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5 Questions With...PGA Tour Pro Kevin Streelman


GolfSpy Barbajo
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When you watch golf on TV, do you ever find yourself wondering what kind of person the guy swinging the club is?  I was fortunate enough to meet a trio of touring pros at a Wilson Staff photo shoot a couple of months ago and am happy to report that they were three of the nicest gentlemen I've had the pleasure of meeting in any arena, never mind professional athletics.

 

Today's 5 Questions Profile is with one of those gentlemen, a guy who spun one of the greatest finishing back-nine's to win a tournament in golf history, Kevin Streelman...

 

MGS 5 Q's: While we were in Arizona, you were showing some of the drills you're working on – are you working towards a more Hogan-esque swing?  What made Hogan's swing so timeless?  What can a touring pro learn from his swing?  How about your average 54-year-old 8 handicap (hypothetically speaking, of course)?

 

KS: I have been a student of Ben Hogan's swing for quite some time now.  My current coach Wayne Defrancesco has a tremendous understanding of the idiosyncricies  of Hogans pivot movement and I work tediously on a daily basis to improve my own action.  Hogan made great use of his space and creation of hip depth and rotation in a very athletic sequence.  He spoke about the feeling of throwing a sidearm pitch or skipping a rock across a pond. 

 

When you get down to it, that simple feeling is the basis of Ben Hogan's swing.  Practicing throwing a range ball in front of you down the range, feeling your hips deepen and open while your right elbow lags in front of your right hip.   Practice this slowly and feel the athletic movement and sequencing that the best ball strikers all possess. 

 

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MGS 5 Q's: You are the author of one of the greatest finishing stretches in golf history – 7 birdies on the last 7 holes to win in Hartford last summer.  That may be the very definition of “being in the zone.”  Could you feel yourself slipping into the zone?  Were you aware of what you were doing? What did it feel like?  Do you think you can train your brain for that kind of performance? 

 

KS: That back nine at TPC Hartford is an afternoon I will never forget! 

 

I made a really nice 10 foot birdie putt on 9 that had a double break to it. I read it perfectly and saw the ball go in with perfect speed. After poor approach shots on 10 and 11, I made two additional 8 foot putts just to save par. Then, starting at 12, the hole appeared to get bigger. I truly felt like I couldn't miss. 

 

I made a 12 footer, then 6, then 20, then 14, 40, 4, and 12 to finish. 10 one putts in a row, 7 birdies in a row, and a 28 to win my second PGA Tour event. It was a bit surreal. I didn't realize I had made them all in a row until after I signed my card. I was trying to go as low as possible as quickly as possible because I knew the leaders were not coming back to me. It almost seemed as everything slowed down a bit. There was not much thinking, simply trusting and reacting. 

 

It's hard to describe but the hole starts to appear larger, and the game becomes easy.  I truly think it's 100% trust in your work, preparation, and abilities.  There is no fear, worry, or concern. I felt free to both succeed and fail, and that's when greatness can occur!

 

streels 3.jpg

 

MGS 5 Q's: You've recently resigned with Wilson Staff – what does that relationship mean to you?  Why do you choose to stay with Wilson? 

 

KS: Wilson Golf is the greatest organization I have ever been involved with. It truly is more of a family relationship than a business one. Being from the Chicagoland area had a tremendous impact on my decision to sign with Wilson Golf.

 

We share many of the same core values and I feel as if I'm a valuable member on the design side of their equipment.  The new FG Tour V4 irons and wedges are by far the best clubs I have ever hit. I don't think it's an accident that I have had my 2 best years on Tour since I have signed with Wilson Golf. I plan to represent the brand proudly for many years to come. 


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MGS 5Q's: What are your goals for 2015? What would a successful season look like to Kevin Streelman?  Which major would mean the most to you to win?

 

KS: I have never been an individual to set out specific goals for an upcoming year. I strive diligently to improve on a daily basis. I want to improve as a husband, as a dad, as a son, a brother, in my faith, in my short game, my putting, and in my swing.  Not particularly in that order.

