Get to know 2022 Golfweek Problem Cup Captain Craig Hurlbert

Craig Hurlbert spent his summers along with his grandfather on his farm in Montana. It was there that he not solely was taught the sport of golf, however life classes which have propelled him to the very best locations in each enterprise and novice golf.

Hurlbert’s grandfather, Carl, immigrated from Denmark in 1923. His grandmother, Marie, came visiting along with her household within the early 1900s. They have been processed at Ellis Island like so many different European immigrants through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Married in 1930, the couple settled in northeastern Montana and started what has now develop into Wheat Wind Farms in 1940.

Quick ahead 36 years and a 13-year-old Craig picked up a golf membership for the primary time along with his Bapa. The 2 would play in a league twice every week at Huge Muddy Golf Membership when Craig helped on the farm in the summertime.

Now defunct, Huge Muddy was a nine-hole sand-green golf course the place they hayed the fairways twice a yr. That is the place Hulbert and his grandfather fell in love with the sport of golf.

“He wasn’t an important participant,” Hulbert advised golf week. “However there’s NOBODY that cherished the sport greater than he did…He had such a cheerful spirit on the golf course. He made it nice enjoyable. It wasn’t one thing that I dreaded to do.”

As he grew older, Hurlbert bought higher on the recreation again residence in Billings “on actual golf programs” the place he really honored his craft.

After enjoying collegiately for a yr at New Mexico State, Craig left collegiate golf to review finance and enterprise at San Diego State. Quickly after, he earned a Masters diploma in company finance at Lengthy Seaside State. From there, Hurlbert launched himself into the enterprise world.

This left a spot in his golf recreation. Hurlbert did not actually play competitively till he began knocking the ball round with some elite senior amateurs at his residence membership, Carlton Woods, in Houston, Texas.

“I used to be proper there with them.” he stated. “I began saying to myself ‘jeez, possibly my recreation can stack up.’”

On the time, Hurlbert was in no man’s land. At 53, he was too previous to hold with the mid-ams recurrently and too younger to play in most senior occasions. He used the time as a bonus. With about two years to reform his recreation into aggressive form, Hurlbert was able to tackle the senior novice circuit.

Upon turning 55 in the summertime of 2017, he dipped his toe within the water, enjoying only a few occasions. In 2018 and ’19 he performed practically 30 occasions mixed. He was constant all through with eight high 10s, a quarterfinals journey to the golf week Senior Amater Matchplay and a runner-up end on the 2019 golf week Event of Champions. Though profitable, Hurlbert wasn’t glad. It was in November 2019 that he turned to his spouse, Stephanie, for assist.

Stephanie performed professionally on the then-Symetra Tour for a handful of years and understands what it is wish to play below strain towards among the greatest on this planet.

“I got here residence on the finish of ’19 and stated ‘I am not going to do that anymore if I am unable to win,'” Craig advised Stephanie.

She replied with a easy query: What is going on to you below strain? The query proved to seek out the issues as Craig started to be absolutely sincere with himself about his recreation when below the gun. He labored tirelessly on quick putts and labored his driver from a draw to a fade.

“I guess I hit 1,000,000 five-foot putts between November fifteenth and January 1st,” Hulbert chuckled. “The draw was one thing I could not management below strain… So I simply labored on hitting a child fade. I actually wore out a driver I hit so many drivers.”

Already a premier ball striker with loads of distance, Craig set out into the 2020 season with a refreshed mindset and starvation. Mix that with the teachings he discovered as a youngster on the farm along with his Bapa, Hurlbert was certain to interrupt out.

Teeing it up on the Outdated Corkscrew Senior to start his 2020 season, Hurlbert was in a position to reap what he sowed through the offseason. He not solely gained his first senior novice title, however he did so in a playoff towards the 2019 golf week Participant of the 12 months, Ken Kinkopf.

Proving it wasn’t a fluke, Hurlbert adopted the win up with one other win the next week and a third-place end after that. The beginning of an important season was supplemented with one other win on the golf week Senior Nationwide Matchplay and the Society of Seniors Founders Cup. With only one end exterior the highest 15, Hurlbert’s unbelievable 2020 season was capped off by being named Golfweek’s participant of the yr

“It was a technique of enjoying and studying what you did not do adequate,” he stated. “I needed to play in 18-20 occasions for 2 years to actually perceive what was occurring inside my physique.”

After such a formidable yr, Hurlbert took 2021 off to concentrate on his enterprise ventures. On December 3, 2021, Native Bounti, an organization that he co-founded in 2017 and is the CEO of, went public on the New York Inventory Alternate. The corporate is kind of actually centered round its roots. Native Bounti is an agricultural firm that produces sustainable and non-GMO greens yr spherical and is headquartered in Hamilton, Montana, only a few hours west of Billings the place Hurlbert grew up.

With classes that began on the banks of the Huge Muddy River in Montana at a nine-hole sand-green golf course, Hurlbert has continued his grandfather’s American dream.

Armed along with his grandfather’s knowledge, a killer golf recreation and savvy enterprise senses, Hurlbert appears to defend his staff’s title on the 2022 golf week Senior Problem Cup. He captained his staff to win over Gene Elliott’s squad within the 2021 Cup. Dealing with off towards Rusty Strawn’s staff this yr, Hurlbert will probably be a enjoying captain as his staff appears to repeat.

“Rusty (Strawn) is a pricey pal,” stated Hurlbert. “Once we play in these tournaments, three, 4, 5 of us all exit to dinner for the couple nights that we’re there… I am actually trying ahead to the Cup this December and getting the blokes again collectively.”

The 2022 golf week Problem Cup will probably be performed at Jacaranda Golf Membership’s East Course in Plantation, Florida, December 14-16. Captains choose gamers by way of blind draw so as to add to the drama of such a enjoyable and aggressive week.

Registration for the Problem Cup continues to be open right here.

Story initially appeared on GolfWeek

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