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The Countdown to National Championships Has Begun

Every fall, more than 1,200 players of all ages and skill levels converge on one of the nation’s top golf resorts for the culmination of everything they’ve played for all season long – Golf Channel Amateur Tour’s (Am Tour) National Championships and Senior National Championships. It’s a feat in of itself to make it that far, as there are more than 7,000 members that compete on Am Tour annually.

With just one month left until this year’s biggest tournament, which will take place at world-renowned PGA WEST in La Quinta, California, we sat down with three of the 2012 National Champions, who each pulled away from the pack at TPC Sawgrass last year, to get their take on this unique event experience.

Player Brian Beach didn’t waste any time moving up the ranks on Golf Channel Amateur Tour. Photo by Golf Channel Am Tour

Player Brian Beach didn’t waste any time moving up the ranks on Golf Channel Amateur Tour. Photo by Golf Channel Am Tour

Brian Beach | 2012 Championship Flight Champion | Palm Springs, CA

Q: When and why did you join Am Tour?

A: I joined Am Tour back in January of 2012 mainly because of the great commercials that I saw on Golf Channel. I was looking for a more competitive outlet and seeing that this was such an organized tour with two-day competitions where I would get to play every other Sunday really sold me.

Q: Congrats on your win at The 2012 National Championships! What was that experience like?

A: It was crazy, man! Going in, I was super excited to get out there and play a course I’ve only ever played on the X-Box. Going from one corner of the country to the other (Montana to Florida), just created a real excitement. What made it even more special was the fact that my father was able to come down and experience the week with me. I had the lead going into the final day, and competition was so intense that day there was virtually no chit chat. It was really a week I will never forget. Ever.

Q: Who’s your favorite professional golfer?

A: Oh Freddie Couples, hands down.


Paul Nault

Snead Flight champion Paul Nault wouldn’t waiver down the stretch as he took home the title. Photo by Golf Channel Am Tour

Paul Nault | 2012 Snead Flight Champion | Seattle, WA

Q: What’s a good day of golf for you – what does that score look like?

A: I retired at the age of 46, and played golf for the first time ever in 2010.  In August of that year, I shot a 126. Over the past few years my scores have gone from that to 90s to where I am currently in the 80s!  I actually played recently at Druid Glenn and made a hole-in-one. The local paper even did a quick article about me!

Q: What would you say is the best thing about playing on Am Tour?

A: Tiger Woods once said, “Unless you’re playing tournament golf, it’s just a walk in the park with friends.”  He couldn’t have hit the nail on the head any better.  This tour is the way golf is meant to be played and I absolutely love the competitive side of it.

Q: If you could sum up your 2012 Nationals experience in one word what would it be?

A: I’m going to use 3 words: Top Notch Experience.

Q: The 2013 National Championships are coming up, what are you looking forward to most about defending your title at PGA WEST?

A: I am counting the days already.  I want to go into this year with the same strategy as last year. I want to be sure to have fun, but in the end I’m not there to play around. I want to take the title!

Q: Who’s your favorite professional golfer?

A: Rory McIlroy


Ed Dyer

Sr. Hogan Flight champion, Ed Dyer used his military mentality to stay calm under pressure as he fended off the competition at TPC Sawgrass. Photo by Golf Channel Am Tour

Ed Dyer | Sr. Hogan Flight Champion | Indianapolis, IN

Q: How long have you been playing on Am Tour?

A: I’ve been part of this tour for over 10 years, since it was called the Michelob Tour. I started playing golf 50 years ago when I was a caddy, but when I retired from the Military in 2001 I set a goal to become a better golfer. I had that itch to be part of a competitive golf scene. It’s great to get those juices and competitive spirit flowing again.

Q: What’s your favorite part about playing on Am Tour?

A: The people. I have gotten to know so many people who are playing because they love competitive golf like me. As a senior, there are few sports we can keep playing our entire lives, and this tour gives me the opportunity to do so and remain competitive.

Q: Besides winning the crystal trophy, what were your favorite memories from Senior National Championships last year?

A: It was so awesome! I went in with zero expectations, wanted to have fun, and of course the opportunity to play TPC Sawgrass. From the very beginning I knew it was a special kind of event. After my practice round, I met David Feherty in the elevator! On the second day, I holed an eagle from the fairway and caught fire, moving from No. 13 to No. 1 in a three-day span. Everyone’s told me what it’s like to have a lead, but I was unprepared. I was squeezing the blood out of the steering wheel from hole to hole, but managed to calm myself by talking to a tree. Picture that.

Q: Who’s your favorite professional golfer?

A: Brian Stuard. I played with him in the BMW event and have followed him closely ever since.


If you’re interested in learning more, visit Golf Channel Amateur Tour’s official website, including details about the 2013 National Championships at PGA WEST.


Featured image of PGA WEST’s TPC Stadium Course courtesy of Golf Channel Amateur Tour.

One response to “The Countdown to National Championships Has Begun”

  1. R. Lea says:

    I’ve seen this Mr. Nault guy play…he’s damn good. Very focused and competitive, look forward to seeing his scorecard this weekend.

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