Checking in with Team Canada

Chris Crisologo: Focused on success

Chris Crisologo
Chris Crisologo (Bernard Brault/ Golf Canada)

Currently in his third year with Golf Canada’s National Team Program, Chris Crisologo is considered one of Canada’s top golfing prospects. The Richmond, B.C. native spent the first two years on the Amateur Squad, and presently, he’s in his first season with the Young Pro Squad.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, Crisogolo is trying to make the most of his time indoors.

“I’ve been able to read more books to pass the time. One specific book was given to me by my coach, Derek Ingram, called ‘Pound the Stone’ written by Joshua Medcalf. I’ve really enjoyed taking a few notes, and working on the mental side of both sport and life,” said the Simon Fraser University grad.

“On the physical side, I’ve done a lot of body weight exercises, as well as, some band work specific for golf mobility. I’ve also worked on tempo and rhythm, as well as path, with the putter,” Crisologo continued.

“I’m trying to make the most of this time to strengthen myself and make improvements for when the season starts up again,” he added with optimism.

As the 24-year-old reflects on his journey, he’s thankful to his dad, Lorenzo Crisologo, for introducing him to the sport.

Chris Crisologo

“My dad and I were playing tennis, and there was a golf club close by so he decided to take me to the course,” recalled Crisologo about his humble beginnings.

“I was five or six at the time and when I hit the ball that first time I got hooked. I hit a three wood and saw the ball take flight and thought ‘this is unreal’ and knew this is what I want to do over and over again.”

Besides his interest in golf, young Chris was an all around athlete and had interest in a number of other sports.

“I played a whole lot of basketball growing up, and did volleyball, and track and field also.  I spent a lot of time on the tennis courts, and so, of course, I played a bit of tennis – but not competitively,” he said.

During his summers, Crisologo would spend all day on the golf course as his parents would drop him off in the morning.

“I played from 7 am to 7 pm until they picked my up. Looking back, I guess spending all those hours on the golf course got me to where I am today,” he noted.

Crisologo says it wasn’t until the 10th grade that he decided to take golf more seriously.

“I had played in golf tournaments since I was eight, but I never really thought that it would be something that I would be focusing on until grade 10,” he pointed out.

“That’s when I started to take it more seriously, and started to focus more on how to play the game the right way.”

Chris Crisologo

Since his childhood years, Crisologo knew he wanted to be involved in sports but it took him time to figure out which sport he had the most passion for – and the best chance to find success.

“Unlike basketball or track and field, golf is one of those sports where you don’t have to be the biggest, the strongest or the fastest,” said Crisologo, who is listed at five foot nine but is known for his ball striking and distance on the golf course.

After completing high school, Crisologo attended Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.  Its interesting to note that SFU is the only Canadian university affiliated with and competing in the U.S.-based National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II.

In addition to winning numerous NCAA tournaments during his time at SFU, Crisologo caught the attention of many golf fans when he finished fourth in the Canadian Amateur in 2016.

From there, other notable accomplishments include qualifying for the U.S. Amateur in 2017, and winning the B.C. Amateur in 2018.

But perhaps his most impressive accomplishment as an amateur came at the RBC Canadian Open in 2018. Crisologo finished in a tie for 45th spot at Glen Abbey, and was the low Canadian amateur – taking home the Gary Cowan medal.

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Crisologo recalls heading into the tournament with a lot of confidence.

“The weeks leading up to it I was playing some great golf.  I won the B.C. Amateur right before the RBC Canadian Open and that gave me some momentum heading in,” he said.

“It was just amazing to feed off the energy from the crowd at Glen Abbey. It’s definitely something that I will always remember,”added Crisologo about his experience at the 2018 RBC Canadian Open.

Currently, in his third year with the National Team Program, Crisologo says he’s well supported and believes his career as a professional golfer is on the right trajectory.

“We are supported through great coaching. We have a mental coach and physio coach. Having this support and the resources provided through the program allows us to really focus on success.  I’m really grateful to be part of the program because it’d be pretty difficult to figure it all out on our own,” said Crisologo.

Derek Ingram, head coach of the men’s National Team Program, is quick to point out Crisologo’s strengths which has contributed to his success on the golf course.

“Chris is very explosive off the tee.  He’s not a big guy but he is surprisingly long off the tee and also very accurate.  Chris is smart and patient and has really improved his iron game over the past few years,” said Ingram.

Having turned professional in August of 2019, Crisologo has his sights set on competing on the PGA Tour full time within the next five years.

Ingram believes Crisologo is on track to reach his goal. He candidly points out some of the areas that the first year Young Pro Squad member will need to address in order to take his game to the next level.

Chris Crisologo

“Chris has to get more consistent.  He has to putt better on a day to day basis and eliminate mistakes off the tee – such as penalties,” said Ingram.

“And of course, he has to get used to the daily grind of being a professional and the travel that goes with it.  The ladder comes from experience.”

Ingram points out that having role models to look up to will be a big asset for Crisologo in his quest to play the sport at the highest level.

“It really is great for players like Chris – and others on our Young Pro Squad and Amateur Team – to have guys on the PGA Tour to look up to. Players like Mac (Hughes) and Corey (Conners), as well as others, like Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin have been great to the players coming behind them,” said Ingram.

“They’ve taken the time to share experiences and information.  They’ve been excellent role models and become friends with the current players on the program.”

The talented 24-year-old golfer agrees with his coach and is appreciative of the guidance from those who have gone through the National Team Program – and have left a trail for success.

“Seeing all the guys who have been on the program before us and seeing their success on the PGA Tour is great,” Crisologo acknowledged.

“From a mental standpoint, it just gives me motivation and inspiration to work harder and focus on making improvements each day, so I can have that same success in the future.”