- well, it's not even a trivia question. It's a statement.
That Justin Thomas won the PGA this year in Charlotte, North Carolina two week ago. It's the first tournament Diane, that he's won on the mainland. I think he's won twice in Singapore in one of those worlds events. And he's won two Hawaiian events.
So this was his first win on the mainland. And I think with three wins with a major, that he is clear cut above Jordan Speith right now. The only way that Jordan Speith would jump over him would be if he won the FedEx cup, and you know, the whole thing.
- And obviously, a lot of exciting action coming up over the next few weeks with the FedEx Cup playoffs before the tour championship, because as Colt was saying, it changes all the time. You know, it changes just right now with every single shot, every single putt. Players are going to be jumping about all over.
- Well, of course, you know your brother, Russell Knox is in the playoffs as well. But what I learned from this, and to Colt was is there is no real favorite in the playoffs. There's guys that are ranked higher than others.
And they can go further from what they've done all year. But equally, you just have to be in it. Because as he noted, what the points do, and how many points they quadrupled in the playoffs. So you literally, can just be in the playoffs, Dianne and go on and win the whole thing quite easily if you play well.
- This week, the Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Club in New York, for example, Steve Russell goes on to win it. He recently gets-- what is it? 2,000 points that you get now, instead of the 500. So it can jump you right up there.
- He would be in the top you know, handful. To be honest with you Diane, I think after I talked to Big Gravy, and you know, we talked about the playoffs and so on, obviously, there's a lot of money. And the players like to win money. And that's cool. It's hard for me as a [INAUDIBLE] player to sit back now and say there's too many events.
Because at the end of the day for me, I want the fellow pros to make a lot of money, win a lot of money. Yeah, [INAUDIBLE] points. Now maybe more confusing than the FedEx point system is the Web.com and their playoffs. So basically, they have the top 25. It's the final event in the regular cup season in Oregon this week.
And we have players at "Secret Golf" who are really fighting. They're in contention, let's be honest, to get their PGA tour cards for the next season. So the top 25 right now is Ethan Tracy, one of our guys. He's 23rd. Martin Piller is 27th.
We'll talk about Martin in a minute, because it's quite interesting. And Jason Gore is 37th. Now with Martin Piller, he won a couple of weeks ago the Ellie Mae Classic. He was 26th last week. So only one outside of the 25.
He took the week off to go and watch Gerina, his wife, play at the Solheim Cup. And now he's 27th. What you think about that?
- Well, I'm going to ask you if you're Gerina Piller, and your husband did that, he would get some severe brownie points for that, wouldn't he? That would be brownie points in the bank for coming up from and watching his wife do that. Of course, on this very podcast Gerina told us that she didn't want him to come up there. She wanted him to stay out on tour and get his PGA Tour card for next year. So you know, I think Martin, you know, obviously they're married, and they both play on tours.
And I think it's safe to assume that Gerina's week was very important to her and very important you know, representing your country. And I think Martin just said, you know what? I'm going. And that's what he did. And they won.
And good for them. Now we are learning that from talking to Colton Nost that the Web final Diane, or the finale of the whole Web.com system is very different than the PGA Tour. And in fact, as we learned from is telling us about it, that there's two ways for our players to make it onto the tour next year. Listen to Colton Nost break it down for us.
- Last event up in Portland, Oregon at Sleepy Hollow, which is an awesome golf course.
- Is it a cup deal, or is how many people get in that?
- So their last event of the year, this one in Portland, is just straight off the money list. I think 144 guys. The top 144.
- So is this is essentially a regular event?
- Yes, it is. And so this is the last one to get your PGA Tour card locked up for the top 25.
- Don't they have a playoff system too? So this way you don't get the jackpot in the playoffs to get your card? This is it?
- So you have two chances. So you have after this week, if you're in the top 25 of the money list, you get your PGA Tour card. So that can't be taken away from you.
- All of our guys had good weeks, and they get inside of the top 25 on the money list, they all graduate to the PGA Tour. Is that correct?
- Yes. But then they go to the Web playoffs to try to improve their seeding. You know what I'm saying? The guy the 25th on the money doesn't get in as many tournaments as the guy that's third the money list for the PGA Tour next [INAUDIBLE]. Because they're priority ranked.
- OK. So let's just hold that there for a second. Let me catch up here, because I'm going to throw another bone in the ring. So let's say our three players all play, and let's say they just hold their position.
