Heart and Soul

Ever wonder what PGA pros are like when they’re off the course? How did they grow up? How did they get into golf? What’s really important to them in life? In this post, you’ll get to a quick peek into the heart and soul of the Crown Plaza Invitational winner from the PGA Tour, Zach Johnson, as he talks about golf, life and faith.

Zach Johnson Talks About Golf

Check out a short segment from Zach Johnson’s interview with Golf Life, where he talks about getting his start as a child in Iowa before he turned pro.


Partial Transcript

I started playing golf when I was probably 9 or 10, back in Iowa…My folks joined a club when I was probably 9 or 10. Great junior golf program (with) kids my age. You know, that really, kind of what got me going. I just started playing it through that program, through Larry Gladson–the head pro there–and  I’ve been with it ever since…

I enjoy team sports thoroughly. I mean, soccer, basketball, football…I think those sports kept my body in the shape it needed to be in ’cause golf kind of became just a hobby. But then eventually, it evolved into something I really focused on and started playing competitively…but I didn’t get burned out of golf. That was the big thing. I was always playing another sport on the court, on the field, I’ve never really (been) sick of golf because I had these others things I could really focus on.

Overcoming Anxiety on the Golf Course

Check out Zach Johnson’s advice for overcoming anxiety on the golf course in a video interview he did with CGF Staff member Stephen Bunn at the Tampa Bay Championship.

Zach Johnson Talks About Life and Faith

What’s the heart and soul of a champion look like? Go behind the scenes–behind the cameras and the prestigious wins. Check this short clip of Zach Johnson sitting down with I Am Second to share a little bit about his relationship with Jesus Christ.


Full Transcript

You may not be able to see him, but that’s where the faith comes in. But yes, you can see him. You can see him in everyday life. You can see him in your kids. You can see him in your wife. You can see him in the relationships you have. Occasionally, you can see him on the golf course. I mean, it’s a pretty awesome place just to walk around and see God’s creation.

I can’t imagine now, now having that relationship—not knowing that my life depends on him. Because that’s what I’m striving for. I mean, I’m not where I need to be or where I want to be in my spiritual journey, but that’s the beauty of it. I’m learning and I’m walking with him trying to get to that point. I want to be totally dependent upon him.

Get Personal

Want the back story? Here’s what Zach Johnson told the Fellowship of Christian Atheletes (FCA) in Cleveland:

I grew up in Iowa in a great Christian household where church was very important. I went to a Catholic school, so I had religion classes from first through 12th grade. My mom even worked at the church and the school. She just recently retired from that to work for the governing body of the archdiocese. So, I certainly grew up in a Christian household—Jesus was very much the foundation.

For me, however, it felt like I was just following the footsteps of friends and more or less doing what I was told to do. So, after high school, I went my own direction. It was Zach’s agenda; whatever I wanted to do, I did it. My faith didn’t carry much significance.

I graduated from Drake University in 1998 and started playing golf on the mini tours and traveling around the United States. In the winters I would go to Florida to practice.

Then, in 2000, I met a girl named Kim. I really liked her. We hit it off and soon started dating. I was still traveling during the summer seasons, but we maintained our relationship. Over time, I realized that faith in Christ was extremely important to her and that marrying a Christian man was pretty much a dealbreaker for her.

At that point in my life, I knew there was a God. I knew there was an ultimate creator—someone watching over things—but I didn’t give it much thought. In order for Kim and me to find out if we were best for each other, we took a pre-engagement class together at a church. Through that, not only were a lot of my questions answered, but a lot more surfaced. But that’s where God took over. With the research I did in response to those questions and with help from Kim and other Christian friends, I discovered what it meant to “live for Christ,” and that it honestly was something I wanted to do. The facts were there, and I could sense the Holy Spirit at work. Early in the winter of 2002, I gave my life to the Lord.

Since then, my priorities have certainly changed. It’s not Zach’s agenda anymore. I refer to the years after high school and before making my decision as my “blind years.” Now, I can see.

Before I was one, I always thought being a Christian would be boring. In reality, it has been the complete opposite. There is joy, fulfillment and even fun! There also are challenges and trials, but knowing that my foundation lies in Jesus and what He has done for me is what is important. It’s all that matters.

Meet PGA Pros like Zach Johnson

Want to meet Zach Johnson and some of your favorite PGA pros? You just might. Find out more about our FREE retreats and why pro golfers open their homes and partner with CGF.



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