Thaddeus “Thad” Wier III comes from an athletic, East Aurora family. After graduating from college last spring, Wier moved to Myrtle Beach, where he works with a teaching professional and competes on a variety of tours. Wier earned his first professional win on the SwingThought.Com tour in October of 2014 in South Carolina, but a much bigger basket of fruit awaited him in May of 2015. In the final round of PGA Tour Canada qualifying school, Wier scorched the Crown Isle course in British Columbia with a 67, earning a six-event exemption onto the tour.
1. Tell us who you are and how you got into golf.
—My name is Thad Wier. I recently graduated from St. John Fisher College (Spring 2014) in Rochester, NY and have been playing professionally since October 2014. My dad got me into golf by taking me out to a local course. He always tells me of how he remembers watching me hit putts for hours on the practice green while he was up in the clubhouse. I couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6.
2. Discuss your college playing experience and the positives you took from it.
—I played a year of Division 2 golf and decided the school I attended was not a good fit for me. I transferred to St. John Fisher College after that where I became a two-time All-American and received my BA in Economics. I believe the biggest positive I took away from that experience was learning to win. There is no substitute for being in the hunt in the closing holes of a tournament, and the experience that came from having to play with that pressure is very valuable.
3. Detail for us your decision-making process on turning professional. Did you have any advice from anyone that helped you turn the corner?
—I decided to compete as an amateur for the summer. My mom and dad helped me decide what was best. I wanted one more chance to play in some bigger amateur tournaments and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to qualify. I didn’t think my game was in good enough shape to compete professionally after coming off a long winter, so I chose a Mini Tour series based out of Myrtle Beach, SC (where I’m living now) where I would be able to play through the winter.
4. Do you work with a teaching professional on your swing? What does she/he focus on?
—I work with Hugh Royer III in Myrtle Beach. He won 4 times on the Nike Tour (now Web.com) and played on the PGA for several years. He focuses mainly on full swing mechanics and tempo. However, he knows what it’s like to play professionally and he preaches when it’s game-time, you swing with what you got.
5. What is your go-to shot? What is your go-to club? With a tournament riding on the outcome, what club/shot do you want to hit?
—My favorite club is my 2 iron off the tee. It’s a driving iron and the ball comes off like a bullet and goes about 240-250 on average. I prefer hitting little draws but if the swing is off, I can usually manufacture a cut. If I had to choose a situation to be in, I like having anything with a wedge from 50-115 because there are so many ways to play those shots.
6. You have a six-tournament exemption on PGA Tour-Canada, thanks to a 67 you shot in the final round of qualifying school. Talk about that week and how you overcame some average play to close strong?
—I was very happy to close out the week as well I did. I didn’t drive the ball very well and didn’t score well on par 5’s. However, I did make putts when I had the opportunity and that certainly helps keep the score low. On specifically the last round, even though I didn’t drive the ball particularly well, I must have had 8-10 birdie opportunities within 10 feet and capitalized on a good percentage of those.
7. Have you qualified for (or do you plan to attempt to qualify for) any other tours in 2015?
—I may try a few Monday qualifiers for Web.com events and I may play some eGolf or Swingthought.com events.
8. Average Joe sits around the clubhouse, watching the professionals, and says “I could do that if I quit my job.” Tell us what Average Joe and the rest of us don’t understand, about the practice, preparation, emotional drain, etc., that come from pursuing a career in professional golf.
—Golf is hard. PGA Tour pros put up 80’s in tournaments. It requires talent, a great work ethic, and incredible self-discipline. You have only yourself to rely on. You set your schedule and determine how long and how well and how often you practice. Not only must you have the skill to be a great golfer, but you must have the mental fortitude to know you are a good player even when you struggle. The brain can be someone’s strongest asset or their worst enemy, and that applies to a lot more than just for golf. Not to mention the time it takes to travel to events, and the time you spend away from family. To the Average Joe, it’s not impossible but you can imagine how difficult it is to truly be one of the best in the world at anything where people are giving their all to best they can be.
9. What question(s) haven’t I asked, that you wish we had? Ask and answer, please.
—What do I do in my spare time?
—–Golf like any other career requires a sort of work-life balance. I love it, but there are times when it’s beneficial to get away from it. I’m a big movie-watcher, love playing basketball, and watch a lot of different sports especially around Major Championship/ Playoff time. I’m constantly in awe of athletes at the top of their game.
—What is the biggest contributor to my success thus far?
—-I was very aware of how often I used “I” while answering these questions. I would just like to say that none of this would be possible without my family and my girlfriend. The amount of support I have received from them only makes me want to work harder and play better. I have a dream I am pursuing and they are completely behind me. It makes the decision and the quest that much easier to pursue. I am very fortunate to have my family.