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Blake Palmer keeping professional golf dream alive
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Former Dawson County standout Blake Palmer is trying to make a name for himself in professional golf.

Palmer most recently won a local tournament at Crystal Falls Golf Club in Dawsonville.

Palmer played the two-day tournament and shot a 36-hole total of 134 (-10) to take the first place check of $3,200.

The 29-year old shot a 66 in the first round and a 68 the second day. It was Palmer's first tournament on the Open Golf Atlanta Tour this season.

The caddy for Palmer during the two-day event was his dad, Rick Palmer.

"I love having dad around. He knows a lot about my game so he can help me in certain situations," said Palmer. "There is no better feeling than winning in your home county with your dad on the bag."

According to the younger Palmer, despite what viewers see on television, most players on the golf tour lead a tough life.

Many make little money, and while on the road live in cheap hotels or just out of vehicles.

"We usually play three weeks out of the month and they are all four-day events," he said. "So it is hard to really prepare for each tournament, you kind of just got to keep grinding. Only time to really work on your game is on your far and few between weeks off. We live out of our cars and hotels day in and day out."

When not caddying on the Web.Com Tour, brother Cody is usually Palmer's full time caddy.

Blake Palmer first started playing serious golf when he was a junior at Dawson County High School.

He won the region title while a senior which really boosted his confidence and it was a big help with getting a golf scholarship to Gardner-Webb College in North Carolina.

While at Gardner-Webb, he was the number one golfer on his team, which is a huge accomplishment in a NCAA Division-I program.

After graduating with his marketing degree, he decided to try his hand at pro golf.

The first year out of college he earned player-of-the-year honors on the Carolina Mountain Tour.

Two years later he was honored with the player-of-the-year award for the Open Golf Atlanta Tour.

But it takes hard work, dedication and a little luck to earn your "card" to play on the PGA Tour, according to Palmer.

To do so, a golfer must go through Q-school (qualifying school). This is a series of tournaments that starts in September and participants must finish in the top 20 in every tournament to advance to the next stage.

There are three stages total.

If a participant finishes in the top 25 in the last stage the player earns their Web.com tour card for the next year.

Each golfer must play a full year on the Web.com tour and finish in the top 25 on the money list to gain your PGA tour card.

Blake Palmer missed getting into the third stage by two strokes last season at Q-school.

"I'm looking to make it all the way through Q-school this year and play on the Web.com tour next year," he said.

Asked about his strengths and weaknesses in his game, he said: "I have to say my strongest part of my game this year has been tee to green. My ability to be very consistent from tee to green has allowed me to have a lot of chances at birdies. If the putter is hot then I can usually put together a good score. Putting is always something that I can get better at and I continuously try to better my short game."

He said without his family's support, he could not have made it this far.

"My parents have been so supportive in my golf career. Without them there is no way I could have achieved what I have. It takes a lot of encouragement to do what we do, and my parents couldn't have been better role models," he said.

Blake's parents are Rick and Gaye Palmer of Dawsonville.

About making the "Big Time" Palmer said: "Golf is getting bigger and bigger in our country and I think it is good to have someone to look up to. I am trying to be that guy."

He is currently playing on the Swingthought Tour. Swingthought is the third biggest tour in the United States.

This season he has made 8 of 11 cuts and is 36th on the money list.

He is coached by Sean Cain out of The Legends Golf Club at Chateau Elan.

"I credit a lot of my success this year to him," he said.

 

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