Meet three-time SCGA Senior Amateur champion Craig Davis
Chula Vista resident Craig Davis made history in the summer of 2019, becoming only the second player ever to win three consecutive SCGA Senior Amateur Championship with his victory at El Niguel Country Club.
The 2020 event is slated for October 20-22 at Red Hill Country Club. We spoke to the current champ about his special feat, his golf game, and what he likes to do when he’s not on the golf course:
What was the key to winning your third straight SCGA Senior Amateur Championship in 2019? I played pretty well in two other tournaments before winning, and that gave me a lot of confidence. The most recent was the U.S. Senior Open qualifying at Annandale Golf Club in Pasadena. I missed qualifying by two strokes, but I learned a lot about the state of my game. Annandale is so tight off the tee that I felt like I was ready for any course after playing well there. I shot 70 with 35 putts, so I knew that if I could tighten up my putting, I would be in good shape to contend in the SCGA Senior Amateur.
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Of the three championships is there one that is more satisfying than the other? The first one was the hardest to win. It was at Hacienda Golf Club in La Habra Heights, which is a very demanding course. My nerves were shaky in the final round, so I felt lucky to be able to win. Without that win, I doubt I would have had the confidence to win either of the next two.
How long have you been playing golf? My first round of golf was during the summer of 1969. I was 7 years old and I played with my mother and sister at Porter Valley Country Club in Northridge. We had to let about five groups through that day.
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How did you initially get involved in the game? My mother was taking lessons at Knollwood Golf Course in Granada Hills, and I used to watch. Any kid who watches someone else struggle to learn golf will naturally want to try it also. My parents gave me a cut-down seven iron, and I started by hitting whiffle balls in my back yard. Soon I was hitting them over the house from the front yard to the back yard, so my parents starting taking me to Knollwood, where I took lessons from Roy Talgo.
Along with his dad, Clint Eastwood and Ben Hogan would be included in Craig Davis' dream foursome.
Who would be in your dream foursome? My father would be for sure. He and I have taken many overseas golf trips together. Those experiences really helped me become a better player. My favorite pro of all time is Ben Hogan, so he would also be in my dream group. My favorite actor is Clint Eastwood, so he would be the fourth player. I think my dad and I could give Ben and Clint a decent match, but we might need a few strokes.
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What’s your best round ever and where? In the first round of the 1982 California Amateur, I shot 67 at Cypress Point Golf Club and led Corey Pavin by one stroke.
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One thing people might be surprised to know about you? My wedge and putter are anything but high tech. I use a Cleveland wedge that was designed in 1985, and I have used the same PGA Tommy Armour Silver Scot blade putter since I was 16 years old. My instructor at the time was Norm Goodmanson, and he took away my Ping Anser and said, "Putt with this instead."
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What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not playing golf? My wife and I enjoy traveling and spending time with our daughters, who live in the Bay Area and Tucson. I also enjoy gardening, which keeps me pretty busy.
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