Jordan Hahn hopes to hone in on his mental game in his second season as a professional golfer.
If Hahn’s last tournament is any indication, everything is headed in the right direction.
The 2015 Richmond-Burton graduate won his first professional tournament on Dec. 21 in Winter Garden, Florida, firing a 13-under-par, two-round 131 to win by six strokes at the Crooked Cat Challenge at Orange County National Golf Club. The event was part of the Florida Elite Golf Tour.
Hahn shot rounds of 65 and 66 to win the $5,000 first prize.
“A lot of people go through some kinks in their games when they struggle with certain things,” Hahn said. “I feel like I know my strengths and weaknesses. Most of all, I just have to keep a good, solid mindset. There’s a lot of big-time players you’ll see at events. It’s knowing you can compete with them and have that same confidence that you had in college. Keep a good mindset and be confident.”
Kiel Alderink, Hahn’s golf coach for more than a decade, likes that Hahn consistently keeps improving.
“It’s been a pretty impressive jump from year to year,” Alderink said. “It’s something he’s been really good with, every year he gets a little better. It’s mostly maturity, that’s the biggest thing Jordan has gotten better with over time.
“He’s a lot more level-headed now. Maybe a bad day, a bad round, a bad shot might not affect him nearly as much as it did when he was younger. I feel the emotional and mental maturity is a big game-changer.”
Hahn, the Northwest Herald Boys Golfer of the Year in 2013 and 2014, graduated from Wisconsin in 2019 with a degree in personal finance. With the Badgers, he set the program record for the season-low average (71.69), earning All-Big Ten Conference first-team honors and an individual invitation to the NCAA Tournament’s Louisville Regional.
Hahn, 23, then went to PGA Qualifying School later that year, where he advanced to the final stage but missed qualifying. Hahn did make the alternate list for the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly Web.com Tour). The top 25 money-winners for the year from that tour earn PGA status for the next season.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and more limited tournament play, Hahn did not get as many opportunities to play in Korn Ferry events.
“It was a really big confidence booster making it to the final stage of Q School last year, " Hahn said. “That is tough to do and I was really proud of myself handling the competition and adrenaline of making it through those stages.
“I kick myself that I didn’t play the best in the final stage, but it was my first go out of college. To get that far, I was happy with the way I performed and hopefully it’s a good building block that I can use in future events.”
Hahn moved back with his parents, Ron and Cami, in Spring Grove, while traveling to various mini-tour events he could find. His sister Mackenzie is a senior golfer on the Wisconsin women’s team. Hahn rented a house in Florida to play for a month around the Crooked Cat Challenge. As a Korn Ferry alternate, he also receives access to TPC courses that he played while there.
Hahn will return soon and head to California later this month for the Farmers’ Insurance Open, a money qualifier. He also will play in as many Korn Ferry qualifying events, on Mondays during the season, as possible to try to make those tournaments.
“Once you get into an event and make a cut, you start earning some points,” Hahn said. “Then you can get in on a more consistent basis.”
Alderink feels like Hahn just needs those chances.
“If the schedule gets back to normal (with the coronavirus), I don’t know if it will, it’ll open up some more opportunities for him to play. With the year the way it was, there just wasn’t many opportunities. The same people were playing, week in and week out. Guys like Jordan didn’t have full status and were not getting opportunities to play. He didn’t lose his status, so he doesn’t have to go back to Q School.”
So Hahn will wait and watch and try to capitalize when he does get a shot in the Korn Ferry qualifiers. He will check in with Alderink and Wisconsin coach Michael Burcin, with whom he remains in close contact.
“Him winning this last tournament, his success at Q School, he’s shown he can do it,” Alderink said. “He can play with anybody. He just needs to continue to practice and get stronger mentally. Keep doing things day in, day out that will continue to help him keep elevating like he has year after year.
“If he keeps that trend up, he’ll be a good pro for a long time.”