Walter L. Woodrick
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The U.S. Open and advisors

The championship rounds of the 124th U.S. Open golf tournament start today at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Future U.S. Open venues are booked around the country through the year 2051. That leaves plenty of time to get the local grounds looking good, right? Maybe the St. Joseph Bay Golf Club can get on the list once the new irrigation system gets the course in tip-top condition!

Practice rounds at Pinehurst were held Monday through Wednesday. The top 60 players and ties after the first two rounds to be played on Thursday and Friday are allowed to play on Saturday and Sunday. In all, 156 competitors will battle for what Wyndham Clark received in 2023: The Jack Nicklaus Medal, custody of the U.S. Open Trophy for one year, exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Open Championships, and exemptions into the next five playings of the Masters Tournament, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship. 

Wyndham Clark also took home roughly $3.6 million. Second place finisher Rory McIlroy received $2.15 million, and third place finisher Scottie Scheffler earned $1.4 million. Fourteen of the bottom 17 players who made the cut each received a little under $50,000. These players did not get where they are all by themselves – they all have had coaches, caddies, and advisors help them get to this level of expertise and skill.

Financial advisors like me with over 20 years in the business probably play a good bit of golf. Many of them are very good at golf. I play nine holes maybe one time per week, and I usually shoot in the low 90s for 18 holes. But, I do enjoy walking the course and challenging myself physically and mentally in an effort to produce a smooth, repeatable swing and a lower score. 

My father, while not a touring professional, was the course pro at the University of Southern Mississippi golf course for a few years in the late 60s or early 70s. He loved the game. When I was a child, I did not have the same love for the game that he did. He and the game taught me a few things:

  1. “Someone who bends the rules or cheats on the golf course will cheat in business.”
  2. “Golf – a game of ease but not an easy game.”
  3. “When it’s breezy, you have to swing easy.”

While golf is not my primary physical and social outlet (I would have to say that spot currently belongs to pickleball), it has proven to be a great place to learn a great deal about people, businesses, professional backgrounds, life lessons, and the game of golf. I have definitely spent more money on the game of golf than I have received from it, and I will probably never be more than an occasional contributor in a best-ball foursome. 

I would rather be an excellent financial advisor than an excellent golfer – and I would rather see my clients travel, recreate, and donate as a result of my efforts to provide sound, legal, prudent, and timely advice. My experience and qualifications make me a credible financial advisor. But, golf questions would probably best be answered by the local pro Jordon Arnold or by the “Swing Doctor.” They may tell you to pose your money questions to someone other than themselves. Enjoy the U.S. Open – and seek advice from the right people.

Gulf County resident Walter L. Woodrick is a certified financial planner practitioner, and the author of two books. His website is You can text Walter at 850.724.1369. Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. 587418-1

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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