Because his bustling golf-instruction schedule takes him all over the world, Brian Mogg does not have too many opportunities to play in tournaments.
But the one the Tacoma native has been trying to get into for years is the Champions Tour stop in his home state — the very popular Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.
Since the 56-year-old Lakes High School graduate isn’t a member of the Champions Tour, he has two ways to get into a 50-and-over professional tournament: One, he could try to play a Monday qualifier. And two, he could get a sponsor’s exemption,
Mogg is primarily based in Orlando, Florida, these days, so option No. 1 is off the table.
For years, he tried exploring the second option, writing letters and asking other Champions Tour golfers, including Seattle’s Fred Couples, to put in a good word for him.
It’s never worked.
So what was the effective measure to get a sponsor’s exemption into this year’s Boeing Classic field for the first time?
Get a stern endorsement from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
“It’s pretty cool to finally have it happen,” Mogg said.
Mogg should have gotten into the tournament on his own credentials: The former All-American at Ohio State played on the PGA Tour in the 1980s. And after he served as an apprentice under David Leadbetter, Mogg became one of the best swing instructors in the world. He was Y.E. Yang’s coach when the South Korean won the PGA Championship in 2009.
Last summer, Mogg qualified for the U.S. Senior open for the first time, making the cut at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio.
Yet, even with all of those accomplishments, and the fact that his uncle, Bill Jacobsen, worked at Boeing for 52 years, Mogg’s request for a spot in the Boeing Classic was annually declined.
The door opened through a difference channel.
Because of his relationship with a few Seahawks, Mogg was invited to play in Wilson’s pro-am golf tournament a couple of years ago at Suncadia.
And last February, Mogg’s son, Daniel, was hired to take over as the digital producer and social-media manager for Wilson’s personal company — West2East Empire. Before that, Daniel worked 3-1/2 years as NBC Sports’ social-media director, working the Olympics, Kentucky Derby and Sunday Night Football.
In late June, Mogg and his two sons played in the same pro-am group as Wilson and his brother, Harry.
When first-year Boeing tournament director Brian Flajole came up to the group in a cart, and noted to Mogg that he had received the instructor’s written request for a sponsor’s exemption, Wilson joined the conversation.
“Russell said, ‘You need to get this guy in the tournament,’” Mogg said.
After that, Wilson walked away.
And in late July, Mogg received word that, indeed, he was in the tournament.
Mogg also had to rework his schedule at his academy at Chambers Bay, saying that he had to cancel his school for that weekend. Another date next month — likely September 15 — will be added.