Smashin' It: Beau Hossler's Game Might Be Tour Ready

"I don’t just want to be remembered as a golfer because of something I did at 17.”

Darren Carroll

Beau Hossler is surprised he still gets stopped by strangers wanting to know if he was that high school kid who played so well at the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club. Yep, it was him. And for the record, he doesn’t mind reliving that week. He started the final round in the top 10 before finishing T-29. It’s just that he likes to think a lot more has happened in the four years since. The 21-year-old from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., qualified for another U.S. Open, his third as an amateur, finishing T-58 in 2015 at Chambers Bay. He made the U.S. Walker Cup and World Amateur teams and won the Western Amateur and Jones Cup. He just finished his junior — and potentially final — season at the University of Texas with a sub-70 stroke average, five individual wins and multiple player-of-the-year nods.

But what hasn’t changed since Olympic is his competitive nature, something the die-hard L.A. Dodgers’ fan relies on when trying to win in everything from golf to table tennis. It’s what now has him on the precipice of a professional career.

Hossler hasn’t ruled out a return to college but is considering leaving after seeing fellow Longhorn Jordan Spieth, and other friends such as Smylie Kaufman and Patrick Rodgers, smoothly transition from amateur golf to the PGA Tour. “To see those guys be successful so early, and knowing I can play with them, it gives me confidence,” Hossler says.

“To me, it’s all mental. All golfers have a decision to either step on the gas pedal and get it done, or kind of ease off. I’m much more comfortable putting everything I have into it and staying aggressive. And if it doesn’t work out, there is no regret.”

In contrast to the slightly awkward high-school senior who got plenty of attention during 2012 U.S. Open telecasts for his braces and an oversize Texas visor, Hossler is now an athletic 6-foot-1, 200 pounds. Where distance once was an issue, he has gained 40 to 50 yards off the tee.

“I used to hit it 240 yards [starting in high school], so I had to have a good short game to hold my own,” he says. “Now, I can compete more with length and my ball-striking. I’m a better all-around player.”