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Golf On Tour: Living His Dream Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey Shoots a Course Record 60 to Win The McGladrey Classic
Who is this Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey and where did he come from? How did he shoot 60 and win on the PGA Tour at the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Georgia last week?
Born in Darlington South Carolina in 1975 he turned pro in 1997. He was the number one player for his high school team but no college drafted him as they didn't believe his swing was good enough to compete successfully.
So Tommy went to work on the assembly line with A.O. Smith the worlds leading producer of hot water tanks. His job there was to wrap insulation around the hot water tanks, and on the weekends he played golf at his local golf club.
Unfortunately he lost his job when there was a downturn in the economy, so Tommy “Two Gloves” (from his baseball days) hit the mini tours and played them from 2004 to 2007.
He played them all and some don’t even exist anymore. The Tarheel, Hooters, Grey Goose, US Pro, and Gateway Tours and anywhere else he could tee it up and play for cash. He won four times on the Tarheel and once on the Hooters.
He proved to be one of the most consistent players during the 2006/07 season with thirteen top five finishes and earnings over US $100,000.00.
With a little cash under his belt and confidence in his game Tommy entered to play at the 2007 Tour School to gain a card to play on the PGA Tour.
This he did negotiating all three stages and was only one of nine to accomplish this feat.
Unfortunately like most 1st time graduates of PGA Tour School he played in 24 events but only made 6 cuts to lose his playing privileges.
He came to prominence on the Golf Channel’s “Big Break V”and then winning “Big Break Vll” and the only golf instruction he has taken has been from his brother Allen.
Back on the Web.Com Tour he persevered and in 2010 had his best year winning twice and finishing 4th on the money list earning just over US $400,000.00 and earned the right to play on the PGA Tour once again.
This time he was ready to compete on the PGA Tour and encouragement from his friend Jim Furyk who told him;
“Don’t change your game as you were kicking the butts of the players on the mini tours, so just keep going at it.”
Furyk added “Keep your head up and keep trying and sooner or later the win will come.”
“Keep your head up and keep trying and sooner or later the win will come.”
Ironically when Tommy shot 60 in the last round at the McGladrey Classic the player he beat was Jim Furyk!
Back on the “Big Show” in 2011 Tommy had a breakout season. With one 3rd finish, seven top ten’s and ten top 25’s he earned a massive US$2,174,191.00 and a 30th position on the money list.
None of his statistics stand out and point to his improved status on the PGA Tour but one thing he does well is what the commentators describe as "he knows how to golf his ball around the golf course."
In fact Golf Channel's Brandle Chamblee a former tour player said that "Tommy's swing was like someone trying to kill a snake with a garden hose!"
Tommy Gainey's swing might not look like a thing of beauty but his impact alignments are second to none as the picture on the left demonstrates.
And never forget the only position the golf ball listens to is impact and the point it separates from the club-face. His unorthodox action delivers the club in a very consistent and efficient way.
When he has hit shots with the Trackman Launch Monitor, in his own words, "it does not like me, and gets confused and spews out unusual data!"
Listed in the table below is some of more recent data from the Trackman Radar on Tommy's game. 'Smash Factor' is an area he stands out in, ranked 21st on tour and that statistic show's how solid his impact is, so he is right up there in this category.
Also 'Total Driving' and 'Carry Efficiency' where he ranks 4th and 5th is why you should never judge a golfers game on how his swing looks but more on how we evaluate our Pro Tour Golf College students ball flight on three factors.
1. Solid contact.
2. Club-face pointing at target when the ball separates from club-face.
3. Minimal curvature of the ball in flight.
Now remember the company A.O. Smith that Tommy worked for between 1996 and 2000 before they had to make him redundant due to the downturn in the economy?
Well if you look on his cap in the photo above they are his major sponsor now and have a great relationship with Tommy describing the people he worked with as family at the press conference after winning.
Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey is testament to the fact that if you work hard on the right things, believe in yourself and have loads of perseverance, and also most importantly dream "Big" you can live the dream.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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