Residence: Arlington, Texas
Hometown: Paramount, CA (Los Angeles)
College: Pepperdine University
Occupation: Youth counselor and mini-tour golf professional
Nickname: HHH (Hard Hittin’ Hunt)
Home Golf Courses:
- Walnut Creek Country Club – Mansfield, Texas
- Southern Oaks Golf Club – Burleson, Texas
Amateur/Pro: Reach 1997 U.S. amateur; plays mini-tours including NGA Hooters Tour and Tight Lies Tour
A true bi-product of inner-city golf programs, Randall Hunt has come a long way from hitting balls on the high school fields of Compton, Calif., a city long known for violence and crime. He began playing at age 7 with some nudging from his father and soon started playing competitively in tournaments organized by the Western States Junior Golf Association and National Minority Junior Golf.
Although he continued to excel in other traditional sports, Randall eventually recognized golf as the one sport that could take him places. In his neighborhood, he was known as the kid who was always golfing. He got his nickname – Hard Hittin’ Hunt – not from how he strikes the golf ball (although he hits it a mile), but from surviving as a kid in his old neighborhood.
“There was a lot of gang activity, and you had to be careful right down to the kind of hat you wore or the color of your clothes,” he said. “I had to make sure that I got respect and wouldn’t be picked out as a target.” Randall’s parents also protected him from his environment, sacrificing so he could attend private school. That opportunity eventually led to his proudest accomplishment – earning a full golf scholarship to Pepperdine University. In 1997, he received the Jackie Robinson Scholarship for academic excellence and would later be honored by the same organization with the Youth Motivation Award for his work in the inner city.
His debut year at Pepperdine was one to remember and forget. Although he reaped the benefits of playing for the reigning Division I National Champions, an injury sustained in a car accident forced him to have wrist surgery and undergo cortisone injections for the remainder of his college career. He graduated from Pepperdine in 2001 with a business degree.
Over time, the injury to his arm worsened to the point where doctors said he would never play golf again. After soul searching and visiting dozens of doctors, Randall decided to undergo a complex surgical procedure that had a 30 percent risk of leaving him a quadriplegic. The surgery was a success and Randall was able to continue the pursuit of his dream of playing professional golf.
Randall played against some notable talent growing up – like Adam Scott – and competed in the 1997 U.S. Amateur, which was won by Matt Kuchar. He currently carries a +1 handicap and competes on various mini-tours, including the NGA Hooters Tour and Tight Lies Tour. He fashions his game against the power of Tiger Woods and the control of Luke Donald.
He also works as a youth counselor at Hope Farm, a non-profit organization that helps inner-city kids in the Forth Worth, Texas, area, and where Granny – Ben Hogan’s cook for more than 25 years – whips up some of her favorite recipes for the kids. Referring to his life experiences, Randall hopes that winning “The Big Break IV” will provide him with a chance to give back and realize a dream of playing on the world’s grandest stage.
Click here to visit his website.