215: Let the Journey Begin! | Hayden Buckley (Professional Golfer)

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to play in your very first PGA event, with the nerves, the grandstands, the crowds, well, today we’re talking with Hayden Buckley, who recently had a chance to play at his first PGA tour event.

Hayden, a newly turned professional golfer, is just finishing up his degree at the University of Missouri (Mizzou), received asponsors exemption at the Sanderson Farms Invitational.  And, not only did he get in the event, but  Hayden was able to battle through Thursday and Friday to make the cut in his very first PGA appearance.

So we are talking to Hayden today about his plans moving forward, his schedule, and what starting a professional golf career entails. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Hayden in the past and you’ll hear in this episode the confidence he has when looking towards his future and the lack of intimidation when he is up there playing with the greats.

Hayden Buckley’s Background

  • Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee but raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Hayden comes from a family of athletes and grew up playing all sports, focusing primarily on baseball. He quit baseball in High school to pursue golf full time.
  • He was a part of winning three state championships in high school and received a scholarship to the University of Missouri where he played golf for 4 years.
  • He will be graduating from Mizzou in December of 2018 and pursuing professional golf full time.
  • Honors/Awards
    • Hayden Buckley2018 1st Team All – SEC
    • 2018 3rd Team All – American
    • 2018, 2017, 2016 SEC Community Service Team
    • 2018 Byron Nelson Award Finalist
    • 2018 Haskins Award Watch List
    • 2018 Mizzou Male Athlete of the Year
    • 2018 SEC Stroke Average Leader (68.3)/4th in NCAA
    • 2017 School Record Single Round (61) – Warrior Princeville Makai
    • 2017 School Record 54 Hole Total (197) – Warrior Princeville Makai

Highlights from this Episode 

  • Hayden’s background in baseball and how he found himself in golf and wanting to play throughout high school and college. He also touches on his growth through high school and getting into Mizzou playing SEC Golf.
  • What the process of progressing through Web.com up to PGA really looks like from an ex-amateur golfer on the inside and some of the advice he has received from the professionals he has played with.
  • He breaks down the Sanderson Farms and Q-School events and the mental game he had to overcome playing a huge game in front of all those fans. He takes us through a bit of a play-by-play scenario of the Sanderson Farms event and what it was like to play in fron of the home crowd through the weekend.
  • What he took away from these events that he has learned, what he feels he did well, and what has him charged up to get back out there and play more professional events.
Parting Questions:

Caddy Shack or Happy Gilmore?  Caddy Shack


What would your walk-up song to the first tee box be?  The Way I Talk by Morgan Wallen

18 Holes anywhere in the world with anyone, past or present: Where would it be and whom would you play?   Tiger Woods at St. Andrews

Any last piece of advice for the 18Strong Community?   Always ask yourself: “Am I making my golf game better by doing this?”

Follow Hayden Buckley at:




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