Inside Comments: Steve Turcotte

Dreaming of the PGA Tour: Northwest golfer working toward his dream

Doug Campbell could see the talent in his son Kelly at a young age. The smooth swing. The competitive edge. The low scores. Campbell knows of what he sees and speaks. He was the long-time head professional at Auburn Golf Course and played on the PGA Tour for three years, finishing as high as a tie for sixth at the Disney event.

Campbell knew his son had the knack. As he grew up, he won junior events, qualified for the Washington High School State Golf Championships all four years and had scholarship offers from some Division 1 schools, before settling on South Mountain College in Phoenix.

Kelly Campbell’s game got better and now, at age 24, he has his eyes on the big prize – a spot on the PGA Tour.

He knows it will take work. And Kelly is willing to put in the effort. Doug knows that reaching golf’s mountaintop needs work, some luck and the chance to play well at the right time. The family bought a house in Arizona to help Kelly get the year-round practice he needs. He works on the outside services crew at The Raven Golf Club in Phoenix, giving him a chance to practice on the range and the golf course.

In fact, Doug also works at the course as a marshal giving him a chance to spend more time with Kelly to work on his game.

Kelly Campbell turned pro in 2016 and has played some mini tour events, tried to qualify for the Waste Management Open in Phoenix and has tried to qualify for some events.

He has hope. He watched as Rick Lamb got in as Monday qualifier into a event in 2017 where he won the tournament and now plays on the PGA Tour.

“I know I can make it – but there are so many good players out there I need to be at the top of my game,” said Kelly. “I just need to get that one break. Get through a Monday qualifier and show what I can do.”

Campbell will play in some Monday qualifiers on the Tour, will tee it up in some state championships and hopefully will be able to save enough to try the PGA Tour Q School. It’s a grind, and will continue to be a grind until he makes the big show. Meanwhile, he will work his outside services job, practice at the range and hope for the best.

“He has the game to get there,” said Doug. “He just needs to have the right round at the right time. But he can do it. I know he can.”