Bogeys, missed cuts, and patches of indifferent play have always been there. They’re acceptable because they are a beguiling part of golf. But self-doubt and a lack of motivation have never been there. They’re unacceptable because David Skinns – who at 39 is a rookie on the PGA TOUR – has never let them be part of the journey.
David Skinns, statements
“I have never lost faith,” he said. “I have always believed that it’s on me to find a way.” The “way” will continue this week in the idyllic setting of Port Royal Golf Course in a corner of Southampton that provides incomparable island vistas of turquoise ocean water. You’ll excuse Skinns, however, if he embraces the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in a different context, without losing himself in the views. “Every opportunity you get is big. I’ve stayed on the correct side of things, always being able to focus on the next tournament,” said Skinns. “And I’m relishing this opportunity.” Had modern GPS been at the touch of our fingers 20 years ago, Skinns’ step-by-step directions from Lincoln, England, to the PGA TOUR would have looked something like this: “Your journey will start at Hillside Golf Club in Southport, England, where you will fall to Davis Inglis, 1 up in the final of the 2000 British Boys Amateur.”
“From there, cross the Atlantic bound for Knoxville, Tennessee, to spend four seasons at the University of Tennessee, before wending through about two dozen states and hundreds of towns while playing on the Hooters Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour.” “Finally, on September 16, 2021, at the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California, you will arrive as a member of the PGA TOUR. Length of trip: roughly 1.5 million miles via automobiles and planes, and approximately 20 years.” David Skinns wins to earn first PGA TOUR card at Pinnacle Bank Championship It’s been a daunting trip, with more detours than he ever would have imagined, but Skinns insists he has no regrets. “No, not at all,” said the Englishman, who earned his TOUR card by winning once and recording five other Top 10s to finish top 50 in the Korn Ferry Tour’s expanded 2020-21 season. “Obviously there were points in my career when I had to take a good, hard look at things,” he says, “but everyone who has a dream has to follow some hard roads and I’m able to stand here and say I’m ready to keep the process going.”
That’s good news to University of Central Florida coach Bryce Wallor, who was director of instruction at the University of Tennessee during Skinns’ stint in Knoxville (2001-05). Wallor knows all about Skinns’ resume – NCAA Freshman of the Year, SEC Player of the Year, SEC Championship winner (“I walked all 54 holes when he beat J.B. Holmes”), three-time winner and Hooters Tour Player of the Year in 2008, two-time Korn Ferry Tour winner.