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Pro golfer Paul Haley II had a sizzling season in 2022 on the Korn Ferry Tour, culminating with a win at the Memorial Health Championship in July and securing his spot on the PGA Tour for the 2023 season.
With career highlights that include winning the Texas Amateur and the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship at Georgia Tech, Paul learned the game under the instruction of iconic coach Randy Smith, who has also trained the likes of Justin Leonard and Scottie Scheffler.
We caught up with Paul after a practice round at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico to talk about life on and off the course.
I started playing golf with my dad when I was seven or eight years old. Eventually, my mom and dad would drop me off at the course in the summertime, and I’d just spend all the time out there I could.
Eventually I started playing a lot of junior tournaments and played on four state championship teams in high school in Dallas.
In high school, I just kept improving and once I got my first letter from a college coach I realized golf is something I could be interested in doing for a long time. This is what I want to spend my life doing. I went and played golf for Georgia Tech and then got right out on the Korn Ferry Tour.
I took my first lesson from Randy when I was 10 years old, and now I consider him my best friend outside of my father. Randy is a great person and he’s coached a lot of great players. He’s a great mentor and a great friend, and one of the things he’s taught me over time is to have a short memory. That’s so big in golf. You don’t want to linger on a bad shot or bad round. Randy does a great job of pumping me up, getting me back on track, and getting my head right.
At that point, I’d been playing really well for a 10 to 15 week stretch, and I’d strung together a lot of good finishes. I was kind of just waiting on my turn. Going into the weekend, I was three or four shots back and I knew it was going to take something pretty special.
Once I got in going on that Saturday [on track to a 61] I was so locked in that I wasn’t really thinking about anything else. And Sunday was just a continuation. It was some of the best golf I’ve ever played.
It goes back to that old adage: if you look good, you play good. I’m always looking for the lightest gear that’s easy to swing in, that doesn’t hinder my swing in any way. Especially in the summertime, I’ve got to have clothes that allow breathability and mobility.
I’ve always struggled with rain gear, and The Riggs from Turtleson is easily the best rain jacket I’ve ever put on. I’m naturally a very stiff person, so if I get something heavy in a sweater or jacket - like a rain jacket that’s very thick - I just can’t play in it. The Riggs keeps me warm and is still easy to swing in.
I also love having performance pants. The Turtleson pants are my favorite pants I’ve had in a long time. They’re very light and easy to wear. They don’t wrinkle that much when I wash them, so I can just pack those in my suitcase for the road and go. No problem.
My fiance and I like to go out on the weekends, and I like to watch college football with my friends when I’m not on the road. I wear Turtleson all the time — and I mean all the time. I’ll throw on a collared shirt with jeans to go out. And the sweaters are perfect if it’s a little chilly.
It’s a very classic-looking brand, and they have a ton of color schemes and designs that frankly a lot of other companies don’t have.
Heading into winter, I’ll shut it down for about a month and a half before I start back up in Hawaii in January. I’m also getting married in December, so we’ll take a little honeymoon and then start practicing right after that, getting ready to go out on tour again.