This Tour pro’s talented mother gave him advice that all golfers should heed

eric cole and his mother, laura baugh

Eric Cole earlier this year and his mother, Laura Baugh, pictured in 1977.

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Eric Cole has played more PGA Tour events than most of his peers this year.

At this week’s RSM Classic, the 35-year-old Tour rookie will start his 37th event of the 2022-23 season.

Cole’s first few events as a PGA Tour cardholder started off somewhat inauspiciously, as he missed the cut in the season’s opening four tournaments (the 2022 Fortinet, Sanderson Farms, Shriner’s Children’s and Butterfield Bermuda Open).

But he quickly found is groove, ultimately compiling 13 top-25s, six top-10s and two runner-up finishes over the ensuing months. And now, he’s on a hot streak, posting three top-4 finishes in his last four tournaments, including a T2 at the Zozo Championship.

Cole is now ranked 43rd in the FedEx Cup standings and 48th in the world. He’s amassed nearly $5 million in earnings and is the frontrunner for this year’s PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award — quite an accomplishment. But in Cole’s family tree, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Both of his parents, Bobby Cole and Laura Baugh, were professional golfers, with his father winning the 1977 Buick Open and his mother claiming LPGA Rookie of the Year honors in 1973.

“It would be very cool,” Cole said of sharing such a distinction with his mother. “I don’t know if that’s ever happened before, so it’s something that would be really special and something that it would be a cool thing to share with her.”

One other thing Baugh has always been happy to share with her son is swing advice. Cole says he’s hard pressed to think about the best tidbit he’s received from her over the years.

“She’s given me a lot, so it’s hard, but I’d say probably like tempo,” he said. “So not to get out of rhythm when you’re on the course in different situations, just to kind of stick to your rhythm and don’t try and do too much, just stay in sequence.”

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Cole said he’s long admired his mother’s easy tempo, and the fact that her swing has remained fairly unchanged.

“If your swing is in a good spot, then you just try and keep it there for as long as possible,” he said.

Cole said he’s also received valuable advice from his mother on how to deal with the rigors of Tour life.

“She’s big on resting,” he said. “So when you’re at the course, work hard, and at the gym make sure that you’re working hard, but as soon as you leave the course, kind of prioritize being rested and ready to go for whether it’s the next day or the next week and get away from golf as much as possible.

“So although I like to play a lot, as soon as I leave the course I try and focus on leaving my thinking about golf at the course,” he continued. That’s probably the best advice.”

Regardless of what happens this week, Cole appears likely to match his mother’s accomplishment. Whether or not he’ll notch a Tour win like his father remains to be seen. Editor

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