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GolfWRX gets to know Meghan Hardin

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By Stephen Zinger

GolfWRX Contributor

It happened again.  Another season of Big Break on Golf Channel was fast approaching and I had seen some of the early advertisements and player profiles.  Much like the other seasons of the golf reality series, there was one contestant that caught my attention, and this season of Big Break Atlantis was no different.  For me, there is usually one contestant that stands out among the other contestants before viewers even get to see them hit a golf shot.  This time around, that contestant was Meghan Hardin.  Unfortunately, her tenure on this season’s show was limited to one episode.  However, Meghan was kind enough to give GolfWRX some time to provide us with some insight into her experience on the show and her direction as a newly minted professional golfer.

I began my interview by providing her with a description GolfWRX, and Megan was quick to tell me that an explanation was unnecessary because she is a member of the site as are several of her friends.  She is well aware of the variety of topics covered and has paid attention to what the readership has written about her.  I explained that for a variety of reasons, she seemed to be the favorite contestant of the show, and she responded with laugh, “Yeah, I know.”

At 19 years old, Meghan is the youngest contestant since the show’s inception.  She terminated her brief collegiate career and status as an amateur to turn professional which is required of all contestants.  Meghan said her motivation to turn professional was not solely motivated by the Big Break, and she believes the professional mini tours provide a higher level of competition than collegiate golf.  She explained that not having to worry about the other demands of college life, such as studying, papers and tests will redirect her focus in obtaining status on the LPGA Tour.

“I get to be my own boss and compete in tournaments I want to compete in,” she said.

Meghan’s experience on the Big Break was different than her expectations going into the show.  She said she could not plan a strategy because rules and formatting were not made clear to contestants.  During the initial episode when reading the signs along the walk on the beach, she believed that based on the point format, she assumed the contestants would not be eliminated in the traditional manner.

“I was doing my best, but wasn’t fighting for my life like I should have been,” she said.

As a result of the early elimination, Meghan believes her distinct competitive drive was not conveyed in only one episode.  She said her motivation as a contestant was not simply to “get on T.V.”

“I didn’t give up the amateur status, and I’m not practicing ten hours a day to just be on T.V,” she said.

She said she realized in the show’s biographical information, it described her as a part-time model.  Meghan said she’s only done one photo shoot in her life, and her focus remains on grinding it out on the golf course, driven to achieve her goals.

“I don’t want people to think because I wore a bathing suit, that I’m not serious [about golf],” she said. “In reality, any 19-year-old girl from Southern California is going to be wearing a bathing suit in the Bahamas.”

After elimination from the Big Break, Meghan appeared on an episode of Golf Channel’s The Golf Fix with Michael Breed.

“That was so much fun, I liked that more than the first episode for sure,” she said. “When I got eliminated, after about 14 days of laying on the beach and not a lot of practice, they told me, oh by the way, tomorrow morning you’re going to have a lesson with a guest instructor.  I didn’t know until I arrived that it was Michael Breed.”

Meghan said Breed gave her a lot of good tips that she still implements in her swing today.  She said Breed weakened her grip making it more neutral, and helped her with her “flip” at impact.  After the taping for the show, she said Breed continued to work with her on much of the same instruction seen on the show.  When asked if there were a chance we would see her again on future episodes, Meghan responded, “There is a chance.  …There is a very good chance.”

At the time of this interview, Meghan had only competed in one tournament on the Cactus Tour (A woman’s professional tour in Phoenix, AZ.)  She shot a 79, 77, 76 for a 14th place finish.  She cited a considerable amount of nerves trying to prove herself so people would not think she was simply a one hit wonder from the Big Break.  Overall, she was not disappointed in her play and said she is working on hitting more greens in regulation.  She believes that gap between her and the top players on this tour is small.  One drawback to playing on the Cactus Tour is cost.  Meghan estimated the expense for her first tournament in the Phoenix area was approximately $2,500.  The prize for a first place win was $1,500. Meghan is hoping the tour expands into Southern California to eliminate some of these costs.

Meghan continues to reside in the mountains of Lake Arrowhead, Calif.  She plays out of two clubs, Lake Arrowhead Country Club and Arrowhead Country Club.  She recently posted a YouTube video (see below) of her during a practice session to send a message that she is serious about golf and her game.  Meghan admits some of what has been written about her game in the golf forums has been hurtful.  She said on the Big Break, she would warm up for a half hour, then wait four hours before hitting a single shot.  She did not feel it was an accurate representation of the depth of her game.

