James Hahn reveals the jobs he had supporting his pro career

James Hahn flashes a smile

James Hahn held a variety of odd jobs in his pursuit of his pro-golf dreams.

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Two-time PGA Tour winner James Hahn had a fairly unorthodox path to the PGA Tour. Though he earned a scholarship to play collegiately at the University of California at Berkeley, Hahn quit the golf team after his junior year. After he graduated, he decided to give professional golf a try and quickly went broke when he missed the cut in the first three mini-Tour events he entered.

Hahn quickly realized that if he wanted to pursue the game for a living, he’d need to redouble his efforts. And without sponsorship money to fall back on, he’d need a job too. On this week’s episode of Subpar, Hahn told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz about the various jobs he held down in order to make his competitive golf dreams come true.

“I worked for an advertising agency for a year, saved up about $30K doing that,” Hahn said. “I worked at Nordstrom selling women’s shoes. That was pretty fun. And I also worked at a golf course in Richmond, and saved up some money there. So basically I saved up enough money where I could sponsor myself for at least a season.”

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Hahn was then off and running, playing in Korea for a year, then in Canada for two years, and the Nationwide tour (now the Korn Ferry Tour) for three years. Hahn finally earned his PGA Tour card in 2013 and hasn’t looked back, racking up two wins and more than $11 million in earnings.

But if he had to go back to one of those former jobs, Knost asked, which one would Hahn pick?

“To be honest with you, selling women’s shoes, so much fun,” Hahn enthused. “It’s just the camaraderie. You see the same guys, and we always talk about the customers, the girls that we have to service and whatnot.

“It was the first job that I had that I actually had to wear a suit to work,” Hahn continued. “And anytime you wear a suit to work, you feel like, special. You feel like you’re respected. Wearing a suit to work, clocking in and your punchcard and all that, getting a paycheck every two weeks, that was pretty cool. That was probably one of the funnest times that I’ve had.”

For more from Hahn, including the the time Hahn tried to buy a bar in Edmonton and when he forgot to cash a $1.2 million winner’s check, watch the full interview below.

Golf.com Editor

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.