PORTLAND, Maine — Jeff Seavey plays tournament golf.
While that may conjure up visions of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson or any other player on the PGA Tour competing on television week to week for millions of dollars, the reality is far different for Seavey and most of the other participants in this week’s Charlie’s Portland Maine Open Golf Championship at Riverside Municipal Golf Course.
“There are very few guys who can make enough money playing mini-tours,” said the teaching pro at Samoset Resort in Rockport. “Most have to do something besides play.”
Seavey, who has played in most of the New England state opens and mini-tour events in New England and elsewhere for several years, pointed to a couple of former Greater Bangor Open winners as examples.
“Eric [Egloff] caddies some [at a club in Florida], Joe Cioe does, too,” said Seavey.
They have to in order to subsidize their playing efforts and any attempts they make to qualify as PGA Tour players.
“Most guys who try to play mini-tours full-time only last a couple of years,” Seavey said.
“Unless you hit the lottery, come from a family with money or have a sponsor, you do what you have to do to pay the bills,” said Egloff.
Seavey, who played in Monday’s pro-am — where he was the low pro — as well as Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s tournament rounds, is no different.
He teaches at Samoset during the summer and does some private teaching during the winter at a club near his home in Homosassa, Fla.
He also moved into the club-fitting field a couple of years ago when Titleist hired him to do demo days, showing people what the company offered and maybe fitting for clubs that would help improve their games.
“I have all the clubs between Ocala and Sarasota,” he said. “It’s one to three days a week, from 10 to 2. I set up the equipment and try to fit people for the proper equipment.”
Some of the days are quiet, if he’s the only rep for a particular day.
“I might spend the whole four hours just sitting there,” he said, twiddling his thumbs for emphasis.
Other days are much busier, especially if the club is hosting a multi-vendor day.
“Those are days that are fun,” he said, smiling. “There are a lot of people.”
Sometimes there are other activities as well.
“They’ll have barbecue, and putting and chipping contests. Those four hours go fast,” Seavey said.
“At Penobscot Valley Country Club [in Orono], I saw 40-50 people in four hours. That was pretty good,” he said.
He finds that money is not necessarily an issue for buyers, even now.
“People are willing to spend but not until they find something they like,” said Seavey.
During the fall, after he gets back to Florida, from October through early December he’ll do 16 or 17 demo days. In the spring, from February through early May, he’ll do another 20 or so. He only does one or two away from Samoset during the summer.
He and his wife get back to Maine about mid-May, and the tournament/teaching cycle starts again.
“It’s fun to play, but I work hard so I can do this,” he said. “I worked five days sun-up to sundown at Samoset so I could play these three days.”
Brianna Rachel tourney nears
The Brianna Rachel Fund for Kids, a nine-hole scramble fundraiser to help children cope with life-threatening diseases, is set for July 18 at Kenduskeag Golf and Country Club.
It’s a four-person scramble with prizes for men’s, women’s and mixed teams.
The entry fee is $30 per person.
The fund’s mission is to assist with the nonmedical needs of chronically ill and hospitalized children and their families.
Last year, a portable Nintendo Wii system with 25 built-in games was donated to the Eastern Maine Medical Center pediatrics department.
The tournament this year is also in memory of Rachel’s grandfather, Ed Koncinsky, and uncle, Bob Girvan II.
Starting times begin at 8 a.m. Call 884-7330 to reserve a time or get more information.