The "WGT 19th Hole" series focuses on featuring the players, personalities and country clubs that make up the global WGT community.
YankeeJim - An East Coast Guy with a Lot to Say
WGTer YankeeJim is an original ("OG") player, who has been actively playing WGT and contributing to the forums since 2009. He discovered WGT as a replacement for his old golf game (of 10 years!), just after the Bethpage Black course had been added to the game and says, "It was quite addicting, especially if you're a real golfer, like I am."
YankeeJim lives in New York ("God's Country - Upstate New York" to be exact), about 3 1/2 hours west of Bethpage Black. He says, "Upstate is just like what you see on that course" and that "the first time [he] ever saw Upstate New York [he] knew [he] wasn't leaving."
A west coaster's look at New York – if they've never seen it – is New York City. That's what I knew in my mind, and when I was presented with the opportunity to move to New York I wasn't thrilled. I didn't want to live in the big city. Heh, shows what I knew. I flew into Syracuse and drove to Rochester to find a place to live, and was absolutely astounded by what I saw. The drive from Syracuse to Rochester on the NYS Thruway knocked me out. I couldn't believe the cornfields and cows and farmhouses and all the space! This ain't the big city, this is home! That was 36 years ago."
Aside from being a proud New Yorker, YankeeJim is a self-taught cabinetmaker: "I design and build custom kitchens, I do it from scratch and I work alone. I like to say I do for a living what most guys do for a hobby. It's hugely rewarding." Check out these pictures he shared with us from a recent project:
So, why do you play WGT?
"I became totally immersed in the game and the community is a bonus. I've been a forum rat from the start and totally enjoy the characters and discussions that fill it daily. It's also a great way to share stuff, especially game specifics. I have zero patience with players that blame the game for their shortcomings. I play the same game and I can explain 99% of my results, so I'm sure it's the same for anybody that pays attention."
"As such an experienced player, we asked what advice he would give to new WGT players. His advice: "I have always played this game by feel...In fact, I learned early on if you play this game with the same mindset you play a real course, you will do well. Learn your clubs and play smart around the courses. Bethpage Black was brutal with starter gear and I couldn't qualify for the first VUSO because I couldn't get better than 66 and I think the cut was low 60s." Put more simply, "You can't do anything about the shot you just made, pay attention to the next one."
What's in YankeeJim's Virtual Golf Bag
- TaylorMade R1
- TaylorMade R11s 3 Wood (can't hit the Big Bertha to save my life)
- Nike Vapor Irons
- Cleveland CG16 Wedges
- Nike Method Putter
- Nike 20XI-X Balls
"I have always played with the best equipment available. I like the Nike balls because the Vapor carry is close to the rated distance with them. Knowing club carry is the biggest thing to learn, IMO, and the combination makes it easy to play by feel. Judicious use of the spin required."
Besides playing WGT and building beautiful cabinetry, you can find YankeeJim spending time with his family, taking care of his wife who lives with MS and cheering on the New York Yankees -- here he is at a game with his two sons!
Thanks for sharing, YankeeJim, and good luck in this year's Virtual U.S. Open...make that cut!
WE WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU! If you'd like us to feature you or someone you know in a future "WGT 19th Hole" profile, please let us know at: players[at]wgt.com.