Hogan Makes Line Change to Golf October 3, 2015 | Choudrant, La. By Stuart Hall

Less than four years after deciding to take up the game competitively, Annie Hogan is competing in the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur. (USGA/Matt Sullivan)

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Annie Hogan entered the 29th U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship with no illusions of winning.

Hogan, 27, of Medford, Mass., understands that anything is possible, but she has less than four years of experience, having just seriously taken up the game in 2012.

“Four summers, because I’m in Boston,” said Hogan. “I feel like I do everything wrong sometimes and I feel like I have to warn people that I’m new to this and I haven’t been doing it a long time."

In a sport that can be made complex by swing planes, launch angles, spin rates and all sorts of technical jargon, Hogan is a refreshing change of pace. She takes a very simplistic approach because the game is all very new to her.

“She’s unbelievably athletic and has a raw competitive spirit,” said Brian Mogg, a noted Orlando, Fla.-based instructor who has been working with Hogan for nearly 18 months. “It’s fun to watch as she tries to find out how good she can be.”

Part of that process included learning how to qualify for a national championship. While she failed to make it into the U.S. Women’s Amateur, an 83 in the Duxbury, Mass., qualifier on Sept. 9 earned her a spot in this week’s 132-player field at Squire Creek Country Club.

“I don’t have any expectations,” said Hogan, who opened with a 21-over 93 in Saturday’s opening round. “I just hit one shot and then I hit the next one. I walk through the [dining room] and everyone has yardage books out comparing notes and I am so not there yet. I just think they must have a huge advantage.”

Learning how to skate at age 3, Hogan grew up playing hockey. She played collegiately at Northeastern University and as a Huskies forward totaled 19 goals and 30 assists in 135 games. Two of those assists came in the first women’s outdoor college hockey game at Fenway Park.

Prior to her fledgling golf career, Annie Hogan laced up her skates as part of the Northeastern University women's hockey team. (Jim Pierce/Northeastern Athletics)

Hogan then played one year professionally in the fledgling Canadian Women’s Hockey League as a member of the Boston Blades.

“There was one team in Boston and four in Canada and we were on a bus going to Canada on the weekends,” she said. “That’s not what I wanted to do. You just weren’t living a regular life.”

Hogan is still attached to the game as a hockey instructor for mostly under-12 players, but her Twitter bio claims she is a “full-time amateur golfer.”

The golf bug bit the summer after she left the CWHL.

“My dad got me and my brother gift certificates for lessons and I used up my lessons and then I took my brother’s and I used his,” said Hogan, who briefly tried playing in high school, but just didn’t understand the game. “I really love hitting balls and I could be on the range all day. 

“So it was getting kind of crazy, because all I wanted to do was hit balls, so I ended up joining a place with a nice practice facility. Then it kind of went from there. I guess it’s kind of funny how it has progressed.”

Mogg is impressed by Hogan’s length off the tee and how she is able to compress the ball upon impact. He says “lurking beneath” her brazen niceness, there is an intense competitor. 

“I like to play,” she said. “We’ll see where it goes. If I can make a living playing, I will make a living playing. I’d like to. But the whole golfer thing, I’m not there yet.”

Stuart Hall is a North Carolina-based freelance writer whose work frequently appears on USGA websites.

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