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Introducing ‘The Modern Pro,’ a seven-part series revealing what it means to be an elite player in 2018

January 2, 2018

To make a sweeping generalization about the PGA Tour and its 200-plus independent contractors would seem unfair, but here goes: The Tour of 2018 is different than Tours of the past.

The landscape dominated by Dustin and Jordan and Rory is unlike — in ways expected and unexpected — the landscape once dominated by Norman or Watson or Nicklaus. Players play differently, with bodies chiseled through endless hours in the gym, on courses altered to the power game, in front of tens of thousands of people (and millions more watching at home, or on their phones).

Players compete for eye-popping purses that Johnny Miller could never have dreamed of. They play on the West Coast and the East Coast, in Mexico, Asia and Europe. Their staffs are comprised of coaches, trainers, nutritionists, stats whizzes, even masseuses.

They are the Modern Pros.

But what exactly is the Modern Pro? Who is the Modern Pro? We hear the term thrown around on just about every broadcast. It’s almost become cliché, despite lacking a concrete definition.

GOLF.com set out to define today’s elite player, from their swings to their finances to how they think. Over the next seven weeks, we’ll roll out a seven-part series breaking down every aspect of the Modern Pro: swing, body, lifestyle, home, money, brand and mind.  

We begin with the Modern Swing, which has changed the game in significant ways, as chronicled here by Jeff Ritter. The piece is heavy on Justin Thomas — you know, the guy who dominated the PGA Tour last season, both domestically and internationally, who made tens of millions, bought a house in Jupiter down the street from Tiger and shares his story for all to follow on social media.

JT epitomizes the Modern Pro, but as you’ll learn in the coming weeks, he’s not alone in how he approaches the game and lives his life in the loftiest ranks of professional golf. Stay tuned for more.