Charles Howell III has had a career one can only dream of. He’s also known for having the coolest nickname on the PGA Tour. While Chuckie 3-Sticks may not be a household name, he is known to diehard golf fans and his peers on tour as the human ATM machine. The man just plays solid golf and cashes checks, and he has done so for 22 years. This week at the Phoenix Open he’ll make his 600th career start. Howell is the 69th player to accomplish this feat but the 3rd youngest to do so.
After winning the NCAA Championship by 8 shots, instructor David Leadbetter advised him to leave Oklahoma State early and strike while the iron was hot on the PGA Tour. His buddy Tiger Woods was increasing popularity and jacking up tournament purses all over the world. With the risk of staying in school another year and losing your game or experiencing injury didn’t sound to appealing for 3-Sticks, he left school and turned pro.
In 599 PGA Tour starts, Howell has 461 made cuts, 227 top-25 finishes, 97 top-10’s, 16 runners-up, 10 third place finishes, and 3 wins. All of that puts him at 22nd on the PGA Tour’s all-time money list with just over $41 million in career earnings. Sure he’s played longer but that’s more money than the likes of Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, and Brooks Koepka. Charles has had particularly good success at Riviera CC outside Los Angeles. He lost in a playoff to Mike Weir in 2003 and beat Phil Mickelson in a playoff there in 2007.
2021 was the first time he had missed the FedEx Cup playoffs in his career, finishing 139th on the points list. That’s the most down on his game he has felt since he missed 6 cuts in a row back in 2006. He bounced back in early 2007 to win the Nissan Open over Lefty in that playoff. Howell attributes his consistency and longevity to love of the game. “You have to love the bad just as much as the good. Because you have to trust that the bad won’t last forever. You must love the process to getting better,” Howell said. “I know the statement gets overused but I love golf.” We do too 3-Sticks, we do too.
Enjoy the game and each other,
Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional