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Stewart: Erdman’s Love Story

Blake Moore and Kevin Erdman both grew up in the same area, both attended La Salle High, both are outstanding golfers and both are among the 12 contestants on the competitive reality golf show, “Big Break Disney Golf,” which begins a 10-week run on the Golf Channel on Tuesday, Oct. 13. But that’s about where the similarities end.


Larry Stewart

Larry Stewart


Blake is single. Kevin is married. Blake, who lives in Monrovia, just on the other side of the Arcadia border, took up golf at age 11 and excelled almost immediately. By the time he reached high school he was one of the best golfers in Southern California for his age.

Kevin, an Arcadia resident almost his entire life – he and wife Courtney now live in the Hugo Reid area — didn’t get serious about golf until he was a junior at La Salle. The summer going into that school year, he got a job at Altadena Golf Course moving carts and picking up range balls and had opportunities to work on his game. He eventually became the No. 2 player on the La Salle team, and did even better at Citrus College. He went on to Cal State Northridge but did not play on the golf team there. It was after college that he became an elite player. At his best he had a handicap of plus 2.5, which means he averaged 2 1/2 strokes better than par per round.

Blake, 25, has a burning desire to make it to the PGA Tour and those around him are convinced that goal is within reach. Kevin, 30, realizes his chances of making it to the PGA Tour are remote at best. “For one thing, I’m five years older than Blake,” Kevin said.


courtney_erdman_pose_2

Kevin's pro golfer wife Courtney of Arcadia.


But that’s not the only thing. Kevin put all his energy – and a lot of money – into helping his wife try to make it to the LPGA Tour. So they’ve been down that road and know how hard it is. “We spent every penny we had,” Kevin said. “There were a lot of heartaches.” And some good times too. “A lot of ups and downs” is how Kevin described it. But when asked if he’d do it all over again, Kevin said without hesitating: “Sure. We had some great times and some great experiences.”

His wife, Courtney, was such a good golfer at Crescenta Valley High that she played on the boys’ team. She met Kevin met when she was 16 and her team came to practice at Altadena, where Kevin, then 19, worked while attending Citrus College. (Story continues below.)

(See the Erdman’s story in the 3 1/2-minute video below.)

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Kevin and Courtney began dating about six months later — they played miniature golf on their first date — and will have been married for five years in December. Four of those were spent trying to get Courtney on the LPGA Tour. Courtney played on the Duramed Futures Tour and other mini tours for three of those four years and then on the Canadian Tour until recently when she and Kevin decided to put their dream for Courtney on hold until their financial situtation improves.

During that four-year adventure, Kevin was Courtney’s coach and caddie, and they traveled from tournament to tournament in a van dubbed the “Love Shack.” Courtney came close a few times but never qualified for an LPGA tournament. However, she did get chosen to be one of the contestants on an earlier “Big Break,” one taped in Kannapali on the island of Maui. Those shows aired in the spring of 2008.

Kevin and Courtney, who now both work full-time at the Altadena Golf Course, giving lessons and handling front-desk duties, also applied to get on a “Big Break” that featured couples. They didn’t get picked to be on that show, but the producers of the series by now were familiar enough with Kevin to invite him to appear on the upcoming “Big Break Disney Golf.”

Blake, meanwhile, had to apply through normal channels. Prodded by close friend James Nitties, a former “Big Break” competitor who is now on the PGA Tour, Blake first had to file an entry on line. He then was invited to audition in Richmond, Va., where he said he did well in the skills test but no so well in the verbal interview.

Said Blake: “When they asked me what I thought was the most important question – ‘Why do you want to be on the show?’ – I couldn’t think of anything and just said, ‘I don’t know.’ I thought that might have eliminated me right there.” Blake said the competition during the taping of the show was “the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever experienced.”

Kevin said it was nerve-wracking for him too, particularly since he hadn’t been playing a lot of golf while caddying for Courtney. He had three weeks to prepare for the taping that began July 6. “I thought it would be a lot of fun and I wanted to see if I still had it,” he said when asked why he wanted to be on the show.

Courtney couldn’t accompany her husband to Florida for the two weeks of taping because she was still playing on the Canadian Tour. “I hated to leave her behind, but I was excited about making my own appearance on a Big Break,” Kevin said. “And it turned out to be a fun experience.”

As for the possibility of making it to the PGA Tour, Kevin said, “It’s not really a reality for me . . . unless there’s someone out there who sees me on the show and wants to foot the bill.”

Editor’s Note: See related postings at Larry Stewart’s blog, a profile of Blake Moore, and Moore being accepted as a contestant on Big Break, the latter of which also includes Moore in a video interview with Arcadia’s Best.

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