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A Profile of Rickie Fowler

 
Matthew B. Dexter Comments(5) 11/1/11


Born in Anaheim, California on December 13th, 1988, Rickie Fowler has emerged as a surging, young superstar certain to dominate the PGA tour. It was not a smooth drive to the top as Fowler had to overcome various obstacles. Through it all, "Steek" has remained grounded and determined to rise higher.

Fowler started golfing when he was three years old yet golf became secondary as the visceral love affair with motocross consumed the forefront of his athletic prowess. These ambitions shifted after his collision with the dirt and Fowler drifted back toward golf. Fowler has since dedicated himself to the game and now sits at the forefront of the sport.

Advertisers and young fans are drawn to the appeal of this handsome star with his flashy clothes, humble attitude and the self-assurance of a champion. This is a new era in the PGA as dynamics of the old blend into the up-and-coming titleholders of tomorrow and Fowler is a prime example of what this new image represents. The media treats the next generation of golfers differently than senior legends of the game and rightly so as the fan demographics are often separated by generations.

During a lunch break from one photo shoot, Fowler chipped painted golf balls at white canvasses to offer to fans as prizes. His rise is most impressive considering he practiced mainly at the driving range and perfected these skills primarily on his own. He proves that self-made golfers can triumph in the long run, especially if the heart and determination exists.

Fowler gained attention on the course at an early age. As a freshman in high school he broke the course record with an all-time best 62 at his local links. He won the California state championship his junior year and was an American Junior Golf Association all-America selection in 2005 and 2006. His collegiate career began with a bang at Oklahoma State University where he was the first freshman in history to be awarded the NCAA Player of the Year honor.

In the 2007 Walker Cup, Fowler earned an impressive 3-1 record which led to a return for the 2009 Walker Cup where he went 4-0. Fowler made the cut for the 2008 U.S. Open and was the top ranked amateur golfer in the world in 2007 and 2008. Fowler finished his collegiate sophomore season and made his professional debut at the Nationwide Tour Albertsons Boise Open at the age of 20 where he missed the cut. Since then, his grind off and on the course has continued catapulting him to stardom and the top of the tour. Fowler was the 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. His first victory as a professional occurred on October 9, 2011 at the 2011 Kolon Korea Open.

Steek is more than a nickname derived from the way that Fowler "stuck" his opponents with his sharp game; it is a motto that has remained with the golfer and is imprinted on his irons. It is often impossible to examine the galley without noticing a legion of fans wearing the Puma hats that Fowler has made fashionable though the golfer swears he does not try to be flashy or decadent. "Throughout high school and going into high school I liked standing out a little bit. I was conscious of what I was wearing. I was aware that some of the stuff I was wearing was different. I wasn't trying to be cocky," he stated.

Fowler garnered some controversy in Augusta for wearing his hat backwards at a press conference. The star explained that his intention was not to cause consternation or stir the tradition of one of golf’s most loved courses but rather it was his first Masters where he observed other golfers wearing hats at press conferences and the back is where he had the link to his website. It was nothing nefarious or premeditated. Fowler is far from a punk.

Bushnell Outdoor Products announced their sponsorship of the rising talent and Fowler embraced the opportunity to showcase the makers of the #1 laser rangefinder on the PGA Tour. "I am thrilled to be working closely with Bushnell Golf," said Fowler. "It makes perfect sense to me to be associated with the makers of the most accurate rangefinders, especially since I trust Bushnell to prepare me for every tournament."

The sponsorship seems to be a match made in heaven; one of the hottest names in the golf world aligned with one of the premier golf product companies. It was a great score for Bushnell as Phil Gyori, Executive Vice President of Marketing, explained:

"Rickie brings a unique excitement to the game of golf . . . in just his first full year on Tour, [Fowler] showcased his extraordinary abilities. After this highly successful rookie campaign, we look forward to working with Rickie and are thrilled that he puts his trust in Bushnell's golf products."

Fowler is one quarter of the four man musical group known as the "Golf Boys." Their comedic branch of music has attracted millions of views on YouTube. The other members of this dynamic group of professionals include Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson and Ben Crane. On the eve of the U.S. Open in 2011, the foursome released the official video to their track song "Oh Oh Oh" to great reaction from their fans and positive reviews from the golf critics. The video is a depiction of the heart and soul they bring to the tour and their youthful confidence that exudes from the lyrics.

The costumes, charisma and choreography are a sight to behold. Lest one wonder if such a publicity stunt is meritorious or egotistic, this notion carries less weight than a golf bag at zero gravity. Farmers Insurance has pledged to donate $1,000 for every 1,000 views of the video and proceeds go to charitable initiatives by Ben Crane and Farmers.

Known for his orange, head-to-toe attire, Fowler currently resides in Jupiter, Florida. Much like his appearance, his level of play seems entirely from another universe.

Click here to visit the official site of Rickie Fowler
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Matthew B. Dexter

Matthew B. Dexter is a 28 year old American freelance journalist living in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. His articles have been published in various magazines and newspapers in the United States and abroad. He also writes and publishes memoirs, novels, poetry, and short stories of literary fiction. In his spare time he watches the ocean, contemplates the waves, plays golf, and writes lyric prose in his mind. Matthew says that Los Cabos is a majestic playground on the edge of the earth. He says that there is simply no more ethereal golfing experience on the planet than land’s end, where the golden tropical aquatic desert submerges with the currents of the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez.

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