Today we will share the second half of our interview with Muni Kids Brand Ambassador, Hogan Arey.
How did growing up on a public golf course shape the person you are today?
Growing up playing golf at a public course is like growing up playing pick up basketball. The basic principles are, don't be the worst one out there. Kids who grow up at a public course tend to be scrappers, bull dogs, simply greasy golfers who learn to score because they hate losing to their buddies. This is the lifestyle I grew up playing in at Trysting Tree Golf Course. Normally standing over a 5 foot putt you hear tranquil silence. At most public courses you have noise, whether it be the traffic on the road next to you, the drunks screaming in the group in front, or your buddies chirping in your ear "miss it, miss it nooonen!" Being a public course player you learn to create your own happy place in your own head. Being able to block out all the mental distractions on a golf course is key to shooting the best score possible each round you play.
Tell us about your college golf career, how's it going?
My first day on campus at ULM I was 5'7" weighing in at 118 pounds and hitting the ball about 270 yards. Today, 3 years later I still only weigh in at 130 pounds but am averaging about 295 yards off the tee. In my three years of college golf I have had to learn to play without having my dad watch my swing everyday. I began to teach myself the swing based off the principles my dad taught me. I really feel my consistent ball striking comes from having a great understanding of my own swing. I believe this is much more important to master than perfecting technique. It took me two years to learn the art of playing Bermuda grass. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I was a very good short game player on the rye grass surrounded with bent greens. But golf is a game that plays differently every place you go. Learning how to adapt your game to each course and it's conditions is one of the most difficult aspects of the game. College golf is a grind. Tournaments are long 36 hole days of straight competition, meaning the course is different both rounds. Maintaining peak performance for the entire day is a challenge. At this level of the game mental training is just as important as practicing your golf swing. College golf is full of good talent and it's an honor to play at this level.
What are your goals after college golf and graduation?
The big picture plan is to move to Asia for a year and play the Australian-Asian tour. I really want to learn more about the culture of southeast Asia and build relationships with a lot of the golf community in this area. Golf is a growing sport in this area of the world, it would be in my best interest to connect myself with this market early in my career as it can lead to many opportunities later in life. Ultimately my goal is the PGA tour, but the life of an up and coming pro golfer is an unpredictable one. For me, I plan to take every experience, all wins and losses, and carry those lessons with me for the rest of my life. Golf is a game that helps teach you the basic principles in life.Those who make the PGA tour are considered the most mentally tough human beings alive, so it would be an honor to one day make that vision become a reality.
As an ambassador and contributor to muni kids, what excites you about getting involved?
As a muni kids ambassador I want to spread the common feeling we all share, a love for the game of golf, one we gained from playing on a public course or muni. Whether we fell in love at a young age or picked it up later in life the game of golf is part of our lifestyle. It is who we are. As an ambassador I hope to share my stories of the game, as I have played almost everyday for 8 years. After each round I can't wait to tell someone about a great shot I pulled off, or a bad break that happened. Through Muni Kids Bogey Free Blog I want to inspire #munikidseverywhere to share your golf story on social media. Golf is a social game and through Muni Kids we can create a network of golf buddies from all over! At the end of every round of golf all we have are the memories made, and stories to tell to our buddies.
What should everyone who follows Muni Kids expect from your blog posts?
As a muni kids ambassador I hope to share my knowledge of the game that I have been taught while playing my whole life. Many of my posts will include ways that I practice, these may be specific drills, techniques, or even mindsets that I practice. While being raised on a golf course I have been taught valuable life lessons I hope to share. Along the way I have met some very interesting people at public courses, some you look at and say they don't belong on a golf course. They may argue they do belong, and they are really good at the game. I hope to share stories of people whose lives have been impacted through the game of golf. I am extremely excited for the opportunities muni kids will bring, and the stories that will come from this lifestyle.