Where are they now: David Hobby
When David Hobby was just 13 years old, he wrote a career report for a junior high school teacher titled, “My Life on the PGA TOUR.” Ten years later, the PGA TOUR was his life.
“I had a passion for the game immediately,” he said. “I had a vision for where the game was going to take me in life at that young age.”
But that doesn’t mean it was easy. Hobby, who grew up playing junior golf in Southern California, went on to have a successful collegiate career at San Diego State. Things continued to roll for him when, the summer after graduating, the 23-year-old won the 84th SCGA Amateur Championship at Santa Maria CC.
“Winning that SCGA Amateur in 1983 definitely gave me that confidence and validation that I could go on to play at the next level,” Hobby said.
But jumping from amateur golf to that next level of professional golf isn’t easy. Hobby entered Q-School in ‘83, but failed to make the finals. He progressed to the final stage in ‘84, ‘85 and ‘86, when he would finally earn that coveted TOUR card.
“I felt like I was getting better every year, so I just couldn’t stop,” said Hobby, who in ‘85 missed earning his card by just 1 stroke. “I had a year to dwell on that one, but came back in ‘86 and shot a 66 in the final round of play. I just knew I couldn’t give up.”
Hobby spent six years living the dream he wrote about as a young boy before real life responsibilities began to get in the way. He married his wife, Darlynn, in 1988, and soon after their family expanded to three with the addition of his daughter, Chelsea.
“Even in 1992 when I stopped playing, I felt like I was a better golfer than I had ever been before,” he said. “But there comes a time in life when you need to maintain a home base and provide for your family.”
For Hobby, that still involved the game he loved. After spending a little more than a year working on a development project in Bakersfield, went to work as a teaching pro at a practice facility in Torrance. He would spend 12 years there.
“I’m a relational one-on-one character, so just encouraging people in the game, getting them to align their expectations with the reality of where they are at this moment, but also having a vision of where they can go, is so rewarding for me,” said Hobby, who has spent the last nine years teaching out of Harbor Golf Center.
“If you aim the right direction and you swing on a decent path and have the club head facing the right way, you’ll get good results. We just need to do that more consistently. People need to know what they are doing, what they should be doing, and what the next step is to get there. And I love to help them with that.”
These days, he hardly ever plays golf. He says it’s difficult to play the game he was once so much better at, but that doesn’t mean he loves it any less.
“It can be frustrating because I still see the same shots I used to be able to excel at, but my body doesn’t respond the same way,” he said.
But the 1983 SCGA Amateur win is still one that means a lot to him. He remembers the weekend well, including an unexpected car break-in the night before the last round of play that left him rushing to the tee the final morning without hitting any balls.
“Good thing I was playing in the final group!” said Hobby. “To this day I have great regard for the SCGA. At all levels of the game they are looking, as an organization, for opportunities to meet the needs of players. To be a champion of theirs is an honor.”