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Like many PGA Tour players, Taylor Montgomery grew up around the sport of golf. He just didn’t want any part of it as a youngster.

The Nevada native certainly had a fantastic venue at which to practice his game as his father, Monte, who was a solid player in his own right and made a single start on the PGA Tour, has long been the director of golf at Shadow Creek Golf Course in North Las Vegas.

If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because the Tom Fazio-designed track hosted the first edition of The Match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. It also served as the host for the 2020 edition of the CJ Cup, as the event had to be relocated from South Korea due to COVID-19.

But beyond those high-profile events, Shadow Creek, which MGM Resorts International owns, may best be known for being one of the most expensive public courses in the United States. And it’s really not even open to the general public, per se, as you have to stay at an MGM hotel in Vegas to get a tee time. And those are quite limited. If you are lucky enough to get on, you may pay up to $1,000 for a single round during peak season.

So it takes some cash to play there, which is why it’s generally packed with athletes and celebrities. So a young Taylor Montgomery saw plenty of stars around the course growing up. What’s interesting is that despite his father’s success in the golf world, he really had no major interest in following in his footsteps, at least not at first. It wasn’t until he saw athletes from the sports he was more into taking such an interest in the game.

Taylor Montgomery was ‘never into golf’ growing up

Taylor Montgomery PGA Tour
Taylor Montgomery | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

If you look at Shadow Creek’s website, you’ll see quotes from several high-profile athletes on the hole descriptions. Some are from pro golfers, including major champions Tom Kite and Davis Love III, and some are from legends in other sports, including Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Greg Maddux, and Aaron Rodgers.

And it was seeing celebrities of that magnitude that Montgomery says was his favorite part about growing up around Shadow Creek. And it was the non-golfers (pro golfers, anyway) who got him more interested in the game.

“Playing golf out there and just seeing the celebrities, like Tiger, Michael Jordan, Jerome Bettis. All the athletes out there loved golf. I was never into golf. I was more into like basketball and football and stuff. Once I start seeing those guys out there, it kind of drew me towards the game a lot more.”

Taylor Montgomery

Montgomery decided to dedicate himself to the game, and it’s obviously worked out for him. He chose to stay close to home to play his college golf at UNLV and turned pro in 2017. He spent years on the Korn Ferry Tour and came up just short of earning his PGA Tour card in 2021, finishing 26th in both the Korn Ferry regular-season standings and the Tour Finals points standings.

Montgomery finally earned full-time PGA Tour status in 2022 after recording nine top-10s in just 17 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022. And he’s now one of the fastest-rising stars in the game. Not bad for a guy who was “never into golf.”

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