SFA Golfer Pursues Professional Career
When it’s time to graduate, most seniors know the career they want to pursue and will use the knowledge that they acquired in college to seek that career. But what about the people who don’t use their majors, or don’t want to pursue their studies, and would rather pursue lifelong dreams of being professional athletes? One of those people at SFA is Stetson McMillan.
McMillan, who is finishing up his fourth and final year at SFA as a psychology major, has no intentions on pursuing his major, but has every intention on pursuing his childhood dream of becoming a professional golfer.
“It has always been my dream to play professional golf, but now the time has come where I have to actually try it, and it is pretty exciting but also scary at the same time,” McMillan said.
McMillan grew up in Lindale, Texas, where for the majority of his childhood he played competitive baseball at a high level.
“I played baseball ever since I was little and all the way until high school and just played golf for the fun of it. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I picked up golf and got serious about it,” McMillan said.
Professional golf is unlike most sports, you don’t get drafted, you don’t play for teams, and you don’t automatically have things paid for according to McMillan.
“The thing people don’t realize is how hard golf is to pursue as a career. Not only is it very expensive, but unless you’re one of the best players in the country, sponsors and help with money are very hard to find,” McMillan said. “I have been fortunate enough to find a few sponsors to help me out with the costs of traveling around and that will help out so much.”
Another big part of professional golf, according to McMillan, is finding club sponsors to supply you with equipment and apparel to play with.
“Finding equipment sponsors is usually tough but I was able to work out a deal with Adams golf who is going to supply me with clubs when I need them which will be a big help. I also was able to work out a deal with them for my apparel so I have been very lucky so far with money help,” McMillan said.
Most don’t know what goes into the steps of turning professional in golf, but according to SFA head coach Trey Schroeder, it is not easy task.
“It is very tough out there on the mini-tours, not only is it very expensive, but if you’re not winning or getting top fives week in and week out, you won’t be making any money. I tried to make it for a couple of years after I graduated and did ok, but I just wasn’t making enough money,” Schroeder said. “But Stetson has been fortunate enough to get more back up then I ever had, so he should have a little better chance at being successful.”
With all the talk about how hard it is to just prepare to become a professional golfer, according to McMillan, it only gets harder when you get out there and compete.
“Since I have already got all the money stuff taken care of, my toughest task will definitely be just competing with all the guys out there. It is a completely different level of golf and now it is not only for trophies and rankings, but it is for money and my career. I know I have the game to compete out there but it is just going to be quite an experience,” McMillan said.
McMillan will be kicking off his professional career this summer in May, where he will attempt to qualify for a PGA tour event in Dallas, Texas call the Byron Nelson championship.