By Gregg A. Sims
Washington Times Herald
Brett Melton usually keeps a pretty busy schedule each summer at the Country Club of Old Vincennes.
And while the North Daviess grad who is now the managing partner and Director of Golf of the family-owned business is expecting the normal summer routine at the Knox County course, he's added a few extra events on the side.
Melton has qualified to play in the Web.Com Tour event to be held at Victoria National in Newburgh June 27-30.
But that's just the end of what will be an exhausting schedule at the end of the month.
Melton is hoping to also qualify for golf’s final major, the PGA, in the National Club Pro event at Sun River Resort in Bend, Oregon. The Daviess County resident has made one appearance in the major and just missed, losing in playoffs for two others.
The Club Professional’s event in Oregon takes place the previous days just before the event at Newburgh on June 23-26.
He will play in Oregon first and then make the trip back to Indiana to start the second tournament the next day.
“The worst thing that could happen is that I will get a chance to play,” Melton said of the eight-day trip crossing the country. “I will be playing all week, so I should be in a playing mode.” The Indiana Section of the PGA receives three spots into the tournament. One goes to the Player of the Year, one goes to the low score at the State Open and the third goes to winner of the first yearly event of the Indiana Section.
Melton placed second in that yearly event Monday at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Sagamore Club in Noblesville, and received the spot after longtime club professional Bill Schumaker decided that he did not wish to play.
Ninety-six Indiana players participated in the event.
“Bill has been Player of the Year for something like 15 times in Indiana, and I think he decided that at this point in his career, he didn’t wish to play,” Melton said. “I tied with a couple of other players at the event, and I was able to win the tournament in a playoff. Bill had the only score under par and I tied with the guys at even par.” He has played as a member of the Canadian Tour, played tour events and qualified for the 2005 PGA. He missed qualifying for that major twice in playoffs, although he is hoping another trip is in the offering later this summer.
Melton, who “turned 39 for the first time this week,” said his style of playing has changed in his playing career.
“When I was younger, I would try to make shots that I now watch younger guys try,” Melton said. “But when I was his age, I would try the same shot. I think I try to play smarter now.” Mixing the playing schedule with the time needed to run a club isn’t easy to accomplish. Melton tried to eliminate the playing side once, but found he still had the urge to compete.
“I tried to quit playing once, and it didn’t work too well, I found that it isn’t easy to do. When you’ve played and had some success - you still want to play. But if you can’t take the time to practice, you can’t perform well, and then it’s not fun to play. For me, it was not enjoyable to not play.
“It’s a time-consuming thing,” Melton said of the balance. “Both can be very time consuming and difficult to do. You have 24-7 responsibilities for the business. It is really a lot of work.” Melton looks at the dual opportunity as just that. While the schedule will be difficult, he enters both events with the opportunity to compete and see what happens.
“When I was playing golf for a living, there was certainly more pressure,” Melton said. “I’m just going to play, have some fun and use the experiences that I’ve had. It’s (playing) more of a sideline now. I want to I can go and then come back and try to sell you some clubs, maybe some pizza, and just enjoy it. I’m looking forward to it.”