 

I love waking up and having the opportunity to get better.  I almost enjoy the process of improving and the work associated with it more than the competition. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love competing but the process of making myself better has gotten me from a broke, mini-tour golfer to a top 50 player in the world. 

 

The Masters would be the one Major I would love to win over the others. Trust me, any of them would be nice, but putting on that green jacket would be the ultimate in professional golf.  

 

streels collage.jpg

 

 

MGS 5 Q's: Your dream foursome – past, present or future – who are your three playing partners and why? What are the stakes?

 

KS: Ben Hogan- He's the man, and I'd love to watch him swing in person

 

Jack Nicklaus- He's also the man, and I'd love to watch him compete in person

 

Michael Jordan- Growing up in Chicago, He's the man.  Plus he can finance the wagers.

 

100 nassau, auto 2 downs

 

(Personal note: On the day of the photo shoot, Kevin put in a loooong day, staying well into the early evening hitting shots on the course and then doing some voice overs for Wilson's TV commercials. When he was finally finished I asked for a few minutes to do this 5 Questions segments. He very politely asked if we could do it over the phone or via email because he wanted to get home in time for his baby daughter's bedtime. Any Dad who travels a lot knows this time is precious.

 

We agreed I'd email him the questions and he'd get back to me. Quite honestly, I didn't expect to hear back, figuring this request wouldn't be anywhere near the top of a PGA Touring Pro's to-do list. Perfectly understandable because after all, we had just met that day, and I was "the press."  

 

Sonuvagun if he didn't email me back with some very thoughtful and insightful answers. I know who I'm rooting for Master's weekend! Classy guy.)

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What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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Very cool John, still loving this segment.

Driver: :taylormade-small: SLDR w/ Fujikura Ventus Black

3w: :taylormade-small:'16 M2 hl w/ Diamana D+ 82

5w: :cleveland-small: Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Yellow

Hybrid: :cleveland-small: 22 deg. Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Black

Irons: :cleveland-small: 5i - gap Launcher CBX w/ Nippon Modus 3 125

Wedges: :cleveland-small: 54 CBX & 58 Zipcore w/ Nippon Modus 3 125

Putter: :odyssey-small: Red 7s

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Very cool John, still loving this segment.

 

Thanks Brian - we have lots in the pipeline.  It's a fun series to put together...hope you guys are enjoying it!

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What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
Follow @golfspybarbajo

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I am loving this series!  I think it's great that Kevin took the time to respond to MGS 16 Q's!   Tells me that fans are important to him, and while I always thought he was a good, streaky player, I am now a fan. 

 

Best quote I will take away from the interview was during the question about being in the zone...

"I truly think it's 100% trust in your work, preparation, and abilities.  There is no fear, worry, or concern. I felt free to both succeed and fail, and that's when greatness can occur!"

 

Good show!

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I love the series and hearing from our MGS was great but this one takes it to the next level.  Great job Barbajo - I like Streelman as it is - something about the first name - like him more now that I'm playing Wilson but way more after this feature.

 

Thanks!

Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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Awesome piece - fantastic that he took the time to answer, as you mention, so thoughtfully. Streelman really does have a good looking, simple, swing. I loved they way he described it like skimming a stone. Not that I need more swing thoughts, but I'm going to take that to the range with me next time.

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Awesome stuff, now I'll have to follow him.

 Driver:   :callaway-small:  Epic Flash 12 Degree

Wood: :callaway-small:  GBB 3 Wood
Hybrid: :callaway-small: Razr 4 hybriid stiff stock shaft.
Irons: :callaway-small: X2 Hot 4 iron (pro version) 5 iron - Gap Wedge (non pro version).  KBS 120g Shaft stiff cut 1/2  inch bent 1°upright
Wedges: :vokey-small: 52° 56° and 60°.
All grips are Golf pride grips midsized
Putter (lefty):  Odyssey Metal-X #8 34", stock shaft bent 2° Superstroke grip
Golf Balls:   :titelist-small: 2018-9 Pro-V1x and Prov1s
Shoes:  :footjoy-small:  Dryjoy tours

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Loving it!  Getting to know more about the players and not just the standard hype-type articles gives me more of a personal interest in their careers.

