For Penn men’s golf, this season might have ended with a fourth-place finish at the Ivy League Championship, but senior Josh Goldenberg's career as a professional is just about to start.
Goldenberg has decided to pursue professional golf after he graduates. The senior is now preparing for U.S. Open Qualifying this month.
“It is something I've always dreamt of being able to do,” Goldenberg said. “I feel grateful to have an amazing support system around me, that being coach [Jason] Calhoun, my parents, the trainers here, and many others.”
Indeed, throughout his impressive Penn career, Goldenberg has continued to improve. Going pro might have sounded like a daunting task when he started college, but now, the senior is poised to make a run at the next level.
Transitioning from college into the professional realm, however, won’t be easy. At the next level, Goldenberg will be teeing off against more skilled and experienced opponents while adjusting to the differences between college and professional golf. Among the biggest challenges: time on the road and the financial stress of playing golf for a living.
“Professionally, all you are doing is golf,” Calhoun said. “Not only is that a time commitment — let’s say he plays in 20 professional tournaments — that’s 22, 23 weeks he is somewhere else other than home.”
Despite these challenges, however, there are good reasons to believe in Goldenberg’s potential.
“His ball striking is awesome. He hits the ball better than most that I've ever coached,” Calhoun said. “He has the will, the desire, and the work ethic — Josh is very determined. He has the mentality to turn golfing into a craft or a job.”
Goldenberg seems to have the intangibles to excel as a professional, but the road in front of him won’t be easy. For one, he still needs to improve upon some skills.
“He's going to have to work on his putting. He's not a bad putter by any stretch, but he doesn't capitalize by making a lot of putts,” Calhoun said.
Another challenge in front of Goldenberg is timing. Unlike some other sports, exceeding as a professional golfer is sometimes a matter of luck, of doing the right things at the right time.
“A lot of it [succeeding] is timing," Calhoun said. "A lot of it is when you put it together. Josh could go out there and play really well, but his great play may not be at the right time, and it may not translate into something. He could go out and play mediocre and it can translate into something great. You just don't know until you get out there."
For now, however, Goldenberg is focused on the tasks ahead of him. After U.S. Open Qualifying, he will compete in a series of other tournaments.
“In the fall, I’m going to turn pro and play in the Web.com tournaments. And then in the winter, I'm going to go down to South America and play in Latin America,” Goldenberg said. “My goal for the next eight months would be to get status on either the Web.com Tour or the Latin America Tour.”
Those two tours are some of the main platforms on which new professional golfers can start a career, build their skills, and learn more about the sport and about themselves. Ultimately, the unknown future is full of opportunities and challenges for Goldenberg, but whatever the results may be, the process will be one worth cherishing.
“Go out there and enjoy it. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the learning. Enjoy the experience,” Calhoun said.
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