Adam Hadwin has been a golf pro for five years, but the Abbotsford, B.C., native is hoping this year, he can become a little more professional.
Entering his third season on the Web.com Tour, Hadwin realizes that he has to get a little more focused on his career – not just his game but with everything related to it. That, he believes, will help him get to where he wants to be – the PGA Tour.
“I want to take a bit more of a professional approach to everything, more of a business approach,” said Hadwin, who was busy filling out visa applications for several South American countries that will host the first wave of tournament stops on the Web.com Tour. “I want to have a better relationship with everyone so that when I step on the tee, I know I am fully prepared to play.”
Since turning professional, things have come fairly easily for Hadwin. Not that it’s been cakewalk, but the 26-year-old has enjoyed success without really putting in a lot of effort. He won in his first year on the Canadian Tour in 2010 and also finished as low Canadian at the RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s G&CC that same year.
He almost won his national open a year later, finishing in a tie for fourth after entering the final round just a shot off the lead. And he was low Canadian at the U.S. Open at Congressional. He came within a few shots of advancing to the PGA Tour, ending the 2012 Web.com Tour season in 30th spot on the money list.
The highlights went on and many were predicting certain ascension to the PGA Tour. But last year, he seemed to stall. In 21 events on the Web.com Tour, he made the cut in 11 and earned just $81,000.
“In 2012 I was very close, on the verge of doing something great,” said Hadwin. “But how I was getting there was incorrect. My synopsis is that the way I was doing things was cracked and flawed and I got away with it. In actual fact, I wasn’t approaching it professionally.
“Obviously I would like to be at the next level, and I think I’ve played well enough to be there, but I’ve learned a lot the last two years and the way I look at it is that maybe I wouldn’t have been ready if I had made it. There are still some things for me to learn.”
It’s not to say that Hadwin got away with things, but he fully admits that he could have done more, could have put in a little more effort.
“I’ve never really been the hardest of workers,” he admitted. “In high school and university, I always did just enough work that would produce credible results.”
While that may have got him a business degree from the University of Louisville, it’s not going to cut it if he wants to get to the PGA Tour.
“I realized last year that all this could be taken away from me pretty quickly,” said Hadwin, who resides in the Phoenix area most of the year. “I need to commit to this job. It’s a privilege to do what I’m doing.”
To start building towards that, Hadwin held a December gathering that included his coach, Brett Saunders, his chiropractor Kevin Dielman, trainer Jason Glass and longtime mentor Scott Rogers to set out a plan for the year. His goal is to be fully prepared every time he steps onto the first tee at a tournament.
Hadwin cited Mike Weir as someone he’d like to emulate in that preparation and professionalism.
“He’s got it figured out,” he said. “I’m ready to make that commitment to my career, my profession.”
He’ll get that chance when the Web.com Tour starts up again in February. So far, the schedule is in a state of flux although the first few weeks have been mapped out with stops in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Panama. The players have been told where the tour will travel only until May with a number of events still trying to firm up dates on the calendar.
Hadwin will be ready for the start of the schedule and he’s hoping that his new approach will bring good things when it ends.