“I posted the video to tell people, listen here, I’m serious about my game,” she said. ‘I am not going around to fashion shows. I’m practicing 10-12 hours a day.”

A typical day in the life of Meghan Hardin begins with a 6 a.m. wake-up call.  She runs to her Mom’s home which is about a mile and a half away and spends some time working out in a home gym for about an hour.  Following this morning workout, she runs back home to get ready for golf.  Her stepfather is also her caddie/swing coach. He played college golf with Paul Goydos at Long Beach State.  She varies her practice by spending 10 to 12 hours on the range and practice green, breaking only for lunch.  There are other days where she will warm up on the range, but much of the day is spent playing on course, up to 54 holes a day.  Meghan and her stepfather review and revise her practice schedule each week.

“I’m blessed to be able to golf everyday and not have to worry about paying for lessons or a caddie,” she said.

After filming ended for the Big Break, Meghan was diagnosed with severe ADD/ADHD and was prescribed medication to address those health concerns.

“It’s helped my golf game immensely, she said. “I wished I had the medication when I was in school.”

Meghan believes top touring professionals in golf separate themselves from the rest with mental confidence in themselves and their game.  She plans on playing the Cactus Tour again July 9-11, in Las Vegas, Nev., then at least two tournaments a month until the LPGA Qualifying School in September.  Meghan is going to give it her best and has a goal to reach the LPGA within two years.  She does not rule out giving up her amateur status and returning to collegiate golf.

“If after two years it feels I am not going to make it, USC has always been my dream school, so I will probably try to go there,” she said. “I have my Associates degree, so I only have two years of school left.”

Meghan gave me a rundown of what she currently has in her bag.  She’s currently sponsored by TaylorMade/Adidas Golf and was fitted at TaylorMade’s The Kingdom, in Carlsbad, Calif.  Megan said she had the opportunity to meet Taylor Made CEO, Mark King, and expressed gratitude in the manner in which she has been treated by him and the company as a young professional.

“They’ve been great, I am really thankful,” she said.

What’s in Meghan’s bag

Driver: Taylor Made R11s 9*

Fairway woods: Taylor Made RBZ 3 & 7 woods

Hybrids: Taylor Made RBZ 4 HB

Irons: Taylor Made RBZ 5-PW

Wedges: Taylor Made ATV 50/54/58

Putter: Taylor Made Ghost Manta Center Shaft

Meghan Fun Facts

– She received Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest award in the organization.

– When she was 14, she was nicknamed Meghan Man Shoulders because she was into body building.  She could bench press 165 pounds.

– She is obsessed with video games, her favorites being The Sims, Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, and Halo. Last year, she became so obsessed with playing The Sims, she popped a blood vessel in her eye and could not stare at a TV for 48 hours.

You can learn more about Meghan on her website, www.meghanhardin.com

You can also follow her on Twitter @MeghanAHardin

Click the link for a video of her practice session on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChep5CMxM0skbwge37wkymQ

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum.

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

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  1. DannyBoy

    Jun 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Marry me….

    soooo hot, want to touch the hiney woooooo

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Tour Rundown: Casey stumbles, Bubba wins his third Travelers Championship

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The third week of June 2K18 brought a respite from the men’s U.S. Open madness. The PGA Tour traveled a bit north, to Connecticut, while the Webbies went to Kansas. The Champions tour found itself in the Cheese state, while the Euros trekked to Germany. Oh, and the LPGA Tour took the week off, preparing for its Women’s PGA Championship this week. After the mayhem of Shinnecock Hills, and with anticipation high for the Open Championship at Carnoustie next month, a bit of leisure was a fit prescription. Here’s a rundown of all the week’s scores.

Watson leads parade of horses for courses at Travelers

The Travelers Championship was one of the first to practice awarding spots to highly-ranked amateurs. For that reason, golfers who might normally skip Connecticut, feel a loyalty to the tournament. Bubba Watson wasn’t one of them, but his affinity for the course is evident. His third career win at TPC River Highlands came by 3 strokes on Sunday, over a  quartet of runners-up. Bubba’s card wasn’t clean on the week, but he found a way to make a few more birdies (and a few less bogeys) each round, than the competition. A third of the lanky Floridian’s PGA Tour titles have come along the banks of the Connecticut river, so expect another one soon.

