Do you think you know Viktor Hovland?
You may. You could cite some statistics, like the fact that he’s currently ranked 5th in the world, that he has four career PGA Tour wins, that he came thisclose to winning his first major championship at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. You may even know that the 25-year-old Norwegian went to Oklahoma State and won the 2018 U.S. Amateur.
But still, what does that really tell us about him? It’s a question that Hovland has pondered.
“I think when you’re playing golf, they just watch you play golf,” Hovland told GOLF’s Dylan Dethier. “The guy that I’m on TV — I don’t think you can really get to know me just by watching me play. But I think if I were to have a podcast or something, and I talked for 10 hours a week, and you listened to every single hour, I think you would probably get a good idea of who I am as a person. But when I’m just playing golf on TV, I don’t think people really get to know you.”
Well, maybe Hovland’s onto something. Would he ever consider doing a podcast of his own?
“No,” Hovland said with a smile. “I was just making an example. I like listening to podcasts. I’m not the guy that would really listen to myself talk.”
Hovland is happier to lean in to his inquisitive nature. He says he doesn’t have many hot takes or strong opinions. Instead, he likes to ask the questions.
“I think I’m very open-minded. I’m curious,” he said. “I’d like to think of myself as a thinker. I don’t take stuff for granted. I love discussions and arguments without having any preconceived biases. I just like to chat and try to figure things out and learn.”
Hovland says he doesn’t really care what other people think. He just wants to do what he wants to do. And what’s on the to-do list? Aside from chasing history on the PGA Tour, Hovland wants to travel. He already has a reputation as an avid road-tripper, logging thousands of miles driving to tournaments during the pandemic and enduring a 22-hour drive to Norway’s Lofoten Links with some buddies last year. The most appealing part of it all? The freedom. And he wants more.
“Traveling to places, seeing cool places in the world. Mysteries kind of get my attention a little bit,” he said
After one conversation, one thing seems clear: whether it’s on or off the course, Hovland is definitely going places.