Throughout the next few weeks, the MAPGA will be featuring its five PGA Professionals competing in the 2017 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. This week’s feature is Rick Schuller, PGA Professional at Stonehenge Golf Club.
MAPGA: What does it mean to you to play in the Senior PGA Champ in your home Section?
RS: First, it’s an incredible privilege to play in a Major. The thought of playing in a Major in your home section is as good as it gets. To be able to play in front of family, friends and members will be very comforting and a first for me.
MAPGA: When qualifying last year, was there any added pressure knowing that the
event was in the Middle Atlantic Section?
RS: For me, it was an added incentive to make sure I was as well prepared as I could be going into the Senior PGA National Championship, knowing the Senior PGA Championship was in our section. Fortunately, the extra preparation paid off!
MAPGA: Tell us about your previous Senior PGA Championship experiences. If this is your first, what are you expecting it to be like?
RS: I have had the pleasure of playing in and making the cut in the last two Sr PGA’s. Both experiences were fantastic!! Both were nerve racking but exciting! The most gratifying feeling was the respect and acceptance that was shown to me by the stars of the champions tour.
MAPGA: Describe your biggest golf accomplishment to date.
RS: I would have to say earning the title of National PGA Player of the Year in 2009!
MAPGA: Where did you grow up and how did you get your start in golf?
RS: I grew up in a military family, moving every three years or so. Northern Virginia was home for most of my younger days. Dad, Rear Admiral Gordon Schuller, was stationed at the Pentagon. My introduction to golf came in Japan at Atsugi Naval Air Station at the age of 13.
MAPGA: What do you think will be some of the challenges at Trump National DC? What do you think the winning score will be?
RS: I think the two biggest challenges at Trump National DC will be driving accuracy and three putt avoidance. Playing from the fairway will be a must to have any chance of being in position to putt offensively. Otherwise, your short game will be tested to the highest degree.
I think the winning score will be between 12-15 under.
MAPGA: What are the key areas of your game for you to be successful in this tournament?
RS: I will be focusing my preparation around driving accuracy and short game!
MAPGA: Why did you decide to become a PGA Member? What does the MAPGA mean to you?
RS: I decided to become a PGA member because of a love for the game, both teaching and playing. Quite simply, over the years, the MAPGA means family!