First, there was Hank “The Hammer” Aaron, the legendary home run king for the Milwaukee Braves, then the Atlanta Braves, and finally the Milwaukee Brewers before retiring. Then there was the kid, musician MC Hammer, who was a bat boy at the Oakland A’s and bore a resemblance to Aaron. He made Hammer Time his phrase. Now, we have Cole Hammer, who was a standout player at the University of Texas and made his debut on the PGA Tour in June of 2022.
The latest Hammer is another one of what seems to be an endless supply of high-quality golfers coming out of colleges and universities. This one finished 5th on the new PGA Tour U ranking system and was given conditional Korn Ferry status after he graduated.
Professional golf, Cole discovered, is not especially easy.
“This summer was tough on the PGA TOUR,” Cole Hammer said about six missed cuts. “I had some good finishes on the Korn Ferry, but I was batting zero on the PGA TOUR. I needed to get that monkey off my back.”
“I’ll never be that nervous again.” – Cole Hammer.
He did just that at the Cadence Bank Houston Open, finishing T27, which he said was huge for him because Houston is his hometown.
“The first tee in Houston was like the most nervous I’ve ever been just with the hometown crowd,” he admitted. “I basically told myself I’ll never be that nervous again. Yeah, I just got comfortable after that and saw myself shoot a good round on Tour and now I believe that I can do it.”
Do it he did in the first round of the RSM Classic where his nine birdies were marred by just one bogey, on his 17th hole. As well as Cole played, he only leads by one over Ben Griffin. And there’s plenty of golf left, so he will have to continue to make birdies.
Cole Hammer has already learned a lot about himself and professional golf. After making the decision to turn pro and having a chance to compete, he found that he was losing patience while playing.
“As soon as I made a bogey, I felt like the world was ending,” Hammer admitted. “I felt like on the PGA TOUR you have to play perfect golf, but that’s just not the case.”
His 8-under par 64 is not shabby, particularly in the cold wind that was blowing across the water around St. Simons Island where the RSM Classic is being played.
However, the rest of the field is just as interested in a victory as he is. It will be interesting to see if he can retain the top spot through Sunday.