Timberlin head professional Marc Bayram nearly shocked the world earlier this month – the Connecticut golf world, at least.
Bayram finished as runner-up at the Spring PGA Stroke Play Championship Tuesday, May 9 at The Ledges Golf Club in Massachusetts. The winner of that 36-hole tournament earns an automatic berth in the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, which will be held June 22-25.
Bayram’s 36-hole total at the spring championship was 145, which left him tied with Billy Downes, who prevailed in a playoff.
“Going in to the tournament I didn’t really know what to expect since I hadn’t played or practiced much to start the season,” Bayram said. “I did receive a great piece of advice from former Senior PGA Tour player and Connecticut golf legend Dennis Coscina though that really changed my mindset a week before the event. He said ‘Your chance of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself and trust in your abilities.’ I took his advice and went in to this particular event with the mindset that I know I can compete with the best club professionals in the state, I just needed to believe in my abilities.”
Bayram’s life these days doesn’t allow him much time to focus on his golf game. He has two young sons – age 3 and 4 – and his duties at Timberlin are many. Bayram says he only gets to play golf about once a week. “My boys love going to the golf course and want to hit balls,” he said, “so sometimes I practice with them, but most of the time end up chasing them around the entire facility.”
Bayram played golf at Conard High School in West Hartford and continued his career at Saint Leo University in Florida, a NCAA Division II school. After graduating from college, he set out to become a member of the PGA of America, a rigorous endeavor. To achieve PGA of America Class A member status, a person must pass a playing test and three levels of education where they learn the ins and outs of the golf industry, from club design and repair to turf management.
Bayram earned Class A status in October 2009. The process took him some three and a half years to complete. Bayram then took a job at a public course in Florida. From there, he made the leap to Shuttle Meadow, where he spent three years as an assistant pro.
Bayram was named head pro at Timberlin in the December of 2010.
“I like to say I am a golf professional, not a professional golfer,” Bayram said. “Although playing golf for a living was a dream career when I was younger, I am very content with teaching the game and managing the golf operation at Timberlin. Having your weekly paycheck rely on how well you play is a lot of pressure.”
While Bayram would love to tee it up with the big boys at the Travelers Championship, he’ll be pulling for the guy who edged him out at the spring championship.
“I am extremely happy for Billy Downes. He played great down the stretch when he needed to and earned the victory and exemption into the Travelers,” Bayram said. “I am definitely disappointed that it did not end my way, it would have been a great experience playing in the Travelers Championship for both my kids and I. However, I am confident that someday I will achieve my personal goal of playing in a PGA Tour event. I have gotten a ton of support and congrats from the Timberlin family and town of Berlin, and for that, I am extremely grateful.”