Stewart Cink doesn’t win often on tour (apologies to 59-year old Tom Watson) but he tends to contend at the Travelers. The same affection can be applied to J.B. Holmes, Paul Casey and young Beau Hossler. Those four edged their way past Kevin Tway and Brian Harman, to 14-under and a tie for second place. Cink birdied 7 of his first 10 holes on Sunday, and made 3 more coming home. Those would have brought him within a whisker of the magical 59, but alas, he had 2 ill-advised bogeys during that same, closing stretch. Hossler charged at the end, with 4 birdies over the closing sextet. If any young golfer catches our eye these days, as the next to break through for victory, it is the Californian-turned-UTexas alum. He lost to Ian Poulter in Houston this spring, and should break through before trees shed their leaves.

Of all the also-rans, it was a gutted Casey who leaves town with regret. A day after starting his own 62, the Englishman stumbled home with 72. He made one birdie on day 4, and that was at the 1st hole. Still in the mix at the closing bell, the expat bogeyed 2 of his final 3 holes to complete his wretched story.

Schnell accepts props for first Web.Com Tour title

Brady Schnell received a decorative propeller as trophy for his inaugural Web win, but we suspect a print of the closing hole might have been more suitable. After flirting with the cut line on Friday, Schnell finished with a firm handshake, including birdie at the last. On Sunday, he birdied the hole 2 times in a 3-man playoff. The first helped to send Scott Pinckney away, and the second dismissed Brandon Hagy. Hagy went out in 30 on Sunday, but could apply enough tour sauce coming home, to end the event in regulation. Pinckney held the reigns on Saturday night, but 2 bogey bumps over the final 7 holes undid his fine week of work. With the trophy, Schnell jumped all the way from 68th to 12th in the chase for a PGA Tour card. Both Hagy and Pinckney moved inside the top 60 on the same list.

McCarron’s first 2018 win comes at American Family

Scott McCarron came out on PGA Tour Champions in 2016, and rolled 2 wins during that inaugural campaign. When he followed it up with a stellar 2017, including his first senior major among 4 triumphs, aficionados wondered if a dynasty was brewing. Since September, the McCarron train left the tracks for the yard, but it seems to be back. The California native held off home-stater Jerry Kelly by a stroke, thanks to a 3-birdie run from holes 14-16 on day 3. The victory was his 7th on the senior circuit, and elevated him to 3rd on the season points list, behind leader Kelly and Bernhard Langer. With a slim lead on the home hole, McCarron stuck an approach from a slightly-hanging lie to 15 feet, then 2-putted for the win.

Esteban Toledo had the 36-hole lead, but he found out what a closing 73 gets you on the Champions Tour: very little. The 4-time winner on Tour Champions faded away with 3 front-nine bogeys on Sunday. In addition to Kelly, Colin Montgomerie (64) and Steve Stricker (65) finished strong, joining defending champion Fred Couples at 13-under, one behind Kelly, in a third-place tie.

Wallace wins second of campaign at BMW International

Matt Wallace inserted himself into a trend of young Englishmen breaking through. Along with lads like Andy Sullivan and Andrew “Beef” Johnston, Wallace has quietly started a noteworthy, professional golf career. His third career title, and 2nd of 2018, came by one stroke over a trio of dissimilar runners-up. A resurgent Martin Kaymer nearly made good in front of the home crowd. Although he birdied the last, a bogey at the penultimate hole cost him a playoff spot. Mikko Korhonen won his 1st tour title a fortnight ago, and nearly doubled-down in Germany. After birdies at 15 through 17, the Fin could not add a 4th at the closer, and matched only Kaymer.

Try as Wallace and company might, they could not steal the spotlight from the capricious Dane, Thorbjorn Olesen. The Mighty One’s erratic week went like this: open with 73, then improve by 5 strokes to make the cut. Drop 9 strokes higher on Saturday to enter afterthought status. Close Sunday 16 strokes better with 61 and tie for second. Now…breathe. Olesen had 9 birdies and 1 eagle on day four, elevating his standing by 40 places over the final 18 holes. In the end, it was Wallace who accepted the hardware and moved into 11th spot in the season-long Race To Dubai.

