Goals Never Go Away for Cameron Doan
By Keith Stewart, PGA
Cameron Doan hits a fairway wood in his quest to play in a Major Championship (Photo courtesy of the Northern Texas PGA Section)
“My goal is to play in a Major Championship.”
PGA Professional Cameron Doan grew up in Silver City, New Mexico. He was the son of PGA Lifetime Member Ron Doan. When the elite senior players of the PGA of America descend upon Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico later this week for the 34th Senior PGA Professional Championship, Cameron Doan will be coming back home. Doan’s career has been highlighted by twelve PGA Section awards and the 2018 National Bill Strausbaugh Award.
The Strausbaugh Award honors the achievements of mentors, coaches and community ambassadors. Cameron has accomplished so much for so many people in and around the game, this week he’s looking to finish something for himself. This start marks the fifth time he has qualified for the Senior PGA Professional Championship. Prior to turning fifty, he competed in more than ten PGA Professional National Championships.
Twice he came within just a few strokes of getting to that elusive major. Just this past year, his Assistant Professional, Nic Ishee, at Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas qualified for the 104th PGA Championship in Tulsa at Southern Hills Country Club. Together they have discussed Nic’s experiences and how they may be able to help Cameron qualify.
The format of the Senior PGA Professional Championship starts with 264 players. After two rounds, they cut the field to the Top 90 and ties. Following round three, there’s another cut to the Top 70 and ties. The 35 low finishers then get an invitation to the 83rd KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. That’s very significant for a PGA Member like Cameron. The tournament next year will be the first major championship contested at the new PGA Headquarters in Frisco, Texas.
Fields Ranch East designed by Gil Hanse is located just across town from Preston Trail Golf Club where Doan has been the Director of Golf since 1999. Cameron has always been one to set goals and achieve them. In your first conversation with Cameron, you are completely taken back by how thoughtful he is. His patient manner comes from a life shaped by a wealth of experiences.
“This week will be difficult. Most of the events we compete in are 36-holes. The Senior PPC is a 72-hole marathon” stated Doan. If there’s anyone who can handle it, Cameron is a solid candidate. When you watch Cameron play, the game looks easy. Life for husband and father Cameron has not been. Cameron’s daughter Charlsie was born without a right hand. The Doan’s embraced her challenge and have made a major impact in their community as a result.
You’re moved when Cameron says, “I’m so much better at everything because of her.” Doan’s dedication to his family doesn’t stop there. Wife Kelly recently battled with cancer. Even though she was struggling, she would still support Cameron at work and especially on the course. “Sometimes our goals get moved aside, but they never go away.” Doan did everything needed to keep his family going strong. Now both kids and Kelly have turned their attention on Dad this week.
As Cameron’s story comes full circle with his trip back to New Mexico, any writer sees a great story on the horizon. Go to New Mexico and qualify for your first major championship. Then play the tournament at the new home of the PGA of America, the Association that brought he and his dad so many lifelong rewards.
When I spoke to Cameron he said:
“My game is in fine form. It must be. My job is to set an example for the younger professionals. I LOVE THIS GAME. The goal of playing in a major has been there for forty years. I have to show my students, staff and kids that you can do it. You can set goals, work hard and achieve them.”
I don’t think golf is the only thing Cameron loves. There’s no doubt Doan will contend for one of those 35 spots this week. When he does there will be thousands and thousands of people who he has positively impacted through golf that would LOVE for him to get it.