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5 Questions with MN Section PGA Player of the Year Don Berry

November 3, 2014

Don Berry, Head Golf Professional at Edinburgh USA earned the Minnesota Section PGA Player of the Year honors after collecting more than 769 points in 25 events in 2014. Berry did not miss a cut all season on his way to earning more than $20,000. He also won or tied for first in 8 events, two of which were in senior events. Remarkably, Don finished in the top 10 in all but two events, senior and regular, in which he competed. We caught up with him via email for 5 Questions with MN Section PGA Player of the Year Don Berry:

What is the most gratifying part of the 2014 season for you as a player?

I would say that my win at the Tapemark Charity Pro-Am was the single most gratifying.  I had a bad draw with my tee time in the second round (played in rain all 18 holes) and had a really good attitude didn’t let it bother me and shot 66.  Then the last day I came from behind and shot 64 to win by 3 shots and seemed oblivious to any negative thoughts – I had not won that event in about 10 years so to do it again in that manner was a great feeling.

In your speech you mentioned you didn’t think you’d “get back here”, what made you feel that way?

I don’t know if I really feel that way or not; when you get to 52 there is some doubt if you can still compete with younger guys but on the other hand I always feel I can get better.  My desire is still there and I feel that I’m more mentally tough than I’ve been in a while so who knows when or if “I’ll get back there” again.  To be honest, I don’t ever want anyone to think that I expect to win any award.

When you started out so long ago, did you envision having the kind of playing success you’ve had?

No and Yes, I’m amazed that I’ve been able to compete with such good players on one hand but I’ve always thought about and worked on my game as if I was one of them and I always felt that because of my preparation (whether it’s running 3 miles in the rain or late at night or hitting balls after work at 7:00 at night) that I was the one that deserved to play well.

What advice can you give some of the younger players that might help them have success similar to what you’ve experienced?

I don’t like giving others advice because I’m not sure if what has worked for me will work for them. However, if I was asked, I would say to work hard on your game and then remember the hard work while you’re playing.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood over a shot in the heat of competition and told myself “I deserve to hit a  good shot or make this putt because I have worked harder than the others”.  I also would tell someone to get in the mode of enjoying competing – just keep telling yourself it’s fun even when you are nervous – nothing is more important than what you tell yourself.

What are your goals for 2015?

I haven’t really defined my goals yet for 2015 but I want to play well on a national level and most likely that would mean being competitive in some PGA Champions Tour events; whether that means the Senior PGA Championship, the US Senior Open or regular tour events.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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