John Catlin

Apr 23, 2018Geneviève Bélanger
John Catlin

PGA Tour Canada vs. Asian Tour

When I first signed up for PGA Tour Canada Q school in 2014 I did not know where my career in professional golf was headed or whether I would even be able to make it out on tour. I fought hard at qualifying school and earned playing rights on PGA Tour Canada for the 2014 season. My next three seasons would be a great experience as I got to travel all over Canada! However, with my confidence that I gained from playing PGA Tour Canada my first season of 2014, I decided to try to qualify for a bigger tour on a worldwide stage after missing my card at 2014 Q school. I qualified for the Asian Tour through Q school in January of 2015 and for the years of 2015 and 2016 I would play both on PGA Tour Canada and the Asian Tour.


Having the opportunity to play both the Asian Tour and PGA tour canada gave me the experience of playing on two different continents against some of the best players in the world on great golf courses. However, these experiences were very different. Canada felt quite similar to the United States as far as language, culture, food, weather, people, grasses on the courses etc. where the Asian tour these were all different in every single country I went to. At first, being able to play PGA tour canada in 2014 in a country very similar to being home I think was critical to my success early on but being able to see a world so foreign to me in Asia was so good for me in my growth both as a person and player. I was exposed to things I never thought existed or would see and got to see how billions of people live their lives with a very different lense to look through and a different way of thinking. This challenged the way I thought and whether I thought this way just because I was taught to or whether this is actually what I believed both on and off the golf course. The biggest difference that I have seen from a golf perspective is the difference in grasses from tee to green and the speed of greens. In Asia, the variance in speed of greens and grass can be vast versus Canada where the green speeds and grasses are quite similar. In Asia I have putted on greens from 7-13 on the stimp meter. In Canada the greens each week were between 10-12 on stimpmeter. Most greens and fairways in Canada were bent, rye or poa grass but in Asia not only have I seen bent, rye and poa but also I have seen bermuda, crab grass, zoysia grass, and paspalum. Being able to adapt to these changing conditions made me a stronger player and a wiser one as well. Being able to play these two tours was an amazing experience and I would recommend anyone even if it’s not as a professional golfer to see and play golf on the North American and Asian continents. I am sure that this experience will both grow you as a person and golfer.


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