KORN FERRY TOUR INSIDER
Family affair for Wolfe in breakthrough Korn Ferry Tour title
January 29, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Jared and Kelsey Wolfe celebrate Jared's first win with Kelsey in attendance; their daughter Khloe watches Jared's victory at Baha Mar. (Courtesy of Wolfe Family)
The first time Jared Wolfe won an event with his now-wife Kelsey by his side, the celebration didn’t turn out as planned.
In fact, Kelsey Wolfe wants to try again, she says with a laugh.
“He had missed a birdie putt on 18, but we had talked before – whenever he wins, we’d have the big hug-and-kiss moment like you see on TV,” Kelsey said. “He was so concerned about missing that birdie he completely whiffed (on the hug). I was hugging him and was basically falling over because he was not paying attention to me.
“He owes me a redo in person, eventually.”
Although Kelsey Wolfe wasn’t there in person to witness her husband’s four-shot win at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at Baha Mar last week, she was there in spirit. There were a few tears of joy, she said, as she watched Jared come down the stretch and newborn daughter Khloe was sitting on the floor, glued to the television.
He had worked so hard for that win for so long, she said. He wasn’t someone for whom success came immediately.
The couple, who met in 2012 after an online dating website matched the two and decided to go bowling for their first date (“We went bowling in Bowling Green, Kentucky,” Kelsey said with a laugh), got married in 2013. Khloe was born last year.
They had a nice, long conversation on the phone with no weird or awkward silences before meeting in person. She was immediately attracted to him when they first met and they were able to be themselves. No games.
But Kelsey had no background in golf whatsoever.
As someone who grew up playing softball and basketball, she was “such a nerd” as she picked up golf magazines and would read them on the elliptical at the gym to try to figure out golf’s complicated lingo. She was lonely at night, she said, during that first year of marriage, because she had just moved to where Jared was based.
But she did a lot of learning, and their communication blossomed.
So did Jared’s golf game.
Jared Wolfe’s game – certainly over the last 18 months – has traveled well. He won on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica in 2019, notched three top-10 finishes in four events on the Mackenzie Tour last summer, and now, just two events into the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour season, holds the top spot on The 25.Murray State alum Jared Wolfe moved atop The 25 with his four-shot win at Royal Blue GC. (Taylor Crosby/PGA TOUR)
“This win, outside of being the biggest win of my career financially, it’s just one step closer to the PGA TOUR,” he said. “Every other event I’ve played in has basically got me one step closer to the Korn Ferry Tour.
“This one gets you to realize and think, ‘Oh wow,’ because you’re closer to that ultimate golf goal of the PGA TOUR and not just trying to find another stepping stone.”
Wolfe said he’s had a mix of success on both the mental and physical sides of his game over the last while. He’s hitting the ball well and making smart decisions. This is his 11th year of playing professional golf and he’s done it while being single, married, and now as a father – three totally different dynamics.
He got married and then earned status on the Korn Ferry Tour for the first time the following season. Now he’s a dad, and a winner on the Korn Ferry Tour the following season.
“It’s been quite an adjustment balancing time on the golf course and practicing, and spending time with family,” he said. “Those are things they don’t tell you when you sign up to play professional golf.”
When Wolfe left for the first event of the year, for example, he did it while his newborn daughter was asleep so he didn’t have to feel the impact of her looking at him as he left. The next time, though, she was awake and Kelsey had Khloe do the fake hand-wave, because she’s not old enough to do that on her own.
“That made it a lot harder,” he said, although his young family will be on the road with him for every 2020 event played in the United States.This one gets you to realize and think, 'Oh wow,' because you're that closer to the ultimate golf goal of the PGA TOUR.
Although it’s early days, still, the pair joined Wolfe during the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica finale in Florida last month, and at Final Stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q-School, just outside of Orlando.
“I played really well in Miami and after every round I really didn’t care. I just wanted to hang out and play and be a dad and a husband and not really be a golfer,” said Wolfe. “Typically your brain might be on the round after golf, and you’re separated form the world still. It’ll be an adjustment, but we’re going to love it.”
Wolfe, who won early in the 2019 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica season as well, admits he felt a sense of complacency for the balance of that season. He’s trying not to do that this year. He has goals, and he’s trying to stay hungry for them.
And he’s got two very special women in his life that will be there no matter what.
“I was just overwhelmed with, ‘OK, we’re within reach of the PGA TOUR, his ultimate golf dream and goal,’” said Kelsey of the win, a kick-start to what could be a magical 2020. “It was a lot all at once, but I was just so happy.”
Jared Wolfe was, of course, thrilled in the moment – but more thrilled now, as he’s been able to wrap his head around the potential for what an early-season victory may mean for his career.
But if he wins again, he owes his wife a better hug.
Jared Wolfe interview after winning Great Abaco