Matt Wallace is one of the best golfers in the world. Ranked No. 64, the 31-year-old has spent a decade as a professional, and last year, he earned over $1.3 million in winnings on the PGA Tour.
Though he’s still seeking his maiden PGA Tour victory, Wallace has won four times on the European Tour. It’s clear he’s doing something right, but according to Wallace, there was one thing he didn’t quite have figured out as a young player that spending a year in college helped him iron out: a serious work ethic.
On this week’s episode of Off Course with Claude Harmon, Wallace described what his one and only year at Jacksonville State in Alabama did for his game.
“I think I was that classic European 20-year-old who wanted to go to college and play golf and try and find as many girls as possible,” Wallace laughed. “That was where I was at in my life at the time.”
Wallace said that it was his father’s idea for him to go to a school where he could avoid red-shirting and focus on golf and getting an education right from the start.
“I learned a lot,” Wallace said. “I learned dedication to the craft, getting up at 5:00 every morning. I had a week of going to frat parties and still having to go to the gym at 5:00 in the morning, and Coach would know that you’ve been out.
“That didn’t last long, ’cause I just couldn’t do it,” Wallace continued. “Just dedication to the craft, which I didn’t have. I didn’t have discipline. And I learned that a lot at Jacksonville, and there wasn’t anything really else to do. So I played a lot of golf. Didn’t do as much school as probably what I should have, but I knew I wanted to play golf.”
For more from Wallace, including his thoughts on the quality that sets top-tier Tour players apart from the rest, and what it takes to be a successful Tour pro, check out the full interview below.