When Chesson Hadley makes a big putt, holes a chip or another shot, or just does something spectacularly positive on the golf course, you’ll notice Hadley snaps his fingers in the air. It’s a weird celebration, but he’s done it for years, including at Pebble Beach at the 2019 US Open. It’s not a fist pump. It’s not a wave. The finger snap is distinctively Hadley’s.
So why does Chesson Hadley snap his fingers?
The celebration is a take on the dip snap, which is what tobacco chaw users do with a new can when they’re preparing to use it for the first time. Hadley saw that plenty growing up in North Carolina.
“I try not to do it too much because you don’t want to oversaturate the system,” Hadley explained after securing his only PGA Tour win at the 2014 Puerto Rico Open. “But if I make a big par putt or a big birdie putt, absolutely I’m going to throw it down.”
Hadley’s college coach at Georgia Tech, Bruce Heppler, sensed his opponents might consider it showboating to celebrate in such a way. He tried to get Hadley to stop, but Hadley won in the end.
Chesson Hadley won on the PGA Tour, lost his status and went back to the Web.com Tour before winning again last summer on the developmental circuit and making his way back to the PGA Tour a wiser and better player.