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Andy North chips out of the sand to reach the 11th green during the opening round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament in Parker, Colo., on Thursday, May 27, 2010. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Gator Great Andy North Talks Golf Career, PGA Tour and More

The PGA Tour has resumed its season and is one of the few sports that have done so. The tour restarted June 11th and recently concluded the Charles Schwab Challenge.

On June 18th, the second event, the RBC Heritage will start and will be held in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

This return was possible with the addition of safety guidelines to the tournament that would ensure the health of players and staff. One of these guidelines is the restriction of fan attendance during the tournament.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodger, left, talks to Andy North on the second hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

A big part of the tournament/game experience is the interaction between fans and athletes, and the exciting environment fans can create. Because of this, there is no doubt that holding a tournament without fans is an adjustment athletes have to make.

Gator great and current ESPN Golf Analyst Andy North appeared on Sportscene with Steve Russell recently and said that it has been a productive (and funny) process getting used to not having a crowd and sometimes you don’t know if you have made a great shot.

“You really can’t see very well how close it is… usually you judge that based on the reaction of the people up there. There was a hole in one last week and he didn’t even know he made it”

Even though it has been odd to adjust, North acknowledges the Tour’s efforts in making this a smooth transition. He believes that the quality of play has been good and it is all thanks to the well-structured plan of return.

North’s View on Today’s Athletes

Every sport has seen an evolution in its athletes. With diversified training and technological advancements, athletes are becoming stronger and more athletic in their sports.

Golf is not the exception. These golf athletes are becoming more and more athletic and North believes that because of this, golf courses or equipment needs to change to accommodate this evolution.

(Interview on Sportscene with Steve Russell)

 

“They have to change what they’re doing or they’re going to have to change the game completely. You cannot keep building longer and longer golf courses.”

North’s Career 

College

Andy North played Golf for the University of Florida from 1969 to 1972 and was under the leadership of coach Buster Bishop.

In his years at the UF, North was able to receive various honors. He was a first-team All-SEC selection three times and an All-American for three consecutive years.

He graduated from UF in 1972 with a degree in business administration. After that, he was inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame.

Andy North hits out of the rough on the ninth hole during the first round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament at the Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Mich., Thursday, May 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Professional 

Right after graduation, North decided to go pro. He was able to grab a few titles on the PGA Tour including two U.S Opens championships. The first one was in 1978 and his second one was in 1985. Despite not winning the title, North placed highly in the 1979 PGA Championship, finishing fourth.

In the Sportscene interview, North also shared that he never saw himself in the broadcasting world. He said that he never had interest in joining that world and even turned down a few ESPN offers.

“The last thing I wanted to do is talk to the media when I got done playing,” he said.

But “third time’s the charm” indeed as he could not turn them away in 1992. He enjoyed working on a few small projects with them and his interest grew more and more.

The now ESPN Golf studio analyst has worked in several positions with them and has done it for 25 years now.

About Camila Maffuz

Camila is a senior at the University of Florida studying Telecommunications with a specialization in production and a minor in Innovation. She is also seeking a Sports Management certificate. You can also catch Camila every two weeks on UF's student-ran newscast, WUFT, as a sports reporter.

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