Jim Herman recalls his two years in the New Jersey Section 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.
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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 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, which has hosted the New Jersey PGA Assistant Championship for the last six years. Herman qualified for the U.S. Open three times at Canoe Brook 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."
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.