By Ned Bekavac
Alex Carrigan is taking a serious swing at a pro golf career.
The Guelph guy is picking up and moving to the more golf-friendly climes of Florida for the winter to hone his game.
“Optimistically, I’m trying to go on the Canadian tour in the fall of 2012,” says Carrigan. “More realistically, spring of 2013. I’m moving down there this winter so I can work on my game and prepare for that.”
Earlier this year, Carrigan finished his NCAA Division II golf career at the University of Charleston in West Virginia.
“It was the greatest time of my life,” says the Centennial CVI graduate.
With that under his belt, his attention now turns to going pro and right now is as good a time as any to get it going. He is looking to make his big push in a couple years, when he’s 25.
“I’m really enjoying amateur golf right now, I think I’m really coming into my own,” he says. “I’m not really rushing things, but I know that I need to kind of get going to get more shots, and a little more confidence in my golf game.”
Carrigan, a Cutten Fields golfer, first took up the sport at four years old when his golf-playing parents got him into it. He still has the “sawed-off seven iron” he first used as a wee one, in his basement.
It got serious for him at the age of 13, at an Ontario event.
“I finished third there, and that’s when I kind of started playing” on competitive tours, he says.
“At 16, I said ‘I want to play down south, go to college.’”
The college experience put him over the top, he says.
“I wasn’t the greatest player coming out of high school,” he says. “A good round (back) then would be about a 75, 74. And my bad round would be about 82.
“What college taught me – I played so many events – is that you just keep working and working and working. Now my bad rounds are 74, 75.”
This summer, he has been spending seven days a week on the course, and much of the time is spent practicing his putting.
“I’ll probably play golf maybe three times a week. I’m normally out here just hitting a million putts,” he says.
“Because I realize that if I want to make it on tour, putting is where you really have to score. It’s just a big putting contest out there now. Everybody hits the same, so that’s really where you have to improve.”
Carrigan’s back-up plan, should the pro golf dream not materialize, is business, which he studied at school. It’s a career that can be helped out by golf, he says.
“I enjoy the concept of business,” he says. “I’m not a big numbers guy, but I like marketing. And that’s kind of what golf is. There is a lot of networking on the golf course and I believe the skills on the golf course will help me in the business world if golf doesn’t work out.”
He adds: “A restaurant has always been in my mind . . . but golf is where I’m at right now.”
See below for a Q&A with Carrigan.
• • •
Q: Can you recall something neat about your first ever competitive golf event?
A: Well I remember being extremely nervous before my first few years of competitive golf. I now have
overcome those nerves and really do not feel the jitters like I used to.
Q: The Trib’s paying the tab. What’s your tipple and where are you having it?
A: Bottle of Goose in the backyard by the pool.
Q: You attended Charleston on a golf scholarship. What was one thing you preferred about living in the U.S. over Canada?
A: Cheap everything.
Q: And, aside from your family and friends being here, what is one thing you prefer about living in Canada over the U.S.?
A: Health care.
Q: Can you relay a neat story about your time there?
A: Most of my fondest memories were during my time going to and from golf tournaments but most are not ‘G’ rated. My appendix bursting was an interesting moment because I realized how many friends I had and how many came to the hospital to support me.
Q: It’s a random Saturday night and you’re doing nothing golf related. What might you be up to?
A: Headed to a pub.
Q: Alive or not, who are three famous people you’d like to have over for dinner and drinks?
A: Peyton Manning, Doug Gilmour, Rubin Carter.
Q: Thanks Alex. Can you pass us your favourite . . .
• Band or musician? Foo Fighters
• Actor? Matthew McConaughey
• Actress? Kate Beckinsale
• Movie? Joe Dirt
• TV show? Seinfeld
• Food? Pizza
• Pro golfer? Lee Trevino
• Sport aside from golf? Hockey