PGA Golfer, Fred Funk, on JuCo & Being cut from Maryland

Fred Funk has been a Stryker brand ambassador since 2011 and is one of the most recognizable names and personalities in professional golf. Funk underwent total knee replacement in November 2009 and received Stryker’s GetAroundKnee® – reversing what could have been a career-ending injury. He won the JELD-WEN Tradition the following season, becoming the first player to win a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event after total knee replacement surgery.

LRT Sports: What advice can you give upcoming golfers?

Since they can’t get enough competition, they have to play a lot. There’s nothing that can simulate competitive golf. You can hit balls or be the club champion; that doesn’t mean anything. Nowadays, you have to go national. You have to big-time national junior and amateur tournaments and show something; show some ability. Obviously, you are what you shoot, but that’s the first thing that would separate you from the crowd is your scores. 

LRT Sports: What was it like getting cut from the Maryland golf team?

I didn’t make the team my freshman year; they had 12 lines of golf. I finished 13th, so I was out. I ended up going to junior college for two years and got my associate’s degree, and then went back to Maryland and got my degree there. I used two years of eligibility at JuCo and two at Maryland.

LRT Sports: What advice can you give upcoming athletes on Junior College?

It worked for me, but it’s not for everybody. Many times kids aren’t ready for college, especially a big school. Freshman year is a weed-out process academically. The courses are tough, and even though they’re introductory, they’re tough. When I went to JuCo, I had a really great experience. I had a few offers after JuCo to play at a couple of other schools (NC StateKentucky, and Western Kentucky), but I didn’t want to leave home. I ended up back at Maryland. I think JuCo is a really great step for a lot of people to get their grades up and get used to the competition. 

LRT Sports: What is your favorite memory as a college golfer?

It was the comradery of the team. It was just out there and apart of a team. Especially with golf, golf is an individual sport, and you seldom get to play as a team. The comradery is a really neat thing.

LRT Sports: Can you talk a little about what type of healthy lifestyle golfers need to have?

The key is to get your foot in the door. You don’t always want to workout, but once you get in the habit of it, it ends up being a motivator. A short day on the PGA Tour is eight hours, and they’re usually closer to 10 hours if you’re playing, practicing, and working out. It’s a long day, so you have to pace yourself, especially when you get my age, and working out is an important thing to do. 

About Stryker:

Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies and, together with our customers, we are driven to make healthcare better. The Company offers a diverse array of innovative products and services in Orthopaedics, Medical and Surgical, and Neurotechnology and Spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes. Stryker is active in over 100 countries around the world.

Additional and Important Information:

Fred Funk and Jerome Bettis are both working with Stryker Orthopaedics to showcase various ways to stay mobile and active. A Road Trip to a Healthier Lifestyle is a 3-digital series that highlights both Stryker and brand ambassadors on a cross country journey where they demonstrate healthy activities that are relatable to everyone. This journey is being documented in a fun yet relatable way through a “road trip” concept in three key markets in the US: Miami, Dallas, Fort Worth, and New York.

    • Healthy Activities in Miami: Yoga and Cycling
    • Healthy Activities in Dallas/Fort Worth: Batting Cage and Line Dancing
    • Healthy Activities in New York: Bowling and Golf

The entire series lives on www.StrykerChallenge.com

* Originally published on December 10, 2020, by Keirsten Sires

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