Newsmaker: Pete Wlodkowski, Founder & CEO - AmateurGolf.com
30 Apr 2010
by Golfweek

see also: , Pete Wlodkowski Profile

by Steve Harmon, Golfweek

Wlodkowski’s venture – a Web site geared toward amateurs intent on playing better tournament golf – turns 10 at the U.S. Open. Wlodkowski (lodd- KOW-skee), 48, of Carlsbad, Calif., says half of AmateurGolf.com’s 20,000 members are 5 handicap or better and half play 100 or more rounds per year (AmateurGolf.com partners with Golfweek for the amateur rankings at Golfweek.com):

How will your return to Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open differ from AmateurGolf.com’s launch there at the 2000 Open?

We used guerrilla marketing, handing out hats. It’ll be a little different this time. People will know us. Our dream for any of these events would be to have an amateur contend.

What’s the status of the amateur game these days?

Strong. The pro tours are getting so strong that a reality has set in. The reinstated amateurs actually have strengthened the amateur game. That makes the other players compete better. The 100-times-a-year players are addicted just as much as we ever were.

What is your target audience?

The most avid people who would be playing in a tournament or have an interest in a tournament. We’re trying as we grow to offer something for that midteen (handicap) player. A lot of them want to get their handicap down, but they’re not eligible for their state amateur. Competitive golf is not just for the elite players.

Would amateur golf in the U.S. benefit from more match play?

Yeah, but it’s a little tough to administer. I think the NCAA change to match play is tremendous. It’s all beneficial to these guys getting experience.

What suggestions do you have for amateurs to get more enjoyment from their game?

Stop worrying about score so much and go out there with the attitude that you’re going to keep it in play and enjoy the game. Play faster, play better. Don’t treat a tournament round any differently. If you ask me why people don’t compete, they just can’t handle the five-plus-hour rounds.
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