How this Tour veteran learned the right way to prepare for a major championship

Longtime Tour pro Tom Hoge is having the best year of his career — by quite a margin.

The 33-year-old just notched his first-ever PGA Tour victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, and has risen to No. 39 in the official world golf ranking. He’s also playing in all four majors for the first time ever.

Though Hoge has played in eight total major championships since his first in 2015, his last two finishes (T9 at this year’s PGA Championship and T39 at his first Masters in April) have been the best of his career.

Turns out, experience has been a useful teacher for Hoge, and on this week’s episode of Subpar, he explained to hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz how his preparation for major weeks has changed for the better.

tom hoge swings
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“I feel like I’m pretty experienced in a lot of these bigger tournaments now, and I just feel like I’ve got a lot more comfortable playing in those,” Hoge said. “I’ve qualified for a few U.S. Opens early on in my career and I felt like I always showed up there, wanted to play 18 holes every day and then go beat balls forever, get all the practice in. By the time we got to the tournament, I was always worn out.”

Hoge said his new way of preparing involves less golf and more rest.

“Now my approach is kind of, just play nine holes each day. I don’t want to say, treat it like a normal Tour event, because it’s not, but I feel like I don’t have to do anything extra or special those weeks, if that makes sense,” he continued. “I can just go out and play and not have to build it up to something that it’s really not.”

So far, so good for Hoge. He’ll tee it up at the third major of the year next week, the U.S. Open at The Country Club.

For more from Hoge, including his penchant for visiting casinos during tournament weeks, check out the full interview below.

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Golf.com Photographer

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.