Player Profile: Mike Occi
13 Feb 2014
by Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com
see also: , Mike Occi Profile
For Mike Occi, it's been a great last few years.
First, Mike enjoyed success at the association
level in his home state of Maryland.
Then, it was immediate success at the
The 58-year-old Occi has become one of the
top seniors in the country with wins at the
Kingsway Senior Invitational two of the last
three years and no worse than a tie for 8th
place since the 2012 season. In short, Occi
has been dominant and after we caught up
with him, it's clear he's having a blast.
Learn a bit about Occi, a member of
amateurgolf.com in this player profile:
Amateurgolf.com: For starters, what's
background in competitive golf?:
Mike Occi: I was a really good junior player
earned a full scholarship to the University of
Maryland. But I wasn't ready for college and
stayed just one year. I didn't know anything
but golf. I became an assistant pro at
Montclair Golf Club in New Jersey and stayed
for three years. After that, I was ready and
went back to school at Rutgers. I quit golf for
AGC: So, what brought you back?:
MO: In 1987, my dad wanted to play golf on
Father's Day. We went to Rutgers Golf Course
and I birdied the last six holes to shoot 69.
The bug bit me again. I didn't play much
competitive golf really and only once in a
played in state events. I moved to Maryland in
2001 and started playing competitively. I did
OK but when I turned 55, I really started to
have more time to play and got pretty good. I
used to hit it all over the place and now hit it
pretty straight. My minds more clear and don't
worry about hitting too many bad shots, so I
don't hit many of them.
AGC: When did your success at the
national level begin?:
MO: I was playing friendly games with some
good players back in Maryland and then won
the Maryland Senior Amateur when I was 55.
The guy I was playing with, John Register, and
he convinced me that I could play with them. I
wasn't sure but won the second event I played
at the Kingsway.
AGC: With all the success, what's your
favorite golf moment?:
MO: It's probably the most recent moment.
This year at Kingsway was special. I shot 66
the first round Steve Groom shot 69. I figured
I'd have a big lead but only led by three. We
got paired and both went low on the front nine
but I shot 66 and he shot 73. The third day
got rained out and I was 15-under after 44
holes. That had never happened to me! When
stopped worrying about what my swing looked
like, I started playing well.
AGC: What events are always circled on
MO: I really only play in the national events
that I can drive to from here in Bonita Springs
(Florida) or in Maryland. I play five or six
events and other guys play all over the
country. I always make sure I play in the
Corkscrew, Gateway, Kingsway and SOS
Classic. I always try to qualify for the U.S.
Senior Open and U.S. Senior Amateur.