It was only natural that a man who retired so he could play more golf would end up at the World Am.
Roland Taylor, an Akron, Ohio resident, was an outstanding player when he was young, firing 68 on numerous occasions and competing in high level amateur events in the Buckeye State. But fatherhood supplanted golf as his priority, and he gave up the game for two decades, spending time at the baseball field with his two sons instead.
“I tried to get them on the golf course but they loved baseball, so it was more important for me to support them when they were growing up,” Taylor said of his hiatus from golf.
Once his kids, one of whom played collegiate baseball, were finished playing, Taylor knocked the dust off his clubs and rekindled his love affair with the game, and that meant doing away with work.
“I looked at the numbers and I was able to (retire), and my objective was to go back and play more golf,” Taylor said. “That’s why I retired – to play more golf.”
When he resumed playing on a near daily basis a year ago, he wasn’t the player he once was, but the underlying fundamentals remained.
As his game improved, Taylor took notice of a few emails he’d read regarding the World Am and a friend who played in the event recommended he give it a try. His handicap had dropped to 4.5 at tournament time, but he opted to test himself in the Senior Gross Division.
“I thought it would be better to try and play in the Gross Division,” he said. “I want to test my golf skills against that caliber of player. I’ll be a little nervous (coming to the first tee), but it’s like coming home.”
Inspired the fitness level of the young players on the PGA Tour, Taylor has used the game to get in better shape. Initially upon his return, walking a single hole was a chore, but he has lost weight and raised his fitness level to the point he can walk 36 holes in a day.