Putting in the Work

Editors’ Note

Keegan Bradley is an American professional golfer who competes on the PGA Tour. He has won multiple tour events, most notably the 2011 PGA Championship, and this year’s 2023 Travelers Championship. He is one of six golfers to win in his major debut, and was the 2011 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. Bradley is the nephew of LPGA great and World Golf Hall of Fame member Pat Bradley. He is passionate about supporting communities, and hosted a tournament to benefit the Vermont Disaster Flood Relief Fund in August 2012, staged at The Woodstock Inn and Resort, the course where he first played as a child. Bradley was an all-state ski racer in his home state of Vermont. He attended St. John’s University and won nine collegiate events before graduating in 2008.

Tour Brief

The PGA TOUR (pgatour.com) is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada. The modern-day PGA TOUR was formed in 1968 when a subset of touring professionals broke away from the PGA of America.

Keegan Bradley PGA

Keegan Bradley

Did you know at an early age that your passion was to pursue a career in golf?

As long as I can remember, I wanted to play on the PGA Tour. My mother has something I wrote when I was in kindergarten that said I wanted to play on the PGA Tour. It has been my desire for my entire life.

What has made the sport so special for you?

I have always been into individual sports. I have always gravitated to it, and I have always loved golf. It has never felt like work to me when I go to practice, which I think has helped me be successful.

Did you have mentors in your career and who are some of the players that have inspired you?

My dad was a club pro and had a major impact on me, and my Aunt Pat played on the LPGA Tour and she was my hero. I always looked up to her and wanted to do what she did. I was also lucky to be on a few Ryder Cup teams during my first few years on the Tour, so I was able to be in rooms with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Jim Furyk – they were all so good to me. One of the things I was surprised about when I came onto the Tour was how helpful the veterans were, and how open they were to chat. This meant a lot to me.

What have been the keys to your success in the game?

It has always been about putting in the work and working hard, and always being prepared. I think throughout my career I have always been able to do that.

With all that you have accomplished on the course, how meaningful is it for you personally to be making such a difference in people’s lives off the course with your charitable work?

I think it is important to give back to people who need help. The PGA Tour does a great job of doing that, and almost every player on the Tour either has a charity or cause they support. The players on the PGA Tour give back so much.

How do you focus your philanthropic work and decide what areas to support?

Every player has to figure out what is meaningful to them. Every cause is worth it, and as you get older and you have children, you realize how important hospitals are with kids which has been a focus for me.

Are you able to take moments to reflect on your career and celebrate what you have achieved, or is it always about getting better and preparing for the next tournament?

I have been trying to take more time at this point in my career. When I was younger, I did not take a second which I am bummed out about, but now I really try to take moments and let it sink in. When I am at a trophy presentation with my kids, I now really try to enjoy the moment.

When I won the Travelers Championship this year, I was able to sit back and watch people’s reactions. It was a fun and happy time to be able to see what it meant to everyone.

What advice do you offer to the next generation of kids who hope to pursue a career in golf?

I tell all the young kids that they need to work harder than everybody else. I never felt I had more talent than other players, but what I could control is how hard I worked.