A Week Outdoors Hunting and Fishing with Boo Weekley
Boo Weekley – All-Around Athlete
Editor’s Note: Thomas Brent “Boo” Weekley of Jay, Florida, one of the nation’s top professional golfers, is also an avid hunter and fisherman and often takes his rods and reels with him as he tours the world on the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour circuit. In 2007, Weekley earned $3 million in tournament winnings. So far, this year, Weekley has won over $2 million. This week, we caught up with Weekley at the Brewton Country Club in south Alabama. “We’ll reach the golf course before it opens and fish in the ponds,” Weekley reveals. “Then about 10:00 am, I’ll start practicing for my upcoming tournaments.” Today, Weekley is ranked number 8 in the PGA points standing.
Question: Boo, how did you become interested in playing golf?
Weekley: I hurt my shoulder playing baseball, injured my leg playing football and broke my arm playing basketball. I was running out of sports to play at Milton High School in Milton, Florida. I was blessed with athletic talent and could play just about any sport I wanted. I could run, throw and jump. A buddy of mine asked me, “Boo, why don’t you play golf?” I said, “I ain’t ever played golf before.” But my buddy and I decided to start playing golf, and soon, we were golfing every day. One thing led to another, and I soon learned that I could get out of class more by being on the golf team than by playing football, baseball or basketball. So, I chose to stick with golf.
Question: When did you really think you could play on the PGA tour?
Weekley: I got my tour card in 2002, but I didn’t really feel like I could play with the major competitors until 2003.
Question: What did you win this year?
Weekley: I won the 2008 PGA Verizon Heritage Tournament in South Carolina.
Question: How much winnings did you earn in that tournament?
Weekley: I won close to $1 million. I played pretty solid this year. I’ve had a lot of top-10 finishes, a couple of top-5 finishes and a number of top-25 finishes. It’s been a good year, so far. Right now, my tournament winnings are just over $2 million.
Question: In your wildest dreams, did you ever believe you’d make this kind of money hitting an egg-colored ball in what looks like a gopher-rat hole?
Weekley: No, sir, I never did.
Question: Was this your best year, Boo?
Weekley: No, last year I made about $3.5 million in tournament winnings.
Question: Boo, what will you do with all that money?
Weekley: I’m going to invest it, so I can take care of my family, and I’m going to buy more hunting land. I recently bought 160 acres of land just north of where I live in Jay, Florida, and I plan to purchase more land around Camden and Selma, Alabama.
Question: Why will you be investing in hunting land?
Weekley: The good Lord isn’t making any more hunting land, and the property I recently bought is close to my wife, Karyn’s, hometown. Too, it’s close enough for my little boy, Thomas Parker, and I to go hunting. Hopefully, when my newborn, Aiden O’Neal, gets big enough, he also can hunt with us. I want to be able to have a place in the woods where my children can hunt, ride 4-wheelers and enjoy the outdoors.
Question: What was your first big win in golf?
Weekley: Getting on the PGA tour in 2002 is the biggest win I’ve ever had. To be able to win the opportunity in Q-School, the annual qualifying tournament, to compete with the best golfers in the world was the greatest event I’ve ever won.
Question: Was Q-School tough?
Weekley: Yes, it was. You have to go through three stages. The first stage is the hardest because there are so people at 15 or 20 sites all over the country trying to qualify. You have to go through those first two schools and finish really well. Too, the final qualifying section is really tough. They only pick the top 20 to play on the tour the next year.
Question: Who are your running buddies on your tour?
Weekley: I really don’t have many running buddies, but Heath Slocum and Joe Durant are two of the guys I enjoy.
Question: How many days a week are you on the golf course?
Weekley: Every day, if I’m on the road. I played 32 events last year, so I was away from home for 32 weeks, which includes traveling to China and Europe.
Question: What was it like playing golf in China?
Weekley: Playing in China was really different.
Question: What’s in the future for you?
Weekley: I hope to play as solid as I’ve been playing the past 2 years for at least 5- to 8-more years. Then maybe I’ll be able to retire, so I can hunt and fish with my boys and watch them grow up.
Tomorrow: Boo Weekley and the Beginning of Bass Fishing