Where Tim Hart has come from, where he is right now and where he hopes to be in the future are three very different places.
Hart is currently riding a four-event Adidas Pro-Am Series hot streak and returns to Tieri Country Club in Queensland’s Central Highlands region on Thursday as defending champion for the two-day Oaky Creek Coal Tieri Pro-Am.
It’s the stage where the 32-year-old has been dominant for the past two years but he and coach Richard Woodhouse have devised a plan that will take Hart from Tieri in 2021 to the United States within the next 12 months.
Talent has never been Hart’s issue but with a settled personal life and a greater intensity in his application to his game, according to Woodhouse, the timing is now right.
“Players all develop at different rates and mature at different rates as well,” explains Woodhouse, the 2020 PGA National Coach of the Year.
“Tim has always been an incredibly highly-skilled player and athlete and he’s now at a time in his life where he actually owns that a little bit more.
“He now understands that to take the game to the tour level on a repeatable week-in, week-out basis he needs to make himself feel more uncomfortable and put himself in those uncomfortable environments.
“Pro-am golf is really comfortable for him. He knows he can turn up every round and beat everybody.
“He’s had stretches where he’s done stuff that nobody else does in terms of shooting the scores that he produces.
“He’s confident and competent in his ability; the next key is to become competent enough to take that confidence over to an uncomfortable environment.”
How dominant has Hart been on the pro-am scene in the past two years? Consider that he has been the outright or joint winner in 27 pro-ams since February 2019, all the morr remarkable given that he went five months without playing during the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020.
His highest world ranking of 657 was achieved in March 2016 and over the years there have been glimpses of Hart transferring his pro-am form to top tier PGA Tour of Australasia tournaments.
In 2016 he finished inside the top three at the Queensland, Victorian and NT PGA championships and earlier this year he was top 20 at the Gippsland Super 6, Vic PGA and TPS Sydney events, rounding out a strong period of play with a tie for seventh at the Golf Challenge NSW Open.
Woodhouse has known for eight years that something special lies within Hart and is more confident than ever that we are about to see the best of it.
“He’s more determined right now than any other time I’ve seen him in his golf career,” says Woodhouse, whose stable also includes Brett Rankin, Daniel Nisbet, Chris Wood and Becky Kay.
“Tim has always been told he’s very good and that he should be winning at a higher level and that can sometimes play on the mind of a player.
“As you get older you mature and you start to discover the best version of yourself. Tim now knows he needs to put more time and more work in to become more competent at the skills he possesses and the areas he’s perhaps not at the standard that he wants to be.
“Like any young players there are always some hurdles that get in the way, whether that be personal, financial or perhaps injuries.
“That’s the beauty of golf. Every player is on their own journey and Tim is in a really good place with his personal well-being right now.
“He now knows more than ever what he wants to achieve.
“And he knows the timeline is right for him right now.”