Professional golfer James Hahn, an ambassador for Trackhouse Entertainment Group, has had a day of golf that would cause weekly duffers to jump for joy.
In July 2021, playing in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky, Hahn shot a 60, missing by one shot a chance to record the 13th sub-60 round in tour history.
“I birdied the holes that as a professional golfer you’re supposed to birdie,” Hahn said. “I gave myself looks for birdie throughout the day and ended up converting most of them. I had a putt for 59 on the last hole. I hit a really good second shot into the green and landed close to the pin, but it spun back 20 to 30 feet. It was one of those putts I felt like I was going to make. I put a good read on it, and the speed was great. It just didn’t go in.
“I was very happy about shooting 60, but, to be honest, they write history books based off people who shoot 59, not 60. That’s the difference between being legendary and just a normal round. They’re not going to make a plaque there for me shooting 60.”
Most regular players would be delighted with a 60 (or even a 70), but Hahn has the competitive fire that is always seeking one more positive. That’s part of the reason owner Justin Marks brought Hahn into the Trackhouse family. Trackhouse is sponsoring Hahn on tour.
“It’s like racing,” Marks said. “You can be sitting on the pole with a time of 30.02 (seconds), and you’ll think, ‘Man, I’d love to be faster and have a 29 and throw that on the board.’ It’s how athletes are.
“James is a quality person and a tournament-winning golfer, and I like Trackhouse associating itself with those types of people.”
The association with Hahn, a two-time PGA Tour winner, is part of Marks’ plan to spread the influence of Trackhouse across various platforms in the sports and entertainment world. Hahn wears Trackhouse logos while competing, and his golf bag carries a vibrant Trackhouse design.
“For us, this is getting our brand out to places that it doesn’t exist right now with great stories that share our philosophy and our culture,” Marks said. “James is a great story and a great ambassador for the brand. This gets our logo out there and tells our story in other places. Ultimately, it’s about growing our platform so when we talk to partners we have a lot of assets and a lot of interesting things they can relate to.
“Having Trackhouse on his hat and all over his bag – it’s something cool to watch and something for our employees to follow.”
Hahn says the Trackhouse touch has gained considerable attention as he travels the country seeking tournament trophies.
“I’ve gotten more attention from the bag and hat than ever in my whole career,” he said. “Anyone who brings a custom bag to the course will get attention, but the fact that Trackhouse has not been recognized as being in the golf industry has led to a lot of questions about Trackhouse and what it does. It’s ended up being this cool blend between NASCAR and golf.
“Justin is a remarkable person who has this vision and dedication to be the best and keep things growing. I’m very dedicated and passionate and make a lot of sacrifices to be one of the top golfers in the world. That led to the partnership with Trackhouse.”
In addition to almost shooting a 59 in tour competition, Hahn has another major moment that not many professional golfers have experienced: He beat former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson in a playoff. The big win occurred in February 2015 at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
It marked the start of a huge week in Hahn’s life.
“That golf course and tournament are my favorites on the entire schedule,” Hahn said, “and we came into that week expecting our first child. Of all the tournaments, that’s the one I really, really wanted to win.
“I was in my third year on tour and still kind of getting my feet wet. I was playing with Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk in the final round, and it was a crazy weather day with wind, rain and cold.
“I made a lot of great par saves to keep the round going. We ended up tying after 72 holes. We both parred the first playoff hole and birdied the second. The third playoff hole was a par 3, and Dustin hit his tee shot to about 10 feet. I hit a good shot, but it was about 20 feet away. My caddy, Mark Urbanek, told me if I made it there was a good chance he would miss. I read the putt and had a feeling that I was going to make it, that it was my time. I hit one of the best putts of my life, and it caught the left corner and went in. Dustin missed his putt, and I won the tournament.”
The win was Hahn’s first on the PGA Tour. For that day and several days later, it was the biggest moment of his life as he reached his dream of winning a tour event. But the win quickly dropped to second a week later when he and his wife, Stephanie, celebrated the birth of Kailee, their daughter.
“I went from a first-time PGA winner to a first-time dad,” Hahn said. “It was one of the most memorable weeks of my life.”
Hahn’s second tour win came at the difficult Quail Hollow course near Charlotte, North Carolina in May 2016. He won in a playoff over Roberto Castro.
After playing in Charlotte this year, Hahn visited the nearby Trackhouse Racing shop in Concord.
“We had a great company day with him,” Marks said. “He told his story to everybody in the shop – how he competes, how he got to where he is. We’re getting people in the building who aren’t racing people but are successful in other forms.”