Jim Herman recalls his two years in the New Jersey Section as an important stepping stone in his golfing career.
During his time in the Section, the 39-year-old won the New Jersey PGA Assistant Championship in 2006 and 2007 and was a runner-up in the National PGA Assistant Championship in 2007. After his two years as an assistant at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, Herman attempted to qualify for the PGA Tour.
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Before joining the PGA program, Herman failed to advance through PGA Tour Q-School four times and travelled the country competing on mini-tours.
“I always felt like I could have made it on the PGA Tour,” Herman said. “I had some good success in South Florida and in New Jersey. Those results, along with being second in the National PGA Assistant Championship definitely helped my confidence.”
Herman’s life dramatically changed when he won his first PGA Tour event at the Shell Houston Open in 2016. That victory gave him a chance to play in his first Masters as well as plan his PGA Tour schedule for the next two years.
Herman credits the staff and membership at Trump Bedminster for supporting his decision to pursue life on the PGA Tour. He still visits Trump Bedminster on occasion and recently attended the U.S. Women’s Open with his daughter to follow the action behind the ropes, reconnecting with old members and friends.
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“I have a lot of history there and I wanted to be supportive,” Herman said. “I’ve got a daughter, and she’s a big fan of women’s golf, and men’s golf obviously with her dad, but she’s a big fan of women’s golf and Lexi Thompson. It was great to be on the other side as a fan.”
The 90th world ranked golfer has frequently played Canoe Brook Country Club, host of the New Jersey PGA Assistant Championship for the last six years. He qualified for the U.S. Open several times at the site and won an assistant event while serving in the Section.
“It’s a classic Northeast course,” Herman said. “You’re rewarded for your good shots. It’s a course you can stay patient with, birdie the par-5’s, and move on.”
Herman was the second alternate at the British Open this year, but intends to play the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.
Jim Herman on making it to the PGA Tour
Herman on his relationship with Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster’s Director of Golf, Mickie Gallagher
- “I would just tell them to never give up. We all have dreams and we all get knocked down, but you’ve got to always keep going forward. As golfers, the PGA Tour, we’ve all had a dream of being there. You never know what can happen.”
Herman on his performances in National PGA Assistant Championship and in the New Jersey and South Florida Section.
- “He’s been very supportive and great for advice.
- We knew each other before I started working at Trump Bedminster. We became really good friends once I started working there, and we’ve become great friends since.”
Herman on the Assistant Section Championship at Canoe Brook
- “I had some good success in South Florida and in New Jersey, so I always felt like I could at least get through the PGA Tour qualifying school. Those results, second in the National Assistant Championship definitely helped my confidence.
- I wasn’t able to get through [PGA Tour qualifying] the first four to five years as a mini tour player, strictly. It’s all about getting through the qualifying. I just didn’t know where else to go. I loved being in the world of golf.”
- “I’ve had a lot of success there. I’ve won an assistant's event and went through the U.S. Open Sectionals three times.
- It’s a course you can stay patient with.”