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Chase Hanna and Tom Watson at the conclusion of the 2015 Watson Challenge. (Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Star)
Chase Hanna and Tom Watson at the conclusion of the 2015 Watson Challenge. (Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Star)

Big XII golf champion Chase Hanna to highlight golf tournament

Chase Hanna hasn’t played in the annual golf tournament for Character That Counts and TGIW in years. However, he hasn’t exactly been neglecting his game.

Hanna, who graduated from the University of Kansas in May, is the defending Big XII Conference golf champion and an NCAA/Ping All-American. He began his professional career in late July at the Web.com Digital Alley open in Kansas City. And if that isn’t enough, he was the first golfer ever to defeat the legendary Tom Watson in the annual Watson Challenge.

Despite the many accolades, he is looking forward to the fund-raiser, which will be played on Sept. 28 at The Golf Club of Creekmoor in Raymore. “I have good memories of playing in the tournament,” he said. “It will be a lot of fun.”

The two ministries have been an important part of his life for as long as he can remember. William Hanna, his father, and Rod Handley, founder of Character That Counts, are longtime friends and accountability partners.

“I really respect Rod and everything he is doing in the Kansas City area and across the nation,” he said. “I have met some great people through Rod.”

Tee Off for Character That Counts and TGIW The 15th annual golf scramble will be held on Sept. 28 at The Golf Club of Creekmoor in Raymore. All proceeds will benefit Character That Counts, TGIW and Dedicated Life Coaching. Here is the schedule of events: 10:45 – Registration 11:15 – Lunch provided by Chik-fil-A and devotional with Chase Hanna 11:45 – Putting and chipping contests 12:30 – Shotgun start Registration is $195 per golfer or $700 per foursome for 18 holes, golf apparel, lunch, drink tickets, awards and prizes. Sponsorships ranging from $500 to $10,000 are available. For more information, please contact Rod Handley at (816) 525-6339, Greg Griffin at (816) 885-1306 or Bill Stutz at (816) 803-9726.

The character lessons he learned over the years are more important than ever in the high-pressure world of professional golf.

chase_hanna_vertical           “It’s still the same game, and I’m still trying to shoot under par,” Hanna said. “But the competition is much better. Unlike college, a lot of golfers have a real chance of winning every week. The biggest difference is how deep the fields are from top to bottom.”

Patience is the one trait that Hanna turns to most frequently.

“Certainly, golf requires a lot of patience,” he said. “You lose a lot more than you win, and it’s easy to get down on yourself. There is just one winner every week. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Attitude is extremely important in golf, and patience is a big thing.”

As bright of a future as Hanna has in professional golf, he understands it comes in third behind faith and family. Even as he reached the pinnacle of collegiate golf in the past year, his sister, Mackenzie, battled a serious health challenge. (She is fine now and back at Baylor University).

“It certainly made me appreciate all that I have,” he said. “I noticed the positive impact she had on people, and it really inspires me.”

There is still time to register to play or help sponsor the tournament on Sept. 28. In the meantime, Hanna has a few pointers for golfers who hope to lower their scores.

“The important thing is to slow down and manage your game,” he said. “What I mean by that is pick the correct target and have a good preshot routine before you hit the ball. It doesn’t mean being slow but to have a routine when you walk to the shot.

“I see amateur golfers get mad when they bogie a par four, but to me, that’s success. Manage your expectations. If you usually hit 10 greens, try to hit 11, and 12 would be great. Course management is the biggest thing.”

–By Alan Goforth| Metro Voice