EDITOR'S NOTE: PGATOUR.com's "Life Beyond The Green" feature gives fans a chance to catch up with players who may have disappeared from view. Today's subject is Terry Diehl. Give us the names of other players you'd like to see featured in the coming weeks.
Life in professional golf has many milestones and none is more important to a PGA TOUR veteran than age 50, which brings with it SENIOR PGA TOUR eligibility and a second chance to compete for million-dollar purses.
|Diehl won the 1974 San Antonio Texas Open. || |
But Terry Diehl has postponed that ultimate mulligan because of an even more important milestone.
The 50-year-old Diehl and his wife of nearly two years, Laura, have instead been enjoying the company of Alexandra, their adopted Chinese daughter who will celebrate her first birthday on Sept. 25.
"There are four million little girls in China who are in orphanages," Diehl said. "I had a few sponsor exemptions to play SENIOR events this fall, but this adoption took precedent."
Diehl, the father of four grown sons, said he and Laura spent 18 months going through the adoption process. So when the couple found out they were finally going to become parents to an infant, the SENIOR TOUR became secondary.
"A lot of guys get ready for the SENIOR TOUR and I go adopt," said Diehl, who won the San Antonio Texas Open 26 years ago. "I'm a whole lot better prepared for it at age 50 than I was at age 20."
Diehl quit playing golf following the 1983 season and went to work in the PGA TOUR's marketing department for five years. He obtained his securities license in 1992 and took a job with Prudential Securities. He stayed there until June 1999, when he left for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
"My goal was to play the PGA TOUR and I was very fortunate to be able to do that," Diehl said. "Since 1984 my goal was to build a business -- knock on wood, I've been very fortunate."
Diehl is currently based in New York where he is a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. He has worked as a retail broker, where his duties involved portfolio management, as well as on the retirement council, where he focused on 401K and retirement business.
"I very much enjoy it," Diehl said. "I like getting a paycheck every week. There were a lot of weeks on the TOUR I didn't."
Diehl, who has a degree in pre-med from the University of Georgia, has long been interested in the financial world. He was given his first stocks as an eighth grader and -- despite a lack of success with his initial holdings -- his interest continued to grow.
"Sybron," Diehl said of his first experience in the investment world, "It was a terrible stock. I held it for 10 years and it never made any money."
Diehl, who earned just over $400,000 during his PGA TOUR days, said professional golf has been priceless in helping him reach his goals.
"Golf has played such a major role in my life," he said. "I couldn't separate golf from my life right now. It has been a huge marketing tool in my life. It's been a very integral part of my life."
Diehl continues to make golf a part of his life through his involvement with the American Cancer Society's Walter Hagen Golf Tournament. He helps organize the tournament and makes sure it's funded.
"I accepted the position with the American Cancer Society because I don't know someone who hasn't been affected -- in some form or another -- by cancer," he said. "I just try to make a very concentrated effort to help, as opposed to just sticking my toe in the water."