Walking across the CLASS convocation stage on May 12 is one of the last public acts that Blair Hamilton will complete as an amateur.
“I will turn professional in September,” he says. “My goal is to be the best golfer in the world and win major championships. Someone has to be the best, why not me?”
Hamilton has twice won NCAA regional competitions and was an All-American. And he capped off his college career with the honor of being named the 2015-16 American Athletic Conference Male Scholar Athlete of the year.
Outside of golf, Hamilton drives for excellence in the classroom, too. His name appears on the dean’s list because he’s as dedicated to his course work as he is to the work he does on the golf course.
“When you are traveling, it is very difficult to stay caught up with classes,” he says. “Many times I would come back from a tournament and have an exam the next day, I can remember multiple times staying up late cramming for an exam, although I was tired from traveling and competing. Walking away from that exam with an A was always a very satisfying feeling.”
Hamilton is originally from Burlington, Ontario which is just outside of Toronto. He graduated from high school in 2011.
“I was recruited by the coaches here at UH – one of the assistant coaches was Canadian so we had a connection there,” Hamilton says. “They made it pretty tough for me to say no. They took a Canadian kid out of the snow, brought me down to Houston, where it was 75 degrees and sunny in late February, showed me world class facilities, took me out for a steak and offered me a scholarship. How do you turn that down?”
He decided to major in corporate communications because he felt it was broad enough to allow him to go down many avenues professionally. In addition, he found the subject matter relevant to his daily life and future as a professional golfer.
“Becoming a professional athlete means that you have to brand yourself,” says Hamilton. “Eventually when you make it to the pro level you have to sell yourself to sponsors and you wind up with a lot of media obligations. Whether it's doing an interview on TV or managing your social media accounts, Corporate Communications has been great for me because I have learned to treat my sport and everything associated with what I do like a business. Having learned what I have throughout my studies I feel it has helped me a great deal.”
His biggest challenge as a student was balancing his desire to excel in the classroom as well as at the sport that was funding his education. Having great advisors and faculty members made it easier.
“Being on the golf team, we have a very hectic schedule and my advisor always did a great job in putting me in classes that would accommodate my schedule. She always helped to keep me focused on the task at hand,” he says.
Aside from being on the UH golf team, Hamilton also participated on the Student Athletics Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Canadian National Golf Team.
His experience at UH has brought him a long way.
“When I think about how far I’ve come - from being a freshman battling for a spot in the line-up and trying to get through classes, to graduating and going pro, it’s all just really cool to think about!” he says.
- By Monica Byars