PGA Professional and Son Shared a Special Victory at the PGA National Club Championship
By Abigail Kasitz
Stephen Behr, Sr., PGA, made his son a promise — if he ever qualified for a PGA Tour Event, he would let him caddy. He kept that promise in 2006 at the RBC Heritage tournament.
The roles were reversed last month at the PGA National Club Championship where Stephen Behr, Jr., claimed the men's division with his father on the bag at Pinehurst.
Stephen Behr, PGA has been in the golf business since well before the younger Stephen was born. He played collegiately at the College of Charleston, worked as a cart boy at Kiawah Island’s Cougar Point, and served as head professional at Wild Dunes Resort for 14 years. He has spent the last 25 years as the head professional at Florence Country Club (starting when Stephen was only 3).
Though Stephen says his parents (his mother is also a good golfer) never put pressure on him to play, the game was so deeply rooted in his family’s life that he was naturally drawn to it.
“It was honestly something that I enjoyed playing and it was a way for my family to spend time together,” Stephen said. “The older I got, the more I appreciated the sport and the more I enjoyed playing it competitively. It just grew from there as something that I wanted to pursue collegiately and now in the amateur ranks.”
As he began to develop his game, his dad became an integral part of his development. With no formal swing coach or lessons, Stephen’s father has been the only "coach" he’s ever had. The intimate knowledge that his father has of Stephen's game led them to make the transition from father and son to caddy and player.
“He knows how I hit shots, he knows my ball flight, he knows which shots I’m good at and which ones are a struggle for me. On top of that, with his golf IQ being so high as a PGA Professional, he knows what the best course of action for us to take in most cases,” Stephen said. “He’s essentially a second brain for me to validate my shots and to help me play my best game possible.”
As the dust has settled on his win, Stephen has been able to reflect on what it means to be able to share this with his father.
“It felt like a win not only for myself but for my dad,” the younger Behr shared.“Whenever I can get my dad to come and caddy for me it’s kind of the true father-son experience.”
We think it’s safe to say that golf will continue to be a large presence in Stephen’s life, thanks in part to his upbringing and his father.
As he put it: “It's great to be a son of a PGA professional.”