The life of a professional golfer is filled with fairways and greens, runways and highways. That’s life for Scott Langley. The pride of Parkway South, if you’re looking for Langley you can find him on a train, in a plane or in a car headed to the next tournament, the next qualifier and the next shot at making it onto the PGA Tour.
There are plenty of places you can catch him. His Florida home, however, isn’t one of them. Langley has a lovely piece of paradise on the water he calls his. He’s spent all of one night there in the past month.
“I had to return a rental car and pick up my car,” Langley, 23, says. Langley drove home, caught a few winks and was out the door early the next day, back to the airport. The last four weeks have seen Langley play tournaments in Raleigh, Mexico and San Francisco, where he finished tied for 29th at the U.S. Open. He was just in New York City to see his swing coach and visit his girlfriend. Then it’s off to Indiana this week and Utah the next.
If you’re counting at home, Langley went across the country twice, out of the country once and will go just about across the country once more. No wonder the guy had to buy some extra underwear. There is only so much one man can pack in his suitcase.
Not that Langley is complaining. The 5-foot-10, 160-pounder is living out his dream. He’s grinding his way across the country in an effort to make a living. And he gets to do it playing the game he loves.
“When I wake up every day, I get to go to the golf course,” he says.
And he is at the golf course every day. Langley doesn’t have status on the PGA Tour or the Nationwide Tour. He must qualify for most of the tournaments he competes in. That means teeing it up on a Monday or Tuesday in a qualifying tournament and finishing in the top 14. Only then does Langley get a shot at that weekend’s tournament. He hopes to have status by the end of this season, which would make his hectic schedule more palatable.
“At this point, it’s tough to figure out my schedule. It’s tough to piece it together,” he says. “Hopefully, I’ll have status soon.”
He can earn his status in a variety of ways, but Langley is focused on making his mark on the Nationwide. If he can qualify at or near the top of the money list on the Nationwide, he’ll be granted status on the PGA Tour. This year, he’s only played two Nationwide events and is tied for 145th on the money list.
“At the start of the year, I set a goal to win a Nationwide Tour event and earn my tour card (status) by the end of the year,” Langley says. “The plan is to go ahead and earn it on the Nationwide.”
That Langley is scraping and scrapping is a testament to just how hard it is to make a career out of golf. Langley was one of the best prep players to come through Missouri and won the NCAA championship as a junior at Illinois. He was a member of Parkway South’s inaugural Hall of Fame class. He’s money. Only there are a lot of guys out there that are money, too.
“There are so many good players, you have to play your best every shot,” he says. “You can’t waste any shots.”
That being said, Langley feels confident it’s just a matter of time before he breaks through. With his talent and work ethic, there’s no reason to think he won’t attain his goals.
“It’s a process of getting better,” he says. “If I stick to my game and do what I do, I can be really successful.” So successful that he’ll actually get to go home.