I have been very fortunate in my life. The path to where I am today has been a winding, challenging, fulfilling one.
I grew up in a stable, supportive family who created a solid emotional base for me to approach the world in a positive, proactive way. I am grateful for a fortunate beginning. Growing up at a golf club is not a bad way to spend your early years – especially if you love golf and have access to the game anytime you want. My father, Peter Haime, was the Golf Professional at the club, helping me to shape my golf abilities and give me access to a fundamental way of playing. My mother, Dawn, worked at the club and was the one who shaped the foundation of our family. I played many sports, but the eventual shift to focusing on golf was natural. By the time I was 17, I was showing promise and building a reputation as a national player. My dream from an early age was to play NCAA athletics – and I reached that dream accepting a full athletic scholarship to Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. It was a very exciting time.
I had some nice early successes in college climbing up to the top of the Big Ten Conference in my freshman year. I am grateful for all who contributed to my development in University – Purdue is a first-class institution. Although I did not experience consistent golf development in college, Professional Golf was a dream and a next step.
It was a fast start in professional golf finishing as medallist in the player’s tour school to gain a playing card for various professional tours around the world. I started in Australia, shifted to South Africa, returning to Canada and the United States to play in events, shifting to Asia and continued that pattern for about six years. There were successes and tournament wins, but too many disappointments and frustrations. Having to consistently address an injury in the final year and failing to produce consistent enough results, in my final year in professional golf, I failed to qualify to gain a card for the U.S. PGA Tour School. In my final round in professional golf, I played with Todd Hamilton from Illinois who ironically went on to win the British Open Championship several years later. Sadly, my golf career was over – as was a large piece of what I did since I was 10 years old – competing and trying to improve in a competitive environment.
While there were successes in the game, playing with the best golfers on the planet and competing at the highest levels, in reflection – the access and exposure to the world was by far the biggest benefit of my golf career. Traveling through Asia and Africa as a young person caused a major shift in my perspective of the world understanding that someone in a position of privilege like me must work toward helping others and lifting them up. This calling would become my eventual focus. Seeing the best in the world do what they do, working with some leading coaches in both the physical and mental side of sport – and generally working in high performance every day and having to adapt was an education you cannot buy.
The shift to the “real” world from professional sports was a difficult one. “What the heck do I do now” and “how does a golfer dramatically shift focus and do something else” were re-occurring questions I asked myself. I moved from traveling and competing around the world in t-shirts and shorts with a flexible schedule to an inflexible office environment wearing a suit and tie. It was a big change.