One is in and two are out. Then we go to what? Four playoff events similar to the tour, the playoff events?
- Yep, and it's the top 75 money winners on the Web.com money list.
- And then you're going to bring me for some tour players over here, right?
- Yeah, the guys that finished 126th to 200. So the guys--
- Oh, so another 75 guys?
- And some of those guys could be in from both lists. So they're not technically 150 guys every week. Sometimes there's just 140. It just depends. And basically, so they have those four tournaments.
And they add those four tournaments up at the end of the last one in Jacksonville, that once again, the top 25 guys get their card. But the guys that got it on the Web tour, it's not like they duplicated. There's going to be 50 new tour members basically at the end of the Web.com playoffs, but they're playing for ranking. They guy that finished second on the money list in the regular season on the Web can't hurt his position by playing bad in Web playoffs.
- Got it. So let me ask you this then. So Martin Piller, who is just outside of the top 25 right now, let's say he doesn't make it this week and he stays 26th. So he's essentially out.
He goes and plays in four Web playoff events. Does he have to be in the top 25 of just those 4? He doesn't get to care over from the year?
- No, his money doesn't carry over.
- OK, so it's not just the four weeks.
- So who gets the priority? Who gets number one out of the 50 new guys that make it 25 from the regular money list and 25 from the Web playoff? Who gets number one ranking?
- The guy that finishes number one in the regular season the Web is 1A. And the guy that finishes first in the playoffs is 1B. So those guys are both fully exempt.
And they get in the Players Championship, and I'm pretty sure most of the invitationals. And then I'm not 100% sure who goes next. I just know it's every other one.
- Because the reason I am saying that is that people may not be aware for example, the first event of the tour could be in Vegas. And the list would say all the regular PGA Tour players that are eligible to play, some say I'm going on a holiday. So that opens up a spot for those 50 guys. And at any time during that week, you'll get a call and say 6A is in. 6B is not.
That's how it works on the tour. And just so people know that. That would be the sort of the you're on the tour but you're waiting for the call list.
- So sure. And people need to understand too that just because you get your card-- say you finished 25th on the regular season money list, it's great and it's an accomplishment, but you don't have a very good priority number on the PGA Tour. So you know, the fall in the west coast swing is so important to set yourself up for the rest of the year. If you get off to a bad start and you shuffle down to you know, like, one of those 40, 45 numbers around there, you might only place 15 events the whole year on the PGA Tour.
- So what you said right there, I'm going to explain that to everyone so you know, the Web guys are the 50 guys sitting over there. After five events, they reshuffle that list. So let's say the number one winner on the Web had a terrible [INAUDIBLE] on that, he now goes to 50th. Could be.
- He could. Well, yeah. The number one guy [INAUDIBLE], but if the number two guy did that, he could possibly drop 50. Yeah.
- It's important to play your ass off every, every day. And of course, we're talking about sort of the different classifications of the tour player. Of course, the best way to avoid all of this is just to be up into the 365 number that you just talked about. That walks you on every tour event next season, right?
- For sure. That makes things a lot easier.
- Now is it possible that the guys that finish the four Web.com events, never played on the PGA Tour, they get their status in like, five, six weeks from now, that they're going to turn around and-- and they could walk on the PGA Tour for the 2018 season in October? Is that true?
- Oh yeah, first week of October it starts right back up.
- And where's that at? That's where you'll start. Do you get to go to the Web final?
- Yeah, so if you're on a major medical, they allow you five warm-up starts on the Web tour. And they actually allow you to play those in the playoffs if you want. So I'm going to play two of them. That's the thing I'll play [INAUDIBLE].
- You get the money, but you're not doing-- you're not accumulating in any riff with anyone else to take a spot. You're just playing to get money?
- Well, I technically could. That's why I'm only going to play two of them. I not going to play the last one, because I don't want to try to affect anyone's situation. But at the same time, I mean, it's my career.
And I haven't played golf in nine months. And I'd like to go out and play a couple of events as kind of a warm up start, you know? Just to knock a little rust off and get tournament ready.
- You think Boise? You're playing which one?
- Yeah, I'm going to play Boise. It's a golf course I've played before and I really like. And then there's one outside Cleveland, Ohio at Canterbury Golf Club, which is supposed to be a great place.
