Brandel Chamblee has been in the business long enough where he’s heard it all. As golf’s most outspoken analyst, not everyone’s going to agree with his opinions. And when they don’t — players, caddies, teachers or Twitter trolls — some will fire back. Some even take a jab at his playing career, which they’ll argue was lacking.
Chamblee calls that comical.
The 58-year-old Golf Channel analyst joined GOLF’s Subpar podcast with hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz this week and talked about his study habits, playing career, Tiger Woods and more.
Well before Chamblee was an analyst, he was a three-time All-American at Texas and made 370 PGA Tour starts. He won once, was a runner-up four times and had 64 top 25s, earning more than $4 million in his career. Stoltz asked Chamblee if he felt like his playing career doesn’t get enough credit.
“People use it to criticize me in an effort to invalidate my opinion,” Chamblee said. “I find it comical, personally. I don’t care how people want to categorize my career. By almost any standards I would call what I did in golf extraordinary. Not by Tiger Woods standards, not by Jack Nicklaus, but just to make it to the PGA Tour you have to be an extraordinary golfer, by a professional golfer standards. There’s 10,000 people trying to play professional golf, so you have to be very, very good to get on the PGA Tour. And then to stay on the PGA Tour for any period of time you have to be disciplined, and you have to be very good. I’m quite happy with my career.
“The only thing I really think when people try to criticize my career to make less valid my comments, is you just haven’t done your homework,” he continued. “You don’t really understand what you are talking about. I got to 57th in the World, in a world where there’s 10,000 people trying to play professional golf. You choose any profession in the world and find me the 57th best at it in the world — whether it’s the legal world, any profession, I don’t care what it is, surgery — they are extraordinary. Absolutely extraordinary. By any standard they are extraordinary. So I find it somewhat comical when people try to criticize my career. Having said that, was I a great professional golfer? Not by any stretch of the imagination. But I was an extraordinary golfer, and there’s a nuance difference there.”
Chamblee, who has qualified for the Senior Open Championship the past two seasons, brought up some of golf’s most famous teachers, guys like Butch Harmon, David Leadbetter, Hank Haney and Sean Foley. He said none of them had a career on the PGA Tour, although Harmon did win once.
“And Harmon had more rounds in the 80s on the PGA Tour than more rounds in the 60s on the PGA Tour,” Chamblee said. “My point is not to denigrate Butch Harmon as a player. He was clearly a good player. But it does not invalidate the fact that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the golf swing. When you look at most great coaches or analysts, they came from a place where they struggled competitively, so they were forced to dig in deep to understand the nuances of the game, so I think that impacts and informs their ability to communicate their ideas just a little bit better. They’ve had to work much much harder for it. Of course there are exceptions.”
You can listen to the full interview with Chamblee below.