25 Things You Didn't Know About Gary Woodland

We get to know US Open Champion Gary Woodland a little better

Gary Woodland hits a drive
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gary Woodland wrote his name into the history books in 2019 when he won the US Open at Pebble Beach, holding off Brooks Koepka down the stretch to become a Major champion.

The American is a multiple winner on the PGA Tour and one of the tour's most respected and well liked players.

Get to know Gary Woodland better with these 25 facts:

Gary Woodland Facts:

1. Woodland was born in Topeka, Kansas on the 21st of May, 1984.

2. After high school, Woodland attended Washburn University on a basketball scholarship but left after one year. He then attended Kansas University on a golf scholarship. Whilst there he studied sociology and had a successful collegiate career winning four tournaments.

3. He gave up on his basketball career after playing against Kansas University. He said to TaylorMade; "They were so much bigger and faster then we were. I quickly realised I wasn't going to be able to play basketball as a professional - I probably could've gone overseas and played, but I wasn't going to be able to do it as a career."

4. In golf, Woodland turned professional in 2007.

5. Four years later he won his first event on the PGA Tour at the Transitions Championship. This came just weeks after he lost in a playoff at the Bob Hope Classic to Jhonattan Vegas.

6. Alongside Matt Kuchar, Woodland helped win the World Cup of Golf with the United States.

gary woodland phoenix

(Image credit: Getty Images)

7. During the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Woodland surprised Amy Bockerstette from Special Olympics Arizona to play the iconic 16th hole with him. The moment went viral online and in the world of sport, and the two have remained in touch since.

8. His best world ranking position is 12th following his 2019 US Open win.

9. He is quite the table tennis player. After injuring his shoulder during his rookie season on the PGA Tour he had nine months out and couldn't really move his left shoulder so he took to table-tennis to keep busy.

10. He marks his ball with a 1984 half-dollar coin given to him by his mother. The year 1984 signifies the year he was born.

11. Back in 2017, Woodland and his partner Gabby had their son Jaxson who was born 10 weeks prematurely. They were expecting twins but sadly their daughter was lost during the pregnancy. They then had two twin girls together in 2019 after two miscarriages.

12. He has made over $33m on the PGA Tour.

gary woodland us open

Woodland won $2.5m for his 2019 US Open victory at Pebble Beach

(Image credit: Getty Images)

13. Woodland's caddie is Brennan Little, a veteran looper who has been on tour since 1999 and by Woodland's side for many years, including at the victorious 2019 US Open.

14. He has ten runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour, where he has made over 250 cuts from over 340 starts.

15. In September 2023, he underwent brain surgery to remove a benign tumor. Leading up to the surgery, he had anxiety and was worried about death.

16. He is a Cobra-Puma ambassador.

17. He made a hole-in-one on the 14th hole in round two of the 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson. He also made an ace at the 2018 QBE Shootout.

18. He lives in Delray Beach, Florida.

19. He is a member of Pine Tree Golf Club.

20. His home club as a junior was Topeka Country Club in Kansas.

21. He played in the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, where Tiger Woods' Team USA beat the Internationals in a tight contest.

Gary Woodland plays an iron shot during the 2019 Presidents Cup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

22. His favorite college team is the Kansas Jayhawks and the professional team he supports is the Kansas City Chiefs.

23. The golf complex at the University of Kansas is named after him.

24. He has a ball deal with Titleist and plays the Pro V1x.

25. He has previously worked with Butch Harman. His current coach is Mark Blackburn, while he also works putting guru Phil Kenyon.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Gary Woodland bio
Full nameGary Lynn Woodland
BornMay 21 1984, Topeka, Kansas, USA
CollegeWashburn University, University of Kansas
Turned pro2007
Current tourPGA Tour
PGA Tour wins4
Major wins1 (2019 US Open)
Career-high world ranking12th

Gary Woodland earnings

Gary Woodland has earned over $33m on the PGA Tour. His biggest check came after his 2019 US Open win, where he earned $2.5m.

He also has sponsorship deals with Cobra-Puma Golf, Titleist, Security Benefit, NetJets and Troon Golf.

Gary Woodland driving distance

Woodland is a powerful player and has averaged over 300 yards in every season he's played on the PGA Tour. His longest hitting season was 2022-23, where he had an average drive of 313.8 yards.

Gary Woodland brain tumor

Woodland underwent surgery in September 2023 for a benign brain tumor. It led to him taking four months away from the game, returning in January 2024.

He opened up about the anxiety and fear of death he experienced leading up to the surgery.

"The doctors kept telling me I was OK, but this thing which was pushing on the part of my brain which controls fear and anxiety... it didn't matter if I was driving a car or on an airplane - I'd be thinking the bin is going to fall on me - I just thought everything was going to kill me," he said.

"So, you can imagine - leading up to surgery - what I felt like about the thought of having my head cut open and my brain operated on. The fear going into that was awful.

"When I woke up and realized I was OK, I was filled with thankfulness and love, and that replaced the fear. It was emotional, very emotional, because I'd gone four-and-a-half months of every day really thinking I was going to die."

Sam Tremlett
E-commerce Editor

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel. 

He also oversees all Tour player content as well so if you need to know what clubs Tiger or Rory has in play, Sam is the person to ask. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Infinity NEXT%/Cuater The Ringer

With contributions from