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David Hearn
David Hearn

What it takes to go pro in golf Add to ...

In the old days, that may have meant sleeping three to a room, or sharing a long car ride from Alberta to Winnipeg. Hadwin, who admittedly spent more than the minimum on the Canadian Tour, was still splitting a room on his first two Web.com stops in South America, but planned to fly to all of the North American tournaments. And, after losing his clubs during a multiple-stop marathon trip to a PGA Tour event last season, he won’t be as hesitant to spend a few hundred dollars more to avoid a handful of layovers.

“I’m not staying in 4-star hotels and eating $200 dinners,” Hadwin says. “I’m still using Priceline to find cheap hotels and rental cars and all that. I just won’t be driving to events. I would rather fly two hours than drive six or seven. But those are things you’ve got to do on the Canadian Tour. There are examples all over the place of guys trying to save a buck here and there, driving everywhere and living out of the back of their car.”

It’s worth noting, though, that fewer of them end up where Hearn, Hadwin, and Mills are.

“In the long run, if you want to do this for a living, you have to do it right,” Mills says.

“It’s not a cheap sport,” adds Hearn. “But, when I hear guys talk about not having money and sleeping on couches, I don’t think that’s a real good formula for success. If you are going to be a professional, act like one – you don’t see the top players in the world doing that – even if you don’t have the money, you have to find a way.”

It’s either that, or you risk becoming another one of golf’s horror stories, rather than one of success.

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