PGA Member Quincy Heard has marched into the 34th PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship at famous TPC Sawgrass as Head Golf Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams at Alabama State.
In his first year at the school, his women’s team captured the SWAC Conference Championship, and his men’s team finished as conference runners-up.
“It’s really nice having a PGA Professional as a Coach,” said Iman Adams, 23, a junior at Alabama State from South Africa. “He is very informative. He knows the game from the coaching and playing side. And he is in a position as a Coach that I want to be in.”
Yet, long before he coached the Hornets to the “Most Culturally Significant Championship in Collegiate Golf,” he played snare drum at Auburn University on the “Loveliest Village on the Plains.”
Having a sweet stroke on both the golf course and with the drumline, Heard performed at Jordan-Hare Stadium, marching in front of 85,214 of his closest friends to the chants of: “War Eagle!” or “Go Tigers!” And for really oldtimers, “Go Plainsmen!” (Don’t ask for that mascot explanation - it’s a story for another day).
“Being in the Auburn Band was one of the coolest things,” said Heard. “And being in the band room hearing the whole band playing the fight song for the first time, the hair on the back of my neck stood up.”
He would translate his experience marching on what is now Pat Dye Field to golf instruction.
“I once had a client who was a professional musician,” Heard explained. “I still give instruction to my team using things from drumming, such as preparatory beats, subdividing and breathing. Breathing is very important in golf. To play golf, you have to relax.”
“He definitely emphasizes breathing exercises on the golf course,” said Alabama State Sophomore Bishop Stringer, 19, of Montgomery. “And he makes us think of it in the simplest of ways.”
Heard would spend two years at Auburn playing to a packed house. At the 1988 Sugar Bowl, he marched in the Superdome in New Orleans against Syracuse University. And of course, he played in the annual Iron Bowl against arch-rival Alabama at historic Legion Field in Birmingham.
He also made two legendary drumlines in Drum & Bugle Corps circles - the then World Champion Blue Devils of Concord, California; and a Top 12 Corps in Spirit of Atlanta. Yet, finances forced him to forgo each.
He eventually enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving four years of active duty and four years in the Reserves.
Heard first took up golf at age 21, and moved out West for 31 years. He played so well, he earned his stripes and the badge of a PGA Member, before eventually becoming Head Coach at Alabama State in Montgomery.
“When I first found out he was a drummer at Auburn, personally I was kind of in shock,” added Stringer. “I get the golf aspect of him and the military aspect, too, but the last thing you’d think he did was marching band.”
So, the next time you see Heard, be sure to say, “War Eagle...Hey!” or “Go Hornets” or “Go Navy,” as he rolls along the golf course marching eight steps to every five yards--while his golf teams enter into competition as one of 23 teams (across three divisions), along with 52 women and men individuals competing at the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship on Pete Dye’s masterpiece.
Golf Channel will have coverage of the 2021 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship, May 3-5.