Those who don't see the stress, anxiety and hours of practice believe Justin Hueber has a great job.
He plays golf for a living.
“People always say, 'You play golf? That must be so much fun!' “ Hueber said. “Yes, it is. It's very fun when you play well. When you don't play well, it's just like any other job where you get frustrated. But I can never put the blame on anyone else but me. It's tough mentally. You have to bring it every day, seven days a week.”
Hueber, 26, grew up in Leo and played at the University of Indianapolis before turning professional. He had hoped this season he would be a regular on the Web.com Tour, which includes the Hotel Fitness Championship at Sycamore Hills.
Unfortunately, he didn't finish high enough in the Qualifying Tournament (Q-School) in December to earn a spot in every event.
Instead, he's on a list of golfers who are outside the automatic spots, with a chance to play in places in Columbia, Chile or Brazil if enough of the regulars don't make the trip to those events.
It's a tough existence, waiting for a chance and performing when the opportunity arises.
Hueber, who lives in Sanford, Fla., where he can work on his game year-round, will play in the NGA Winter Series event Feb. 4-6 at Black Bear Golf Club, Eustis, Fla. He'll also play some other Florida events before the Web.com Tour begins. The Web.come Tour begins in February and runs through the end of the year.
The Hotel Fitness Championship is Aug. 28-31.
Hueber would love to play in the Fort Wayne event, but he'll have to play well all year to have a chance at a spot.
“It's definitely a possibility he could be playing in the Hotel Fitness Championship,” said Duke Butler IV, tournament director. “If you can get into a couple events early in the year in South America, you just have to play well. If you play well, then you can move up the priority list (for additional golfers in Web.com Tour events).
“It happens every year, even with players who start with no status.”
Hueber needed to finish in the Top 45 in the Q-School tournament to guarantee a spot in the first half of the Web.com Tour season. He started fairly strong but had a couple of rougher rounds late. He finished tied for 88th out of 150 golfers.
“I had a disappointing last couple days,” Hueber said. “So I have conditional status for this year, and they use that ranking to fill events. If I can get into one or two of those first five or six events out of the country and play well, I could leapfrog some people and play the rest of the year.”
Hueber knows he's still young enough to have plenty of time to reach his goal of being a regular on the PGA Tour.
It's sometimes a struggle to make enough money in winnings to keep moving forward, but that's the life of a young aspiring golfer.
“It's kind of an interesting way to live,” Hueber said. “You could not make any money at an event or you could make $35,000 or $40,000.”