 

Never knew too much about Streelman, now I'll be rooting for him.

What's In The Bag

Driver :titelist-small:

Titleist 913 D2 10.5* (set to 9.75* / Neutral) 46" Paderson KINETIXX Kevlar Green - R

Fairway Wood

Tom Wishon 949 MC 16.5* Fujikura Speeder 569-A

Hybrid  :cleveland-small: Hibore 22* Aldila VS Proto Blue

Irons  :ping-small: G series 5-P

Wedges :ping-small:Glide 54* SS / 60* TS - SCOR 53*

Putter     :nike-small: Nike Method 001 / P2 Reflex grip 35"

Ball

Master Grip Tour C4

Bag

Datrek DG Lite  

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I agree this series is awesome! I still have contact with Thomas Aiken, I can send him some questions if you'd like. Get his perspective playing on European tour and PGA tour.

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**May the fade be with you**

 

Driver - :taylormade-small:  SLDR 9.5 Paderson KINETIXx IMRT Green Stiff / 255 cpm
Fairway Wood - :titelist-small:  910F 3 wood
Hybrids - :callaway-small:  Big Bertha Diablo 21deg
Irons - :titelist-small:  710 AP2 4-PW Standard Lie/Flex
Wedges - :taylormade-small:  XFT 50, 54, 60
Putter - :cameron-small:  California Monterey
Ball - :wilson_staff_small:  FG Tour

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As a W/S fan, I've been following Streels for several years. I like his attitute, his willingness to share his faith and his quiet deminor.

 

I enjoy following for a round each year at The Memorial Tournament. A couple of years ago, he and I were standing close together, seperated only by the ropes. The other golfer in his group made a bad putt and the ball rolled off the green, requiring a wedge shot to get back on. Everyone groan for the guy and I parted a glance at Streels and he said to me, "Man, you never want that to happen". This was the only time I've ever had a pro make a comment during a tournament round, but that's just how down-to-Earth Kevin is.

 

He may not be the most popular guy on tour, but I'm willing to guess he's the nicest guy you'll see out there!

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This is great! Thanks for doing this. I loved his response to goals:

 

KS: I have never been an individual to set out specific goals for an upcoming year. I strive diligently to improve on a daily basis. I want to improve as a husband, as a dad, as a son, a brother, in my faith, in my short game, my putting, and in my swing.  Not particularly in that order.

 

Thats how I try to approach my own life too. Live in the day and in the moment.

  • Like 1

Driver - Tour Edge Exotics XCG 7 Beta w/ Paderson shaft 44"

Fairway Metal - :nike-small: Vapor Fly 15* w/ Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65F 43"

Irons - :taylormade-small: SLDR 4i-pw w/ KBS Tour C-Taper 90S

Wedges - :edel-golf-1: 54* and 58* Digger grind

Putter - :scotty-cameron-1: 2015 GoLo 3 33"

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KS: I have never been an individual to set out specific goals for an upcoming year. I strive diligently to improve on a daily basis. I want to improve as a husband, as a dad, as a son, a brother, in my faith, in my short game, my putting, and in my swing.  Not particularly in that order.

 

Thats how I try to approach my own life too. Live in the day and in the moment.

 

Reminds me of a quote from an old Dylan song -- "he not busy being born is a-busy dying."  

  • Like 2
 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
Follow @golfspybarbajo

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That's really great he got back to you and took the time!

 

I'm not sure if I believe he doesn't have some goals locked down? These guys always seem to be fairly goal oriented, especially the top players. They always seem to have something specific they've identified to work on.

He has game. I'd like to hear wins are in his goals. Seems like any top player, at least one win should be a goal?

"Glute Activator"

 

*Please accept my contributions of participation and intellectual property sharing as substitute for monetary renumeration.

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