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GolfWRX GolfWRX Morning 9: Compassgate | Better ball, better Bubba? | Golf’s most entertaining swing

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Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below.

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

 

June 25, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Compassgate brewing   
Bryson DeChambeau plotted his course to a T9 finish at the Travelers Championship using a compass…literally. Well, he didn’t literally plot a course with the compass (geometry kind, not Boy Scout kind), but he did literally use one.
  • Unfortunately (perhaps) for DeChambeau, the PGA Tour spotted the former physics major utilizing the device. While it’s highly irregular/quite expected from DeChambeau, the powers that be aren’t certain of the legality of compass use.
  • Why did the Golf Scientist do this? “Figuring out true pin locations. The pin locations are a little bit off every once in a while, so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot.”
Obviously.

 

2. The swing that’s sweeping the golf world

 

If somehow you haven’t seen Hosung Choi’s action from the Korea Open, you’re missing out. And really it’s not just the swing, it’s Choi’s whole joie de vivre on course.

 

Josh Berhow on Choimania:
  • “The 44-year-old pro blew up social media on Saturday and Sunday while competing in the Korea Open. The golf world fell in love with his one-footed follow through and colorful behavior. Pros tweeted about him, the Golf Channel ran a segment on him, Brandel Chamblee broke down his swing and even Web.com Tour players tried to imitate his swing on the range.
  • “Unfortunately for the golf world, Choi didn’t receive one of the two invitations to this year’s British Open at Carnoustie (he finished T5), but there’s already a petition in the works trying to get him there.’

 

3. Better health + better ball = Better Bubba

 

Travelers winner Bubba Watson lost 25 pounds during the course of the 2016-2017 season for publicly unknown reasons. He also played a Volvik S4 golf ball: something no other elite PGA Tour professional does.
  • Watson, who returned to a Titleist Pro V1x for 2018, doesn’t blame the ball. “I don’t think it has had any (role) in my success,” Watson said (per Golf Channel’s WIll Gray). “My clubs weren’t going the distance that I used to. I couldn’t shape it the way I want to. Luckily for me, I know the problem, and the problem was with health and not all these other things.”
  • Or, maybe it’s the #RVlifestyle
  • Watson: “The RV lifestyle now, it’s been so much fun, it’s been a blessing to have all the kids there, have the bunk beds, they enjoy it, spending time with other guys with RVs. It’s been a blast, this year’s been like a new year, a rookie season for me.”
4. Rory rising?

 

Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Rory McIlroy believes he has work to do on his swing, even if the stats don’t back it up. McIlroy shot a 3-under 67 in the final round of the Travelers Championship, completing a week in which he shot 11 under and led the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green but was last among the 74 players who made the cut in strokes gained: putting.”
  • “While the Ulsterman lamented a number of misses from close range – 17 from inside 10 feet over the course of the week, to be exact – he contended that the strokes gained data may have been “flattering” his performance with the other 13 clubs.”
  • “I don’t feel like I hit it that well tee-to-green,” McIlroy said. “It says that I’m probably No. 1 tee-to-green, but it didn’t feel like it. Yeah, obviously I would have loved to have putted better. But I felt like all parts of my game just needed to be a little bit sharper.”
We’ll next see Rory in action at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

 

5. Nasa!

 

Ron Sirak on Nasa Hataoka‘s impressive LPGA Tour W:
  • “Houston, we have liftoff. Nasa Hataoka is a 19-year old from Japan with a very American name, her mother using the initials of the U.S. space program to inspire her daughter to shoot for the stars. It could be that Hiromi Hataoka set the bar too low. Right now, the sky seems to be the limit for Nasa. Hataoka picked up her first LPGA win with a sizzling 63 on Sunday for a six-stroke victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, the largest margin of victory on the LPGA this season.”
  • “Hataoka has now finished in the top-10 in five of her last six starts and rolls into next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the third major of the year, as someone who has to be considered a top contender. Nasa nearly snared her first victory at the Kingsmill Championship in May, losing a playoff to Ariya Jutanugarn, who birdied both extra holes.”
6. Proud Ping

 

Cheers to Ping for the major tour double with Bubba winning on the PGA Tour and Matt Wallace capturing the European Tour’s BMW International Open.

