Meet Josh Speight, Director of Instruction and Class A PGA Professional at The Club at Viniterra. Josh, like 19 of his fellow PGA teaching professionals, will tee it up Thursday in the 2023 PGA Championship from Oak Hill Country Club in Upstate New York.
That is what sets this major, and this championship, apart from the rest – PGA professionals (in addition to PGA Tour and other professional players) have the opportunity each year to qualify for one of the four majors in professional golf.
Consider your local PGA pro and all the work and hours they put in each day to run club tournaments, teach lessons, and a myriad of other mundane tasks that often go unnoticed and underappreciated, but are paramount to their golf club and its success.
This is the week where 20 of those hardworking individuals get to focus on themselves and test their game against the best players in the world on a massive stage.
One of those PGA professionals is Josh Speight from Locust Hill, VA. Josh plays out of The Club at Viniterra in New Kent, just 20 miles east of the capital city of Richmond. Viniterra is a beautiful, 18-hole championship course designed by Rees Jones. It features dramatic elevation changes and is a firm test for any level of player.
How Josh Speight Qualified for the 105th PGA Championship
Josh qualified for the 2023 PGA Championship by finishing in the Top 20 at the 2023 PGA Professional Championship at Twin Warriors & Santa Ana Golf Clubs in New Mexico earlier this spring.
His four-round total of 285 – including a final round 67 – tied him for 11th and earned Josh his second trip to the PGA Championship. His first appearance was in 2016 when he failed to make the cut at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey.
With seven years gone by now since that first appearance, Josh is hoping to take advantage of the experience and wisdom about his own game that he’s gained in the ensuing years. He worked hard over the winter to tighten up his swing and the results in several smaller tournaments he played in were good.
With his championship week well underway, Josh is fully embracing this second chance and enjoying the entire experience.
"“The course is in fantastic shape and is beautiful. The rough is very difficult, so you must hit the ball in the fairway.” – Josh Speight"
That is a sentiment we’ve heard echoed by every player at Oak Hill this week. Keep your ball in the fairway off the tee and you have a chance.
Regardless of how he finishes and whether he makes the cut or not, Josh knows this is an experience to embrace and relish every moment on a stage that not many get to.
"“I feel really good about my game, and I’m looking forward to the week,” he added."
If Josh can keep the ball in the short stuff, then his week may just have a chance to include the weekend.