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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Thailand native excels on the green with Marquette golf

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(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

The average PGA Tour pro’s ball speed off the tee is 171.

Marquette men’s golf senior Bhoom Sima-Aree looked at a number way past that in an attempt to become one of the longest players off the tee in the country.

“When the COVID-year hit, I went back to Thailand and started progressing on my swing speed,” Sima-Aree said. “I gained forty pounds and started using speed sticks, which helped me gain thirty yards off the tee.”

Marquette head coach Steve Bailey said enhancing the redshirt first-year’s swing speed was one of his telescope, or bigger picture, goals. 

“He had target numbers for speed gains in his swing,” Bailey said. “He wanted to get to 200 miles an hour for ball speed. It took a lot of heart, and he can tell you that success is a byproduct of his daily work.”

Hundreds of swings and even a broken driver later, he achieved his goal at the start of this season.

Sima-Aree’s length off the tee has always impacted his amateur career, and he uses it to his advantage on the course.

“I have been one of the longest hitters in Thailand since I was young,” Sima-Aree said. “I have an ideology in my mind where if I hit it far, I will have a better strokes-gained tee to greens number. So if I hit it far enough, I’ll have a shorter distance to the pin, which is an advantage, because it’s easier to control my wedges over longer clubs like eight irons.”

The Nonthaburi, Thailand native came to Marquette a veteran in tournament experience, which he displayed to the world during his accomplished amateur career in Thailand. In his first pro event in 2016, CHANG Ongkark Championships, he finished as the top amateur in the field. Then a few years later, he finished 18th overall in the Junior Golf Scorecard’s 2019 class.

After a strong career in Thailand, Sima-Aree wanted to come to the United States to play college golf. 

“I have been playing tournaments since I was 12, which is how I started to gain interest from colleges,” Sima-Aree said. “I finally met Coach Bailey in my senior year of high school.”

Sima-Aree said when he transitioned to the United States and collegiate golf, he had to adapt to longer courses and different weather climates.

“In Thailand, we only have Bermuda grass, and with limited landscape on the golf course, they are straightforward,” Sima-Aree said. “Solid tree lines along the fairways and wide open courses. Different golf courses and grasses here in the States make playing here tougher; the variety has been good preparation for my career.”

Graduate student Tyler Leach said he remembers how Sima-Aree had to adjust to the United States’ course conditions in his first year.

“It took work. I know it’s hot in Thailand, but not windy,” Leach said. “Coming to Wisconsin in the fall, he struggled to play in the wind because he could just hit these high golf shots in Thailand, and the wind wouldn’t affect him. One of his biggest transitions was learning to flight his golf ball and keep it under the wind.”

Now a veteran on the team, Sima-Aree uses his amateur and professional tournament history to keep him locked in for the Big East tournament.

“The Big East tournament is intense because it determines if you go to a regional,” Sima-Aree said. “It gives me the same feeling as Q-school (qualifying school). You won’t pass the first stage if you don’t get into the top 35 at Q-school. It is the same mentality in the Big East, if you don’t win, you don’t move on.”

Bailey said Sima-Aree’s strong competition level in all his tournaments has prepared him for the Big East tournament and beyond.

“Any time you can get into a competitive arena, it’s a barometer for your game,” Bailey said. “You can do all the practices in the world, but it will never prepare you for tournament golf. You have to get out there and feel those feelings in that arena. With our schedule, [Bhoom] is playing against the best players in the world; he’s faced tougher talent in our collegiate schedule than I would say in his professional schedule.”

Sima-Aree said attending QSchool is only the start of his biggest telescope goal.

“I’m glad I attended QSchool early because if I can pass, I can move one step closer to making a living off the game of golf. I want to compete in the States and play professionally,” Sima-Aree said.

This story was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at [email protected] or @hilsontrevor on Twitter. 

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About the Contributor
Trevor Hilson, Sports Audio Producer
Trevor Hilson is from Muskegon, Michigan and he is a journalism major. He is the Sports Audio Producer for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, he plays a lot of golf and gives lessons to his friends. He is excited for the national championship banner going into the Fiserv rafters for men's hoops at the start of next season.

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