Written By: GolfSpy Zinger
It was Masters Sunday. I was watching the final round and saw Meghan Hardin “tweet” a photo of herself wearing a Masters green glove. My mouth dropped and saliva started to drip.
It was the most beautiful special edition glove I had ever seen.
To this date, I could not even tell you what else was in the photo. I immediately sent her a text, “Meghan, we’ve got to set up a time to talk about your glove, it’s beautiful!” We set it up for the following day.
My interviews always start the same, “Hey Meghan, it’s SPY ZINGER.” 90 minutes later, I was up to date, and up to speed with Meghan Hardin 2.0. It’s obvious Meghan is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing professionals in golf. But, there is more depth to her than that and she is more motivated now than ever to realize her dream of playing golf on the LPGA Tour.
Meghan Hardin is definitely not your average Professional golfer.
I learned that the last time we sat down for an interview about a year ago. She had just been eliminated from the first episode of Big Break Atlantis. At nineteen years old, as required by Big Break, she gave up her amateur status. No longer able to play collegiate golf at Palomar College in Escondido, California, she told me she was planning on playing both the Cactus, and Grasshopper mini-tours in the Southwest; eventually making a run at the LPGA Qualifying School in the fall. With 2012 in her rearview mirror, I was eager to find out what she’s been up to, and her plans going forward.
At the 2012 Q-School, Meghan was paired with a player who shot 115 her first round. Complicating an already difficult round, her playing partner and fellow competitor didn’t know the basic rules of golf. Meghan explained that it was frustrating because it was the most important tournament of her life to date, and the distractions made it difficult to focus on her own game. She was eliminated at the first stage. She doesn't make excuses, but admits the unfortunate draw did impact her performance.
Meghan said her experience from this event was invaluable despite the less than ideal result. She believes the experience left her better prepared for next time. Q-School has been her focus this year, and she’ll structure her life accordingly.
The tournament holds the key to unlock her dream.
Dedication, Devotion, and Most of All...Preparation
To prepare for Q-School Meghan changed nothing less than everything. To jumpstart her transformation, Meghan teamed with Blake Sports Group who introduced her to Cristie Kerr. Kerr, a 15 time LPGA Tour winner, has quickly become a professional mentor. The two have played and practiced together. Meghan said Kerr understands what it takes to be one of the best players in the world, and has given her priceless guidance in how to practice as well as her approach to the mental game. Meghan expressed a genuine appreciation for their time together and said it’s changed the way she approaches her game.
Blake Sports Group has also surrounded Meghan a stable of sponsors including PGA West in La Quinta, Calfornia. This sponsorship includes playing and practice privileges on their 6 world class courses some of which are showcased during the Humana Challenge (Bob Hope Classic). She has also been involved with some pretty high profile charity work helping raise money with Humana, The Eric Trump Foundation benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals, and the Greg Maddux Foundation Celebrity Invitational. In her limited free time, she heads south to assist her former college squad at Palomar.
Sponsorships, celebrity events, and photo shoots while enjoyable for Meghan, are not going to earn her an LPGA Tour card. Meghan understands this more than most 20 year olds and has ramped up her preparation to give herself the best possible chance for success. To help improve her focus on the course, she’s enlisted the guidance of a mental coach, Dr. Travis Fox.
Meghan also began working with PGA Professional, John Battaglia out of PGA West. She is on a dedicated six-day per week workout schedule, working a different muscle group each day in addition to hot yoga and 2-5 mile cardio sessions.
Getting Dialed In
Everything in Meghan’s golf bag is new but, the changes were on her terms. Before deciding on an equipment sponsor, Megan visited Cool Clubs in Scottsdale, Arizona. She had a chance to hit clubs from every major equipment manufacturer. She discovered she preferred Wilson clubs over every other brand in golf. After making her decision in Cool Clubs's unbiased environment, she teamed up with Wilson to help dial in her equipment.
Meghan visited the Wilson headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, and was fit from top to bottom. She described her irons, the Wilson Ci-11’s as “...Game changing, they are the straightest iron I have ever hit.” The performance of Wilson irons played a considerable role in her decision to play the brand. Meghan was complimentary of their consistency, indicating she kept “hitting her circle” or optimal trajectory.
When she tested other irons, the shot dispersion widened considerably while the Wilson irons remained constant in flight. She also spoke highly of their hybrids, and spoke of their consistency to exact yardages whereas other manufactures have faces that have hot spots that lead to inconsistency. She seemed proud to be part of the Wilson Staff family.
Working with her swing coach, John Battagila, has helped her better understand the mechanics of her swing. She said this knowledge has given her insight into what equipment best fits her game. Meghan said in the past, she would accept the recommendations of equipment manufacturers when they told her that the fitting numbers were optimal. She stressed it’s one thing to have optimal numbers, and other to have something that simply feels right.
Since Meghan's equipment manufacturer doesn't offer an apparel line, she signed with Ralph Lauren. Prior to the sponsorship agreement, Ralph Lauren is what she spent her own money on, and what she enjoyed wearing most. She spoke to the classic yet sexy style of the brand and is excited to represent them.
Preparing for Q-School
Meghan’s focus for the remaining spring and summer months will be on the first stage of Q-School which begins this August at Mission Hills in the Palm Springs, California, area. To prepare she will be playing events on the Cactus and Grasshopper tours. Additionally, she is going to enter the qualifications for the U.S. Open which will be held at the Sebonack Golf Club in Southhampton, New York. She will also attempt to Monday qualify at the Shop Rite held at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway New Jersey, where she will already be in town to play in the event’s pro-am.
There is no doubt, Meghan is living the dream of most MyGolfSpy readers. She wakes up everyday with one goal in mind, and that is to become a better athlete than she was yesterday. She’s surrounded herself with the necessary tools to achieve her dream. I always enjoy talking with Meghan. Her personality, attitude, and dedication are always in the right place.
As I’ve said before, after talking to her and listening to her perspective on the game and life, she’s the type of person you want to see succeed. She’s not your typical country club girl who has been handed everything in life. Rather, each day she works as hard as she can to achieve it herself.
What’s in Meghan’s Bag:
Driver: Wilson D100 Driver 9*
Fairway: Wilson D100 3 Wood
Hybrids: Wilson D100 3&4
Irons: Wilson Ci 11 irons 4-PW 2 Degrees Flat KBS Tour 90 Shafts
Wedges: Wilson FG Tour TC Wedges 50/54 bent to 55/60
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo
Ball: Wilson Staff FG Tour-Yellow
Meghan Fun Facts:
Favorite Starbucks drink: “I don’t like coffee, Zinger.”
Current Car: “Buick Regal, and it’s not a Grandpa car”
Max bench press: “165”
Favorite Video Game: “Call of Duty Black Ops 2”
Favorite TV Show: “Tosh.O & How I Met your Mother”
Favorite band: “Journey”
Favorite Golf Journalist: “SPY ZINGER” Say again? “SPY ZINGER”