By Ben Silverman, PGA Canadian Mackenzie Tour
It is clear Ben Silverman loves the game of golf, as his run at a spot on the PGA tour circuit includes playing golf every day, all day — aside from a rest day each week. Golf is as much mental as it is physical, and Ben works daily at mastering both ends of the spectrum. But what is life really like as a pro golfer? Ben tells us how he fell in love with the game, and what keeps him motivated and focused to reach his goals.
First golf memory:
My first golf memory is playing miniature golf with my dad and my brothers at a local driving range down the road from my grandparents’ cottage. The funny thing is, we didn’t even consider hitting balls on the range. We only went there for the mini-putting. I think I was about nine or ten years old.
How I got interested in golf:
When I was 13 and a half, I was on summer vacation with my family in Vancouver, B.C. I was hitting balls at a local driving range and saw a sign for a one-week junior golf camp. At the end of the camp, we were able to play 9 holes with the instructor. It was my first time ever on a golf course, and I was hooked from then on.
What it was like to make it on to the PGA Tour:
The 2014 RBC Canadian Open was an incredible experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect compared to the other tours I had played on before, but I was blown away. The course conditions and practice facilities were beautiful, and all the food was free! I felt like a celebrity. I’m looking forward to earning my PGA Tour membership in the near future and feeling like a celebrity full-time!
My best golf moment so far:
It was quite a thrill to represent my home country (Canada) at The 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel in 2013. The Men’s Open Championship consisted of four rounds over four days, and I won by 11 shots. Team Canada also won Bronze in the team event, so it was a win, win!
Typical Day of Training:
Below is a typical day of training when I’m not traveling, and I’m at home practicing in West Palm Beach, FL.
8:00am - Cook up a big breakfast, usually a 4-egg omelet, and pack snacks and lunch to bring with me to the course. Snacks are typically a protein shake, an apple with peanut butter or a PB & J, a protein bar or something like it, sunflower seeds (I’m addicted!), and a banana. Lunch is usually tuna salad that I mix up at home, or leftovers from dinner.
10:00am–1:00pm – Equally divide up practice time between the driving range, short-game area, and putting green (unless I want to work on one thing more than the other). And eat a snack
1:00–1:20pm – Eat lunch
1:30–3:30pm – Play 9 holes and eat a snack.
3:30–4:40pm – Practice more, and finish food I didn’t eat if I’m still hungry.
5:30–6:30pm – Cross-fit class! Then go home, eat dinner, and relax.
Staying Healthy on the Road:
This is definitely a challenge. At home I try to eat lots of healthy fish and meats, wild caught seafood, and grass-fed or organic meats. I’ll usually back that up with lots of vegetables and fruits (organic as much as possible). I also try to stay away from fried foods and any fast food. On the road it’s almost impossible to stay up on this kind of diet, so I just try my best to mimic it as much as possible. Let’s just say I do a lot of research on restaurants and grocery stores when I’m travelling.
Continuous Improvement of my Golf Game:
I keep a record of all my tournament rounds of golf in a program called Shots-to-hole. It’s an online database that my coach, Liam Mucklow, can log into remotely and look through. On a regular basis throughout the year we analyze my statistics from several angles to see what I’m doing well and what needs improvement. It has been extremely helpful in guiding my practice in between tournaments. And the great thing is I’ve been constantly improving every year.
Keeping My Head in the Right Place:
Off days are very difficult to swallow because I am an extremely competitive person, and when I commit my mind and body to a task, I expect to perform great. But unfortunately it doesn’t always go as planned. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and I’ve read many golf psychology books in an attempt to keep my mind in the right place for optimal physical performance. But this year has been my biggest leap in mental strength working with my fiancé, Dr. Morgan Handt, and her dad, Dr. Jay Handt. They are both full-time chiropractors and studies of neuroplasticity. They have and continue to help me prepare my mind for peak performance on the golf course and in life.
Advice and Last Words:
As much as golf may seem like an individual sport, I have received so much help along the way to get me where I am today. From family and friends, to sponsors and coaches, and friends made along the way, there has always been someone there to help me when I needed it. I am proud to say that I have a great support team of people around me, and I am thankful for all of their kindness over the years. My dad has always told me to just keep working hard, put the time in, and things will work out, so that’s what I continue to do.
My advice for any youngsters wanting to eventually become professional golfers is to stay focused, be motivated, be positive, dream big, dream bigger, and no matter what, NEVER QUIT!
Ben Silverman was born right in the middle of hockey season in Concord, Ontario on November 15, 1987. He was on skates at the age of three and dove right into competitive hockey as soon as he was old enough. He competed at a high level for many years and not just in hockey either. His entire life has been action packed with a variety of sports. In high school, Ben would typically compete in 4-6 different sports per year, including volleyball, basketball, baseball, and ultimate frisbee. In grade 10, he was awarded the honor for Top Male Athlete of The Year. However, it was around this time where golf started to grab hold of him.
In 2006, one year after graduating high school, he took his talents down to South Florida to compete in University. As a young professional, Ben has been steadily building his resume. He has competed on several different professional tours including the Swing Thought Tour, GolfSlinger.com Tour, Florida Professional Golf Tour, Great Lakes Tour, Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, and one event each on the Web.com and PGA Tours. Ben’s career best tournament round is a nine-under-par, 62, at North Palm Beach CC in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Most notably, he has over 25 wins, including 2 majors, on the GolfSlinger.com Tour, 4 top 10s on Mackenzie Tour- Canada in less than two seasons, and qualified into the RBC Canadian Open in July 2014.