Boys’ Head Golf Coach Makes PGA Tour Appearance

Sean McCarty, Boys’ Head Golf Coach, qualifies for the John Deere Classic PGA event

Sean McCarty, Head Boys Golf Coach, makes another PGA tour appearance.

Iowa Golf Association

Sean McCarty, Head Boys’ Golf Coach, makes another PGA tour appearance.

Tate Brunk

How many student-athletes get to play for a professional as their head coach? Sean McCarty, Liberty head golf coach, has made it to the John Deere Classic. This is the fourth time in McCarty’s career he will be competing at this event. The John Deere Classic is a PGA(Golf Professional Golfers’ Association)  Tour event played at TPC Deere Run in the Quad Cities. 

Winning is in McCarty’s blood. Dating back to high school, he had won individual state three different times, which helped lead his team to three state championships at West Branch high school. After high school, McCarty earned a scholarship to the University of Iowa for golf. Once McCarty got to Iowa, the winning didn’t stop. In 1992, Iowa men’s golf won the Big Ten title, which McCarty was a big help to get them there.  

Since college, McCarty has played in many tour events including Iowa PGA events. One of the most notable McCarty made was the 2003 US Open at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago. A US Open is one of the toughest and most popular tournaments in all of golf. Another big moment for McCarty was qualifying for the 2018 PGA championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis. 

“The Majors, obviously you got all the top golfers in the world, not just the country that gets to participate. And then the amount of people who are at the US open, or PGA (championship), seems like ten times more than a standard PGA event.” Quoted Sean.

 Playing on tour, there are a lot of the best players in the world at every tournament. “One of the coolest things that my dad gets to compete on the PGA tour is meeting famous people,” said Jack McCarty, Sean’s son.

Coaching is another role McCarty has got into while continuing to pursue his own golfing career. In 2017, McCarty was named one of the two coaches for the Liberty Lightning golf team.   

“The coolest thing about having a PGA professional as a golf coach is the way he sees the game,” said JJ Grimm.

  “One of my friends told me on the golf course when he made the JDC, and our reactions were all so cool. The moment was so surreal to see him make great accomplishments.” 

Not only does McCarty coach the Liberty boys and girls golf team, but he also coaches his sons. “The way he plays the game he has taught me how to play it.” said JJ Grimm

Preparing for a tour event isn’t an easy feat. For Sean, it is, “ Well my first goal for next spring is, we have the National Club Pro in April. This is good preparation for walking. One thing I don’t do a lot is walk in my golf tournaments now. Walking and riding is a whole different ball game.” Walking a golf course is a lot harder than just hopping in a golf cart and going. Walking takes much more energy out of you, while in a cart you just ride up to your ball. 

This is the fourth time that he has competed in this event, at TPC Deere Run. “I’ve played there many times. Again, I’m not used to that many people, so that is a little nerve-racking. You know, versus a golf tournament that I do up here, or on a daily basis. That is probably the biggest thing. It is my fourth time, so I have gotten used to the crowds a little more. ” 

While preparing for the walking portion of the game and for the crowds, Sean has also had to overcome injuries to prepare to play. Some can set people way back, knock them out just for a short period of time, or just play through the pain. This year, Sean has had a wrist injury that he has played through for many tournaments.

 “I had a wrist injury on my right hand, but things seem a little good right now, knock on wood. It’s been a little challenging to play this year. It is better, I played well this week, with no pain so it is kind of fun,” said Sean.

Making a PGA event isn’t something most high school golf coaches can boast about. The fact that the Liberty High golfers are able to learn from and be coached by Sean gives them an edge over the competition. His goal with coaching is to, “Teaching kids is what I have learned over the years from playing,’ said Sean.