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April 30, 2022

Mobile’s Robby Shelton climbing out of his ‘rabbit hole’

By Gregg Dewalt, AGN Editor
Robbie Shelton and caddie

Alabama pro working his way back to PGA Tour

Robby Shelton
Robby Shelton is working his way back to the PGA Tour. (Photo: Korn Ferry Tour)

HUNTSVILLE – Robby Shelton is only 26 years old, but he seemingly has been making golf news in Alabama forever.

The former St. Paul’s High School (Mobile) and University of Alabama standout, Shelton has shuttled between the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA Tour for the past four seasons.

This week he’s at the Huntsville Championship, a Korn Ferry Tour stop where through three rounds he was 4-under. And although well off the lead, he’s in the mix for another high finish to take a step back toward the PGA Tour.

Shelton had a breakthrough season in 2019 on the Korn Ferry Tour, winning twice in three weeks at Nashville and Knoxville, to easily earn his PGA Tour card. He played well in 2020 on the PGA Tour, but a down season in 2021 left him back on the Korn Ferry Tour this season.

The Birmingham resident admits trying to change his swing led to him
“going down the rabbit hole.”

“My first year on the PGA Tour I made it to the FedEx playoffs,” Shelton said Saturday after a third-round 67 at the Huntsville Championship. “Then I stopped being myself. I went away from that. It took me awhile to get out of it, but I’m finally out of it. I’m trending in the right direction.”

Robby Shelton: ‘I definitely have got the game’

Robby Shelton said tinkering with his swing is something all golfers do in an effort to get better. For him, it meant changing his ball flight from a slight draw to a slight cut. But it didn’t work.

“I felt like I had this monkey on my back telling me to hit a cut shot and I have never done that in my life,” Shelton said. “I’ve always hit a baby draw, baby draw, baby draw. If I miss, it’s going to hang out to the right. I went after (the cut shot) and the clubface didn’t match what my mind wanted it to.”

Matt Mitchell, a teaching pro in Tampa, Florida, got Shelton back on track.

“We’re always trying to find some little nuance to get better,” he said. “I tried to do that and I went down trying to chase a golf swing that does not fit me or my body type at all. I’m back to when I was 16 years old; that’s what I feel like now. It was a good lesson to learn. It will be a great thing going forward than I ever have.”

Shelton had a celebrated junior career, winning three Alabama High School Athletic Association state titles. After playing at Alabama, he turned professional in 2016.

Shelton said one lesson he has learned is to take things in stride.

“I definitely have got the game for [the PGA Tour],” he said. “You just have to tell yourself you are plenty good. That’s what (Alabama) coach (Jay) Seawell always told me and that’s what I believe. Golf is that way – you are up and down, up and down. You just tell yourself you are going to get back out there. Good golf always solves problems.’

Gregg Dewalt is the editor of Alabama Golf News.

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Featured image: Gregg Dewalt

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