Broc Everett’s transition to the pros
July 12, 2018
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Everett will return to Mackenzie Tour play next week after receiving a sponsor's exemption for the John Deere Classic this week. (Chuck Russell/Mackenzie Tour)
Had it not been for Broc Everett’s commitment to improvement and his natural golf ability, he may be singing a different tune right now than pursuing a professional golf dream.
Everett grew up singing classical songs and opera as a youngster in Iowa and joined one of the top choirs at Augusta State University. He would soon realize he wasn’t going to go down the musical path when he realized his choir class at university was at 1 p.m.
“Just the worst time to be having a class if you’re trying to play golf,” he says.
Everett gave it up, but still sings and plays piano to escape from the game on occasion, but there’s been barely any time to escape since he came out of nowhere – to everyone other than Everett himself – to capture this year’s NCAA individual championship as a fifth-year senior at Augusta State, the same school 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed went to.
Augusta State’s golf team gets to play Augusta National once a year, a nice recruiting carrot, says coach Jack O’Keefe, and with Everett’s victory, the school became the first in history to boast the Masters winner and NCAA individual champion at the same time.
It was Everett’s first collegiate victory – a nice way to wrap up his career – and he flew the following day after the win to British Columbia for the start of the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada season.
Although he’s missed four cuts so far this year, he took the past two weeks off to prepare for his debut on the PGA TOUR, as the John Deere Classic in his home state gave him a sponsor exemption into the event.
Everett says he’ll be back on the Mackenzie Tour next week for the Osprey Valley Open, with a plethora of experience under his belt after teeing it up against the best in the world.
Although the start to his Mackenzie Tour career hasn’t quite gone the way he had hoped, Everett is optimistic about what’s to come for the rest of the summer.
“It sounds like a cliché but failure is the best teacher. I learned a lot in my first four weeks up there,” he says.
Everett admits the thing he learned the most about was professional golf as a whole; what it takes to travel and organize your own life versus the collegiate experience where a coach or administrative staff dictates logistics.
“Now all of a sudden you’re taking care of everything, it’s just different,” says Everett. “You have to take care of so many other little things you haven’t had to. It was a great learning experience those first four events.”
Everett is a master of balancing things, however, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him learn quickly what it takes to be a professional golfer.
While he was in high school he took a handful of AP classes and ended up, on paper at least, starting school as a second-semester sophomore. This allowed him to graduate in just three-and-a-half years, and then spend the final year-and-a-half earning an MBA.
“That’s pretty impressive to go along with all the golf stuff,” says O’Keefe, who began at Augusta State in December of Everett’s freshman year and got to watch him grow and evolve as both a person and a golfer.
O’Keefe says Everett has always been a good putter and had great touch – doubly impressive for someone who stands nearly 6-foot-5. Although O’Keefe admits Everett was one-dimensional with his chipping and pitching (he would only hit a low spinner but they worked on developing a high, soft shot) his swing was technically sound. They worked for years on shortening it to make it more compact, and now his driving is a strength after being a weakness before.
“If you can drive it, wedge it, and putt it, you can play on TOUR,” says O’Keefe. “And he is really good in all of those areas.”
O’Keefe will caddie for Everett this week at the John Deere Classic and has advised his former pupil that professional golf is more of a marathon than a sprint. After winning the National Championship, there wasn’t an opportunity for Everett to enjoy and celebrate.
“Golf is still the same, but all the other things are different,” says O’Keefe. “He’s just in a new phase of life and has to get adjusted to it, but he’ll do well.”
Despite the fact that Everett wasn’t as heralded as many of his playing competitors during that fateful week at the NCAA Championship, he says he didn’t once feel like the underdog. He had finished second five times during his career so it’s not like he had never been in a position with a chance to win.
“I was ready to win that day,” he states. “I didn’t feel like an underdog, but I had a mindset of: when I play golf I want to win, that’s a given. But my process isn’t about focusing on winning; it’s about hitting one shot at a time and hitting each shot as I go along. For those four days, I committed to every single play I wanted to make. It ended up being a victory on the course but even if I hadn’t won that day, I still felt like I had played really well.
“I was proud of everything I had done, but it just so happened to be a win in the tournament, which was obviously great.”
Given everything Everett was doing in his final year of high school, when asked if his 16-year-old self would believe that the 22-year-old Broc was a professional golfer, his answer is as straightforward as they come.
“I knew that I could do it,” he says. “It’s hard to work hard without seeing results immediately. It’s something I always believe: that I could become a professional golfer.”
Everett says that once in a while he’ll be recognized while walking the streets back home in Iowa, with people coming up to him to say where they were when they watched the event. But, while the NCAA Championship victory was a fine sendoff, he knows it’s time to focus on the future.
And that’s a song worth singing.