Between 2007 and 2014, PGA Tour vet Hunter Mahan won six times, amassing more than $25 million in earnings, finishing in the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standings each year.
The past season and a half, however, has not gone as smoothly for Mahan, who, in addition to working through some struggles with his game, is also still trying to find balance between life on the course as a player and off the course as a husband and father of three.
“My life has changed drastically in the last couple of years,” Mahan said. “It’s my job to adjust to that and adjust my game to that, and I think what it has shown me is that I’ve done good work but I can do a lot better, a lot more focused work. That’s what having kids and having a family forces you to do: to be very much in the moment at all times -- when I’m at the golf course practicing or when I’m at home -- being in the moment, shutting down those sides of my life that are not present and not right in front of me.”
I caught up with Mahan recently as he is promoting a new “Sleeping on the Lead” campaign with sponsor Tempur-Pedic, a promotion that rewards PGA Tour players, their fans and members of the military based on the results of each tournament. Tempur-Pedic will give a new bed to a fan that has registered at TempurPedicGolf.com as well as a military veteran from that tournament market.
Through 17 events this season, Mahan has just one top 25 finish and has missed nine cuts, earning just over $200,000. Despite the struggles, he remains positive and said he feels that he has a lot of great golf left in him.
“A lot of it has to do with playing golf,” Mahan said. “I feel like I’ve gotten too technical and thinking my technique is the answer. But I think it’s just playing a ton of golf, playing a lot of holes at home and putting myself in tournament situations and taking them off the shot, where I want to hit it, what I think about the next shot and really focusing on how to get a score – how to turn a 72-73 into a 68-69 because those couple shots throughout four days can mean a lot.
“So I want to play a lot at home, I want to hit tournament shots and really think about how I’m going to get the best score on this hole and for this round and focus a lot less on technique.”
Heading into the back nine of the season, Mahan said he is not placing many lofty expectations upon himself but is definitely setting some clear goals.
“I think the only expectation I can have is that I’ve put in the right work every single day, and that I’m focused when I do that," he said. “I think I have more kinds of goals and things I want to do each day. I want to build a foundation; I want to build a framework for moving forward. I’m working hard on changing some things and trying my very best every single day to be the best person and golfer I can be and I’m working hard on my game because I want to have a great end of the season.”