There is one professional golfer set to tee it up in the 100th US PGA Championship who has taken an unusual route to get into the last Major of the year.
He is Craig Hocknull, who brings the distinction of being the first competitor in the event to play as a member of three professional associations.
He is a member of the PGA of Canada, the PGA of America and the PGA of Australia.
What then, Hocknull, the PGA of New Zealand not to your liking?
Hocknull is the PGA Director of Instruction for the Saber Sports Trainer in Arizona. That is his American connection. His Canadian connection has provided the professional instructor to meet new students and his inclusion in the PGA of Australia enables him to play in different Australasian and European Tour events.
“They are all three different and all invaluable,” the 43-year-old golfer told a reporter. “The goal wasn’t to necessarily be unique. The goal was to give myself the best résumé for career advancement and give myself opportunities in three different countries, if needed.”
Hocknull is not the typical touring professional. Along with being a master of golf trick shots, he has invented a putter called the Saber Cat putter that has received the blessing of the United States Golf Association.
He was born in Mendi, New Guinea, when the island was a territory of Australia. As a youngster, he attended the Kooralbyn International School that was also a part of the formative years of Jason Day and Adam Scott.
In describing himself, Hocknull said, “I’m an Outback kind of guy, and spent time in Darwin, the Northern Territory. I had multi-cultural upbringing, and hopefully, it has helped in my golf to not to get too high or too low.”
Hocknull was granted a request to have the Australian flag alongside his name for the US PGA.
“I felt like I should have earned a trip to the PGA Championship years ago,” said Hocknull, “but things didn’t fall in place. Now, I feel that it is a great honor, and I’m ready.”