Q&A with Josh Teater
June 13, 2017
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Josh Teater was a proficient baseball player before he decided to focus on golf full-time. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
Josh Teater has been a professional golfer for nearly 20 years, but he admits he’s still learning.
There was a stretch in the late 2000s when he earned over $1 million on the PGA TOUR in a season, and had his card for a number of years. He collected a handful of top-10 finishes, and had a career-best runner up finish in 2013 at the Farmers Insurance Open (four shots behind eventual winner Tiger Woods).
But golf, being the fickle sport that it is, has a way of humbling people. Teater has played on the Web.com Tour the last two seasons, with steady results. He was 36th on the money list a year ago with two top-10s, and is trending towards improving that number this year, threatening for a spot in The 25.
Teater spent a few minutes with PGA TOUR Digital chatting about his season so far, acting as a bit of a mentor to some of the younger guys on Tour, and growing up a baseball star in Kentucky.
How would you assess your past couple of seasons on the Web.com Tour?
I’ve been playing really good the last year or so; there just aren’t a lot of four-day results to show that. I think I’ve had five or six top-20s this year. That’s one hole or a handful of good holes away from having good chances to win on this Tour. I’ve been hitting the ball great, giving myself plenty of opportunities … just need to clean up around the greens a little bit and I’ll be where I want to be.
Do you feel like there is a level of comfort out here now?
I know what I’m getting into. I’ve been around here, last year … I went to most of these (tournaments) so I feel good coming back again. I don’t feel like I have to come back and dissect it as much as I did last year.
Web.com Tour players compete in basketball G-O-L-F
What do you think you need to do to climb up a leaderboard and get into contention?
Last week was tough, for example. You could hit good shots but then you’d end up in an awkward spot off the green. I didn’t get much of those up-and-down, but I play par-5s pretty well, I’m around the green in two on most of those. So the weeks, where, let’s say I chip one in instead of making par, that’s a two-shot swing right there. I think everything is about being around the greens. I’m spending 75 percent of my practice time chipping and putting.
You’ve been a professional golfer for a while now. Do you feel like a bit of an elder statesman?
There are some guys that have asked me some questions, and I’ve been paired with some guys who ask me things. Anders Albertson, I was paired with him (at the Rex Hospital Open) in Raleigh two weeks ago and he didn’t play his best. He missed the cut. But he came up to me afterwards and said he learned a lot from playing with me. I guess guys are watching. But I’m learning from everyone I play with. It’s a continual learning process.
What about guys from your home state?
There are some younger guys out here, some guys from Kentucky, and I’ve reached out to them and we’ve played a lot of practice rounds and help each other out.
At 38, what keeps you motivated?
I know that the best golf is still ahead of me. I played on the PGA TOUR for five-and-a-half years. But I know there’s some good golf to come. I haven’t won out there yet and I feel like I can. That’s what I want to do.
Golf on a basketball court?
Growing up in Kentucky, when did you know that it was going to be golf, and golf was going to be the career path you were going to follow?
I didn’t really know that until the end of my junior year of high school. I played baseball growing up and I was better at baseball than I was at golf at that stage in life, but I knew the ceiling was pretty low for baseball for me. I probably could have played in college and maybe get a look in the minor leagues. I knew I could play golf for a long time, and even if I didn’t make it, I could meet a lot of people and who knows where it could take you.
There are a lot of guys out on the Web.com Tour who have a baseball background. Have you noticed that?
A couple times we’ve been out at different events doing batting practice, and there are a couple guys who can hit for sure.
What is it, do you think, about baseball players who are golfers?
A lot of people think that they interfere with each other, but I disagree. I never played them together growing up … I played baseball during baseball season and golf during golf season, but I think they can complement each other and help each other. It’s the same kind of swing, just on a different plane. Obviously in this one, the ball is sitting stationary, so hopefully we don’t miss it very often (laughs).