- I've play it. It's sensational. For you, you know, you and I have been friends a long time. You do well on courses that I wouldn't think you'd do well on.
For example, you're not going to overpower the golf course like you know, Dustin Johnson. But you play good at San Diego. You play good at player's championships.
So what are you going to do for 2018? You just told me about your finger. You could have to go through some pain. Are you going to be monitoring that? Tell me what you're thinking.
- So now, with me having a limited number of events-- which 23 is still a ton of golf for a year.
- I never played-- I never played 23. So 22, 21 was my number. So I'm considering that just an enormous year. You look at that number and say it's less than tour average, but that's enough for you. You're experienced enough.
- Yeah, for sure. But so I mean I'm basically playing five less than I normally do. So I'm going to take out a few events that I haven't had the great success at, and you know, ones that don't set up great for me. I mean, I'm an old school golf course guy. I love-- you know, I love the Harbor Town, I love Colonial.
You know, I love places like Memphis where you know, driving the ball on the fairway is very, very important. And you know, that's why [INAUDIBLE] I think I've had successes in San-- decent success. I mean, I finished 15th a couple times. But I mean, it's probably the longest golf course we play on tour, but you have to hit fairways. And that's one reason I think I've had a little bit of a success there.
- [INAUDIBLE] statistics is because you make the most putts inside of 10 feet of anyone on the tour. And you drive with the straightest of anyone on the tour. And that suits you pretty good for [INAUDIBLE] places, I would think.
- Yeah, exactly. I mean, it should lead to a lot of really, really solid golf. And my game is really, really good right now. I'm excited to get out there and see where I'm at. I've been working hard the last few months getting ready. And you know, it's just a little less than a month away.
- Now, your boy, Justin Thomas, he's one of your real close friends. What was that like watching him do that, what he's been doing?
- You know, it was so awesome. He's great. I've known him for quite a while. And you know, we kind of exchanged some texts Saturday night. And you know, I could just tell by his attitude and everything he was ready to go.
And I think he's learned-- he learned a lot in the last year about how to control his emotions and everything. And seeing-- him and Jordan are so close. Seeing Jordan do what he does really inspires them, and really makes him want it even more. And you know, it's zero surprise to me that he won a major this early. I've always told everyone since the first time I saw him play golf that this kid's going to be a superstar.
I mean, he had all the tools. He has no weaknesses. And he's the modern day golfer. But it's awesome. I'm so proud of him.
- And you know, he it's evident. He loves golf. And his parents are in it. His grandfather's in it. He's not going anywhere.
He's going to play another 30 years. So he's not in a hurry to get it over with. He's enjoying himself. What I say about these young guys-- and I tell my friend Sam is it's good to have-- you got Rickie Fowler and Jordan and these guys, they all hang around together. To me, it's the best thing you can do is when you don't make yourself so insular.
Like, you know, like Tiger was so insular. And then other guys like Rory went insular. And then Jason Day is insular. Maybe not so much him, but these guys you, know, when you have guys like that, and then you and I like that, you can blow off a bad round real quick. They can get you off of it.
You know, they can go watch you hit ball and say, well, that sucks. Don't do that again. You know? You know what I'm saying?
- Yeah, they spend a lot of time together, you know, on and off the golf course. They root for each other, but they want to beat each other as well. And I think they push each other. I mean, a lot of them live down there in Jupiter, Florida. And they're members of the same club.
You know, I know Daniel Berger and Ricky and Justin, they practice and play together, And they push each other. They make each other better. And I think it's huge. And it's awesome to watch.
- When Billy Ray and I-- Billy Ray Brown and I were touring about, we're on tour together, you know, I'd be suck at something. And he'd come watch me and go yeah, he's standing too far from the ball. I mean, it's just you've seen them play so much, right? And you know, those guys, all three of them I notice, they're not like, overburdened with coaches, right?
They just sort of make do themself, right? I mean, Jordan, yeah, they go back. But they're not-- they're not bogged down with all the coaches.
- For sure. No, and you're right. They do help each other, you know, I mean, all of us, I think, are like that. I mean, if I'm having an issue, I mean, like [INAUDIBLE], that's one of my good buddies, I mean, he's been open about his chipping issues over the last year.
And I mean, he doesn't hesitate to ask me if there's anything I can do to help him, or if I see anything going on. Like I said, we all want to-- we all want to beat each other, but we all support each other, and we all want us to do well.
