Insights: PGA TOUR Q-School


Interview with PGA Golfer David Gossett


November 2009



David Gossett

David Gossett began playing golf at a young age and competed in his first golf tournament at the age of 10. He turned pro in 2000, after playing on the golf team at the University of Texas. David won his first official PGA TOUR event in 2001 at the John Deere Classic. Since 2004, he has split his playing time between the PGA TOUR and the Nationwide Tour.




Q: Tell us a little about Tour Q-school and what it means to you. 


A: Obviously it’s a big test. What it means for me is that it is my opportunity to play well and get my PGA TOUR card back if I’m not fully exempt. I think it’s a great opportunity so I’m looking forward to playing and passing the test. It’s a good test to see who’s playing best that week. If you’re playing well you just go do your thing and pass the test to get on the Tour. Although, Q-school is not as good of a test as playing on the Nationwide Tour all year long and qualifying for the PGA TOUR that way. I shot one the lowest round of my career at Q-school one year - 59!



Q: Will you be in tour Q-school this year? 


A: Yes. I’ve made over 50 cuts and won on the PGA TOUR, so I am exempt through the 2nd stage to get through finals.



Q: Which course will you be playing on for the 2nd stage? 


A: I’m going to the course in Florida north of Tampa in Brooksville, Southern Hills Golf Club. I’ve played the course before and liked it.



Q: How many years have you played on the PGA TOUR?  How many years have you played in Q-school?


A: I turned professional in 2000. I won the John Deere Classic in 2001, and I have been a member of the PGA TOUR since then, 8 years, but haven’t been fully exempt. I played in Tour Q-School finals one time. I was in Tour Q-school in 2000. I went to finals and didn’t have to do it again until 2004. I have played in Q-school the last five years.



Q: How do the results of this tournament affect your golf career?


A: If I make it, I will be on the PGA TOUR the next year. There is so much heat and drama built up around Q-school, but though it is nice to have status, coming from my stand point, it will either give me status the rest of the year, or, if I don’t make it, then I will get it another way.  It is not a make or break thing, it just decides your status initially for the next 12 months. 



Q: When playing in a tournament which determines so much, what helps you to stay calm and focused?


A: It is different than a normal tournament because it is six rounds – like a marathon. What helped me was having my mom come out to watch, having family around and more than anything pacing myself and remembering that it’s a marathon rather than a quick sprint. I make sure to have my game in good shape before Tour Q-School also.



Q: What is the biggest challenge you must overcome when competing in Tour Q-School? 


A: Impatience and outcome thinking. My challenge is to overcome the pressure of thinking that so much is riding on Q-school and that it is a make or break event, and thinking there is no other way to qualify for the PGA TOUR. That short sightedness can put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Golf is hard enough without peace in the head.


Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring golfer who dreams of playing golf for a living?


A: Play on a mini tour and stick to that mini tour and get really good at that small level until you are confident and you can develop your game. If you develop your game you can carry it on to the next level and dominate there. For example, in Texas, start with the NGA Hooters Tour, get good and then go up to the smaller Texas tours or the Nationwide Tour. Play as many four day tournament as you can to get into the practice of competing. 



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