After nearly three consectutive months on the road with little more than a suitcase and his clubs, Canadian professional golfer Stuart Anderson has finally returned home to Sooke.
The six-foot-something golfer with shaggy brown hair just wrapped up the National Golf Association Hooters Tour in South Carolina. He finished a close second to American Adam Long after forcing a playoff at the Woodcreek Classic. Prior to that, Anderson left Windsor, Ontario the Canadian Tour champion.
“I feel like mentally and (my) maturity level with the game is definitely to a point where I know myself, I know my capabilities out on the golf course,” said the 33-year-old Anderson, who had been on the road for tournaments almost seven weeks in a row.
Not having as much quality time with his wife, Crystol — a medical assistant in Victoria — and their two kids as he’d like at their Otter Point residence, Anderson hopes to make the most of his stay.
“(I’m) looking forward to spending some time with the girls, my dog, just relaxing and putting the clubs away — for a couple days, anyways.”
Anderson has been travelling and playing competitively since October, with only brief breaks in between. Originally from Calgary, he also made a trip to his old hometown of Fort McMurray, Alberta in June where he was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.
“I’ve played some really good golf, my name was at the top of the leaderboard quite a few times this year. The middle of the year I just kind of got burnt out,” said Anderson, who feels he’s near the peak of his career right now. He attributed that success to taking some time recently to go back to school.
“When you play so much you skip the fundamentals of alignment, posture, ball position,” he said. “I started to create bad habits in my golf swing so I needed a second set of eyes to look at my golf swing to tell me what I could work on to find some confidence and hit some good shots.”
Under the advice of friend and fellow competitor David Miller, Anderson worked closely with instructor and former PGA player Ron Gring based out of Mobile, Alabama just before the Canadian Tour Championship. And it paid off — Anderson said he was striking the ball very well about two weeks before the competition and “good things were starting to happen.”
Following some R&R in town, he will be back in Columbia, South Carolina concentrating all his efforts towards the first stage of PGA Q(ualifying) School in October, a series of mini-tournaments that grant select professional golfers membership to the PGA Tour.
“Ultimately, where I am in my career, that’s what it comes down to is moving on to the next level,” said Anderson.
“I know I’m good enough to play with (the best players in the world), I just need to get there.”