- What about PP? [INAUDIBLE] just get a borrowed cigarette from PP?
- He's been hiding out up north. I haven't seen him all summer.
- He's got him a new pad up here.
- I know. It's very big, apparently. So we're going to get together after the playoffs. I talked to him on the phone the other day. But he was--
- That's what you get for all that cash, you know. He won that $3.5 million this year. That's been a good turn around for him, because you and I and him and Sam, we were all up in Payson last year. And man, he was struggling. And it just goes to show, you know, you know, that was after you had a great year.
He was in just-- he was down. You were up. It's just the nature of the beast. You know, if you're going to be a bull rider, you got learn how to fall, right? You know, you go to learn how to get back up.
- Yeah, you're right. And you know what? He was he was struggling. And you know, all credit to him. I mean-- I mean, that was a month and a half before the season started.
And he turned it around in a hurry, and went out there and won Mexico, and just kept playing great. And you know, I mean, that gives me a lot-- I mean, it kind of inspires me to know that you know, he went through a tough time and was able to battle through it. And hopefully now I can go out and do the same.
- So that was Colt and Elk talking about the wake-up call and how these players are fighting and making their way on to the PGA tour. It was totally different in your day. So I guess this is the whole old school versus new school, because in your day it was [INAUDIBLE]. And I've heard you say before that [INAUDIBLE] was big stress.
- It was the most stressful time for any player that ever got on the tour. The only solace that you had Diane when you were trying to get on the tour, was that everyone else except maybe a guy like Tiger Woods or someone like, that it was so good he was able to get on tour without going through the tour school. Every guy had to go through tour school. And what did that mean? You had to qualify locally, through a 36 hall qualifier to go to a regional qualifier.
And there would be a certain amount that would advance from each regional. And we'd all finish up at finals. And there was like 125 guys playing for 50 tour spots. Six rounds, stroke play. And the top 50 made it.
And the 51st guy did not. And I'll never forget one year that I made it in 1986, funny enough. The last round of tour school was on my birthday, December the 8th, the day that I got my tour card in 1986.
- Wow. Great. That's a good story.
- So they would cut off there at the 50th guy would make it. And the 51st guy would not. And my friend, Peter McWhinney from Australia-- [INAUDIBLE] would play. And he finished up in a playoff Diane. Six guys for five spots.
One guy was going to miss in the playoff. [INAUDIBLE] on his PGA tour card. And of course, it was Peter McWhinney. And he never recovered. He went back to Australia, and he fizzled. And that was that.
So it just goes to show that you know, you make the tour for example, he could have made the tour, which in fact, would have given him exempt status on the PGA Tour. But he would have got to play 30 weeks on the PGA Tour the next year. And who knows? You know, he hits the rainbow or the jackpot, and he could have been a top player. And careers have changed back and forth through the tour school.
Now I think this system is better because [INAUDIBLE]. Get on the nationwide. Because you know, you've got a whole year. The top 25 make it to the tour where you get all the experience of going around dealing with towns and caddy and volunteers and sponsors. And by the time you get to the tour, you're ready to roll.
- Now, something else you helped to cultivate. And it's something again, that I've heard you talk about in the past is that wraparound season. Because pretty much you know, these guys are going to be getting their tour cards.
And then they're going to be playing in the [INAUDIBLE] Open at the beginning of October. So I guess it's a bit of a double edged sword, the wraparound season. And you had a chat with Colt about that.
- I haven't told you about the wrap around season because I think I already know what the answer is going to be. Most of our tour players-- we're looking for opportunities to play. And a lot of these guys that we've already talked about on this call don't get in [INAUDIBLE]. Wrap around tour for them is like, yes, we want to do this. But it seems like you know, we never have a break anymore for the golf, right?
And the commissioner recently said well, you know, you don't want to play, don't play, you know? But you sort of feel obligated a little bit when the tournaments are flying around in this run up [INAUDIBLE], right? What's your take on-- You've played both. You've play it when it wasn't a wrap around.
And you used to-- you know, we're going to hang out in the off season. We take a break. What was it's like? What do you think?
- You know, I like it and I don't at the same time. Because if you did-- say you did wrap up your card last week at Wyndham. And then you go to the FedEx Cup playoffs.
