Billy Horschel has won five times on the PGA Tour after an impressive college career at the University of Florida, and in 2014 captured the FedEx Cup.
The thirty-two is a creature of habit and has the rhythm of life as a professional golfer down. Most fans may think that Horschel’s life rotates around the shots, Thursday through Sunday, but there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. So he shared his weekly routine.
Monday is the only day off, day to rest and catch up on personal things. Most of them fly into town, except when they’re coming from another tournament on Sunday night or flying somewhere really far. The only time he goes to the course on a Monday is at a major, the Players and sometimes a World Golf Championship event. The WGC-Dell Match Play was one of those cases because the tournament started on Wednesday, so he flew into Texas late Monday.
His family doesn’t travel with him often, maybe a handful of times a year. Earlier in his career, he used to fly private most weeks, but since his family no longer travels routinely, he only does it 15-20 % of the time now. Delta is his “private” airline, and he shares it with lots of his friends.
It took Horschel seven years to find out what worked best for him in his profession. From his observation, he said that all the best players in the world are relentless with their routine. Most weeks he’s up by 6 or 6:30 at the latest. Before he gets to the course, he goes to the gym for an hour. His primary focus at the gym is to get his muscles loose, core strengthening and flexibility. Fitness is a crucial part of his life. He always checks on friends who want to play a practice together, Sneds and Webb Simpson is two guys who he plays with mostly. Afterward, he takes lunch, hit balls for another 30-40 minutes then putt for 30-40 minute. Before he leaves the course, he visits his physio (Alex Bennett) and spends another 30 minutes getting worked on and stretched out.
Wednesdays are pro-am days. It is the day of fine-tuning things so that they’re all set for Thursday. They don’t mind the rounds being long because they are essential for them and the tour. When he is playing, he always try to spend the first four or five holes focusing his energy on the amateurs, getting to know them, chit-chat, giving tips. The next handful of holes he focuses on whatever he is working on with his swing. At the end of the round, though, the day is far from over. After the pro-am, he again hit balls for 30-40 minutes and chip and putt for another 30 on top of that.
After the long day, he gets some dinner, watches TV and then goes to bed at 10. The rest of the time he watches a ton of TV, especially sports. He has 15-20 shows that he keeps up with regularly and watches on Netflix or iTunes. His goal this year is to read a few more books when he is in the hotel room.
Thursday through Sunday
He wakes up 3 hours and 15 minutes to 3½ hours before his tee time and arrives at the course 2½ hours to 2 hours and 45 minutes before he is scheduled to go off. He makes his first stop at the course in the fitness trailer to warm up, then takes breakfast in player dining for about 30 minutes. Next, he starts his warm up an hour and 15 minutes to 1½ hours before his tee time.
Like with the pro-am, his day isn’t over after the round, either. He said that 98 percent of his time, he does around 30 minutes of practice after his round. He likes to have his swing ingrained in his mind. It’s a comfort factor for him.
Whenever he does walk off the practice area, though, it’s at least 30-40 minutes before he leaves the course because he is getting worked on by his physio again. There are other obligations on occasion, too. At the Dell Match Play, after his round on Thursday, he had a visit to one of their corporate tents as an obligation for one of his sponsors. It only lasted about 20 minutes, but it’s an outstanding obligation. A few weeks earlier at Bay Hill, he did some filming for Zurich, another sponsor, along with Justin Rose. That was on a Tuesday afternoon and lasted about 90 minutes. And if he is fortunate and playing well, he spends time speaking to the media as well.
In other words there’s a lot more going on apart from the Thursday through Sunday shots.