Get to Know SCGA Member Jim Gormley
September 25, 2013
As part of the SCGA's membership season, we are checking in with SCGA Members and Member Clubs and learning a little more about them. Below, we got to know Jim Gormley, an SCGA member and director of golf at Palos Verdes GC.
By Matt McKay
Palos Verdes GC almost seems like a little secret over on the peninsula. How did you find it?
I actually moved out here from Virginia and moved into the area when I was a sophomore in college, so I was familiar with playing Palos Verdes. I went to school up in Northern California, turned professional in 1995 and was playing some mini-tours. I went to go get my Canadian Tour card in 1996, and happened to, before I left, start working as an assistant here at Palos Verdes GC. And in 1997, I got my Canadian Tour card, and they let me leave for the summer and come back.
You were recently at the Solheim Cup. What is your take on the state of that competition?
I have to tell you I was blown away by the fan support; it was incredible. I think they had an attendance record of 110,000 for the three days … it was overwhelming to be honest with you. I've been to a lot of LPGA events and that was by far the biggest crowd I've ever seen in one spot for an event like that. I thought it was a great atmosphere.
As [LPGA up-and-comer] Lizette Salas' instructor, how do you think she played? And how does she think she played?
I think she played great. She played the first day with Stacy Lewis in alternate shot, which is a very difficult format, and she played very solidly. The second day she played alternate shot again with Brittany Lincicome, and they halved their match. Then in singles, she played the No. 3 player in the world, and matched her shot for shot. It was incredible. I actually told (Golf Channel's) Kay Cockerill that I was a little nervous because her practice session was so good that morning, I was a little concerned because that doesn't always transfer over to playing well on the golf course. But she handled the pressure great and played phenomenally.
What has she improved on most since you started working with her?
Her putting especially. The path of her stroke has just gotten a lot more consistent. And then her golf swing, really, has gotten a lot more consistent. We've made a lot of changes in her golf swing, and to her credit, she's played through it and played well as we've gone along, and the golf swing for her is just so much more repeatable that her misses are a lot better and a lot straighter. She's just far more consistent throughout.
Working with any other LPGA players at the moment?
Mindy Kim, Tiffany Joh, Jenny Shin, Jane Park, Dewi Schreefel, Jenny Lee, and Lisa McCloskey.
How big a part of your job is instruction?
I do quite a bit. I'd say it's probably 20 percent of my job.
In 50 words or less, describe Palos Verdes GC.
The most beautiful place on earth.
That's certainly less than 50 words.
Well ... It's a hidden gem, really. When people come here for the first time, they can hardly believe it. When you can see all the way down the coastline and all the way over to Malibu and when you can look the other direction and see all the way downtown to L.A. and read the Hollywood sign … it's a very special place.