And you know, your year is done. And if you want to play those fall events, great. If you don't, you get two to three months off, which is-- which is nice. But now at the same time--
- Don't-- don't you feel like you come way back, and your way down on the points. Isn't that tougher mentally?
- That's-- that's what I was saying before-- before these FedEx-- before the fall events counted. Because the fall events didn't used to count for the FedEx playoffs. They were-- you've played those for money to keep your card if you didn't make it to the playoffs.
And so you've had opportunity to take the week off now. There's, like I said, $6 million purses, and there are full FedEx Cup points. So you can wrap your card up before Christmas, before [INAUDIBLE] starts, honestly.
- --one of our guys, he didn't have a great year, but he made all of his money out there in Napa. Like, 32nd, right on the get-go.
- 32nd in Napa and played good in Vegas too. I mean, his card was locked up in two weeks. So yeah. I mean, that's a huge deal if you can-- that's a big stress relief for the rest of the year.
- Well, Colt, mate listen, thanks for this call. You've squared up a few things. And I don't know if you got to see the Solheim Cup, but three of our girls were up there. That was a good win for them.
We're of course, pulling for our boys over at the Web.com. And we'll be back. We'll be looking for you at the Web.com. We'll be looking for Big Gravy back out on the fairways, mate.
- I can't wait. It will be very soon.
- Really interesting to hear Colt's perspective. And it's been great to have him on [INAUDIBLE]. Because he's so knowledgeable about the FedEx works, Web.com, the top 25, everything.
But he hasn't played in nine months after an injury. He had surgery in [INAUDIBLE]. He's making a comeback and playing in the next couple of weeks. What do you think about Colt's game?
- Well, on I've been friends with Colt Nost for about 25 years. One of my best friends, Ralph Seurat, who's a horse trainer out of Midland, Texas, brought a young boy named Colt Nost to meet me when he was about 16 years old. And Ralph was a father figure to Colt. And he brought him down to [INAUDIBLE] play [INAUDIBLE]. I've known Colt for that long.
[INAUDIBLE]. Colt was this little chubby [INAUDIBLE] kid, but hit the ball so straight, and he was a great putter. And he went on from that-- from the time that we met-- I've been friends with him a long time-- he went on to play with SMU. He went on and won the US amateur.
And here we are, 15 years later, Colt's on the tour. And he's still Diane, is one of our favorite-- when people come to "Secret Golf", they like to look at our player channels, they can exactly how you know, Brittany Lang, Colt Nost, Jason Dufner, Jason Gore, Pat Perez, they all can see what they do to be great, but a lot of people migrate to Colt's channel because he has two overwhelmingly awesome statistics. One is he leads the PGA Tour in driving accuracy. And he leads the tour in putts made inside of 10 feet. I can take in the fairway every day, all day and if I can make all my putts inside 10 feet, that would be awesome for me.
- Well, the thing is is that he [INAUDIBLE]. Colt's got a lot of confidence about his game. But do you think that obviously not playing and being out there for so long, that's going to affect him?
- Oh, for sure. I think he'll tiptoe into the tour. I think he said he was going to play two Web events. You know, he doesn't want to affect what's going on over there. And I think for Colt, you know, we talk about this all the time, you know, he's got to do what he can do, and not what he can't do.
- And we know for a fact that Colt's been very bored. So I'm sure he is desperate to get back out there and start hitting some balls.
- We need to run him through about four or five 72 hole events. Like, [INAUDIBLE] a little that extra beef off of him as well. We don't call him Big Big Gravy. Just Big-- just one B in front of the Gravy.
- Big gravy. Excellent, Elk. Thank you so much. And we will catch up with you again soon. Enjoy Houston and that heat.
- You're welcome. Don't forget, check out SecretGolf.com to find all of our player channels like Colt's, and our instructionals, our get better section. So if you're working on your golf game, and there is something in particular that you want to know how to do better, than you can find it and improve with "Secret Golf."
Follow us on Twitter too. We're just @SecretGolf. We're posting videos up there all the time. And check out our other podcasts, as well. There's a link on Twitter to each of them, also on our website site.
And if you go through iTunes, just search "Secret Golf," and they'll all come up there. Thank you very much for listening. Thank you to Colt for taking the time to share his knowledge and give us such an in-depth look at the FedEx playoffs and the Web.com. And of course, we wish him all the best when he makes his comeback. We'll be back soon with another "Secret Golf" podcast.