 

Watson’s WITB
  • Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 degrees, at 7.6 degrees) Shaft: Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Pink X-Flex
  • Fairway Wood: Ping G (14.5 degrees, at 13.2 degrees) Shaft: Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2X
  • Irons: Pin iBlade (2 iron), Ping S55 (4-PW) Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
  • Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52-12 SS, 56-12 SS, 60-06 TS) Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
  • Putter: Ping PLD Anser (Blast Finish)
Wallace’s setup…
  • Driver: PING G400 (8.5 deg; LS Aldila Rogue Silver 70TX tip ¾” 45.5″, MultiComp Black/Black 60 R +2,D4)
  • Fairway: PING G400 (14.5 deg; (Small Minus) PX HRXDRS YELLOW  76g 6.5 Tip 1.25″, 43″, D3)
  • Irons: PING i200 (2 iron); PING Prototype irons (3-5); PING iBlade (6-9 KBS C-Taper 130X Black Ltd Edition +1/4″, 1.5 D3)
  • Wedges PING Glide 2.0 Stealth 46; Prototype Wedge 52,58
  • Putter: PING Sigma G Darby 32.75″, 2 Deg Loft, 3.5 Upright Two Thumb Classic Grip
7. (An ultimately un)important golf question returns

 

Is Paul Casey a choker? Casey, who started the final round of the Travelers Championship ahead by four, is now one of four in finishing off 54-hole leads. His 2 over Sundy effort was hardly the stuff of champions, and needing just one birdie down the stretch, he got two bogeys instead.
  • The counterpoint is Casey merely had a bad day and regressed to the mean following a Saturday 62.
  • Casey, for his part, mentioned a tight neck, saying he “Didn’t have a comfortable swing to go out there and do something with.”
  • He also said this, which, well, is apparently a statement about golf:  “This is merely kind of posturing for what could be a very good climax.”

 

8. Brooks’ bacheloring X2
 
Brooks Koepka, who honored his commitment to the Travelers Championship following his U.S. Open win and respectably tied for 19th, is off to Boston for a bachelor party coming week.
  • He’ll begin his prep for Carnoustie the next week with…another bachelor party, apparently. “I was really hoping to get some rest…But I don’t know how much that will happen,” BK said after his finish.
9. PSA: Tiger this week

 

As the earth revolves around the sun, so too does planet golf revolve orbit Tiger Woods (as we all know). So here’s your reminder that he’s in the field this week for the Quicken Loans National.
  • However, it’s been interesting to see expectations for Woods temper over the course of his comeback, isn’t it? At first, we held our breath with every swing, every tight-gripped hack out of the rough, then, a TW win looked imminent. Heck, he was among the favorites heading into the Masters.
  • Lately, however, even though he’s turned in decent results, there seems to be a sense that Woods is further from winning after the second major of the year than he was heading into the first. Even though he’s hitting the ball better from tee to green, there’s a feeling that something is fundamentally broken with his putting stroke. It’s odd, isn’t it?
  • A good week of putting at the National, however, and narratives of a Woodsian coronation at Carnoustie will be everywhere. Further struggles, and Woods at 25-1 to win The Open will seem sensible indeed…even though it perhaps should not.
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Pro golfer Hosung Choi has the most ridiculous golf swing you’ll ever see

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Professional golfer Hosung Choi, playing in the third round of the Kolon Korea Open at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, has set the golf Internet on fire with his wildly entertaining golf swing. And while it may look ridiculous, he’s currently sitting at 8-under for the event through three rounds, only two shots back of the leader. It’s worth noting that the top two finishers in the Korea Open will earn a spot in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie next month.

Enjoy the videos of his golf swing below!

Top-100 swing instructor and GolfWRX’s resident swing expert Tom Stickney has this to say about Choi’s golf swing: “The club goes up and away with a nice rerouting motion from the top into a perfect delivery and impact position. It’s obvious that this guy can play from those two positions, however, I’m not sure about the dismount. Nor can I even guess why he does it…I’m betting he was self-taught and made that move from day one. Great lesson to all the “golf swing” centric people playing today, why change it if it brings you to the dance?!?!”

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