The Back Nine with Gamecock Junior Blaine Woodruff
April 2, 2014
Throughout the spring, Gamecocksonline.com will catch up with each member of the men’s golf team for a feature called The Back Nine, focusing on nine golf-related questions. This week we are featuring junior Blaine Woodruff.
When did you first start playing golf and what drew you to the game?
I started playing golf when I was two years old. My dad played in college and my grandfather was an avid golfer. They both were instrumental in my learning of the game. Also, golf is one of the few sports you can play your whole life. It will excite you and beat you up within a matter of minutes, a phenomenon that not many other sports can provide.
Who is your favorite professional golfer?
Boo Weekley is my favorite professional golfer. He became a friend of mine a few years ago and has always gone out of his way to help me with my golfing career. He also has what I would call the “model attitude” on the golf course, a perfect mix between competitiveness and freedom.
What is your favorite golf course that you’ve played?
Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., is my favorite golf course that I have ever played. You can feel the overwhelming amount of history when you step foot on the property, everything from the raggedy locker rooms to the plaque where Ben Hogan striped a 1-iron en route to win the 1950 U.S. Open.
What is your favorite golf memory?
Going out with my dad and grandfather and playing golf as a kid will be something I will never forget. I always got to drive the cart (which I loved) and tried so hard to hit it as far as they did. Having three generations together on the golf course created memories I will cherish for a lifetime.
What is the most memorable competition moment of your career?
Beating Chad Ramey in a playoff to make it to my second U.S Amateur was one of my favorite memories. Because the qualifier was in Mississippi, and Chad played on the Mississippi State Golf Team, everyone watching (including the officials) was cheering for him. There is nothing better than the feeling you get when you win as an underdog. Also, my mom was on the bag that week, and I really enjoyed not only the success, but the mother-son time we got to spend together.
Who has influenced you most in your golf career?
My dad has been very influential, but my instructor Scott Hamilton really helped me learn what it takes to be good at each level in which I progressed. He has always been there for me and treats me like a son. I could safely say I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for his encouragement and support.
What are you most known for in golf/your strong suit?
I would say that putting and green reading is the strong suit of my game. I learned to really fall in love with my putting and my putting process when I was in high school and it boosted my confidence on the greens tremendously. I also love putting. Growing up when everyone was beating balls on the range, I would hit 15 footers over and over telling myself it was “to win the Masters.”
What is your dream foursome and what golf course would you play?
My dream foursome would consist of Steve Spurrier, Dabo Swinney and Yoandri Garrido. I would want to witness Spurrier beat Dabo for a sixth straight time and Garrido is a Cuban man who was born with six fingers. It would be quite an enjoyment.
What’s in your bag?
Taylormade SLDR Driver (10.5 degrees)
Ping G20 3wood (15 degrees)
Cleveland Launcher Hybrid (19 degrees)
Titleist AP2 Irons
Titleist SM4 Wedges
Rife Barbados Putter
Titleist PROV1 Ball