Expanded Content: Stewart Hagestad
Catching up with Stewart Hagestad
As a relative newcomer to the Met Area, Stewart Hagestad had a breakout season that included wins at the Met Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur to help him earn MGA Player of the Year honors. We caught up with Stewart to get his thoughts on his season and what's to come.
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Met Golfer: You undoubtedly received a lot of congratulations following the Mid-Am victory. Were there any that were especially memorable or unexpected?
SH: The phone calls that I shared with my parents were undoubtedly the most memorable. Those were both phone calls that I had always dreamed of sharing with them, and I will remember those conversations for the rest of my life. As far as others outside my family, it was incredible to be congratulated by people who I have looked up to my entire amateur career. Past Walker Cuppers and Captains, USGA Champions, and guys who are so integral to the world of professional and amateur golf... I am still shaking my head in disbelief that they just know my name. As far as unexpected goes, I don’t know that anyone particularly sticks out, but I will say I was completely blown away by the amount of support in the days that followed.
MG: What are you looking forward to the most about competing in the Masters?
SH: Two things… I am looking forward to the opportunity to share the experience with my friends and family. It is such a special event, and to be there with everyone who has supported me throughout my golf career will mean the world to me. Secondly, I look forward to the opportunity to test my game against the best players in the world. Obviously, it is one of the most prestigious tournaments in all competitive golf. The challenge of seeing where I stack up against the best players in the world will be a great competitive experience and an outstanding opportunity to learn more about my game, and to see how I can improve going forward.
MG: Have you made any plans for practice rounds, or the Par-3 Contest?
SH: I have reached out and spoken to a few members of the staff at Augusta National, as well as a few members of the club, and the consensus is the best time to play the course is closer to The Masters. As of right now, most of my practice rounds will take place in the spring. In regards to the Par-3 contest, I am still working on who I will play with... but I have a couple young pals who would be my first choice. However, I can confirm that my father will don a white jumpsuit and be on the bag.
MG: When thinking about Augusta National, what characteristics of the course stand out the most and what aspects of your game will be key in your approach to the course?
SH: Augusta National is a long golf course where having above average distance off the tee is more beneficial than at other majors and PGA Tour venues. I consider myself to drive the ball well, and if I can pick up a couple yards off the tee before the tournament, I think that will benefit my approach shots into greens, and hopefully give me a few more birdie chances. Also, after speaking with a couple guys who have played before, they have mentioned lag putting and speed on the greens as critical. Dying the ball in the hole will be a priority during that week.
MG: Do you anticipate staying in the Crow’s Nest at Augusta National’s clubhouse?
SH: I will absolutely stay in the Crow’s Nest for one night, probably on the Saturday or Sunday before. After that I will stay with my family at a house near the course.
MG: Your Mid-Am win earned you the invite to the Masters, do you think it will get you an invite to SB2K17?
SH: That’s up to those guys… but it’s safe to say it would be the second most fun invite to receive for the spring.
MG: Is there any one particular part of your game you’ll focus on during the winter months (gym-wise, or swing)?
SH: I have a couple goals for the winter time. Due to the weather in the Northeast, I plan on being at home in Southern California from January until April, where I will have the opportunity to practice and play a few events that take place in the spring. I would love to fine tune my swing and sharped my game, but I don’t plan to change anything mechanically. The biggest thing to me would be improve my strength and regain the weight I lost competing over the summer.
Last movie you saw in theaters: The Accountant
Last concert you’ve been to: David Nail
Favorite TV show: The League
Food someone couldn’t pay you to eat: Brussel Sprouts and Bananas
A nickname of yours: Stew
A hidden talent: Racehorse Dominos and Backgammon
How many selfies to you have on your phone right now: I gave up counting after I hit the 100 mark.
One thing that would be on a “bucket” list of yours: Share a beer with Jimmy Buffett.
Your 2016 season is made into a movie who plays you: Bradley Cooper
Favorite Halloween costume that you’ve been: Scuba Stew
Favorite song right now: “Hold On” – Wilson Phillips
Number of career hole-in-ones: 3