Wednesday, April 22, 2009

PGA's Richard S. Johnson

In my generation (people that started skating in the late 80's / early 90's), it seems like a lot of kids start out cruising around their hood on their BMX's with their friends. Then one day they see some random kid skating, doing tricks and it looks super cool and fun. You and all your friends end up getting boards. Your crew starts to get more serious about it, start learning more tricks, watch all the new videos and start getting better. Your crew changes over the years, losing some between middle school and high school, losing more between high school and college/university, but also gaining some along the way. If you kept skating through all those transition years, you're probably gonna end up doing it forever.

At some point though, whether it's because of skating's impact on your old bones or a new hobby, golf seems like a natural transition. IMO they have more in common than most people think. Both require a serious amount coordination, balance and feel. It's just you versus the street/park/ramp/course. One trick/swing at a time. There's no single correct way of doing either. There's thousands of ways to get good results in both.

Turns out this guy Richard S. Johnson has gone from skate rat to pro golfer. Here's a story from a Desert Sun article.

Skateboarding was more than just a hobby for him. He competed in the Swedish national championships. But he will be the first to dispel any mythical reports about his achievements.

“The media always wants to run me in to like I won the world championship or something,” Johnson said after a second-round 7-under 65 on the Palmer Course at PGA West. “I mean, I was a decent skateboarder. I competed a little bit, but I wasn't no Swedish champion or anything.”

The golf equivalent of focusing a board.
Photo from Getty Images.

And here's another story from a article.
Being a PGA TOUR winner and looking forward to his first trip to the Masters this year is a long way from Johnson's days of mocking golfers as he drove past a course on his way to skateboarding practice as a youth in Sweden.

"The last time I went on a skateboard was actually for "Inside the PGA TOUR" a couple of years ago at Milwaukee," Johnson said. "I can look decent. I would probably rank myself as an 8 handicapper right now as a skateboarder."

Johnson said he's sometimes amused when people talk about his competitive skateboarding days, because he's not sure he was ever that good at skateboarding.

"The media always wants to run me into like I won the world championship or something," Johnson said. "I was a decent skateboarder, I competed a little bit, but I wasn't a Swedish champion or anything."

Last but not least, a video of his hole in one at the 2008 US Bank Championship.

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