Imagine being a tour pro. That would be a good life, right? Many of us have that dream. It’s not an easy job, though – all that travel, staying in budget hotels to keep costs down, grinding away on the range from dawn till dusk to fix a swing problem and the disappointment of missed cuts.
How about the life of a golf content creator on YouTube and Instagram? Looks cool, right? Golf 24/7, 365, stunning courses and sponsorship opportunities – but what about all the abuse you get from trolls, which can be especially nasty towards women?
There are, believe it or not, people out there who do both. So, as well as travelling the globe and putting in the hard yards off the course, these guys and girls are busy looking after a YouTube channel and engaging with hundreds of thousands of followers across a number of different social media platforms. It is, as I find out, extremely hard work.
Meet pro golfers-cum- coaches/social media stars, Hannah Gregg and Fredrik Lindblom. I sat down with the couple (an actual couple, too) at Black Bear Golf Club, just outside Orlando, Florida, to talk all things golf and content creation. Their passion for the game is obvious, as is their skill in attracting new faces to the sport.
How did you get into golf?
Hannah: My dad wanted me to be well-rounded. I have two brothers, so I did a lot of sports with them. I remember this weird rumour going around – and it still does – about unused women’s golf scholarships. It wasn’t true. Anyway, my dad was like, ‘Oh, if I can get her decent at golf, I bet she gets this free ride to college!’
I started playing golf with him. He used to give me M&M’s every time I hit a good shot. I went with him before work and we would break up early and go to the course. Then I started doing okay and I won a couple of junior golf tournaments. That was when I got hooked.
You didn’t start playing golf until you were 13?
Hannah: I had swung a club a few times, but I don’t think I hit my first bucket until I was 12.
Did you play from a young age, Fredrik?
Fredrik: I played lots of team sports in Sweden – football, hockey, floorball, which is huge in Scandinavia. I was one of those annoying kids where if we won it was because of me, but if we lost it was because of one of my teammates. I needed an individual sport.
My grandad introduced me to golf. My dad was like, ‘Really, you’re going to do this old man’s sport?’ I loved it because it was all up to me. I got dropped off [at the club] at 8am and would not come home until it was dark. I started when I was 14 and four years later I got a scholarship in the US.
Where are you at with your playing career, Hannah?
Hannah: This is my first year with almost a full season of Epson Tour status. I went to Q-School for my first time in 2019, so I turned pro for Q-School at the end of that year. My first year was a Covid year, so basically nothing happened. I moved back home and was just practising; I didn’t get to play a single pro event that year.
My first true year as a pro was 2021. I played on the Women’s All Pro Tour and went to Q-School again, got okay status on Epson and played a few events. I don’t think I made any cuts in my first year, so that was a big growth experience!
You were quite late to the sport though really, weren’t you?
Hannah: I’ve always been a little bit behind some people who started maybe when they were four. My trajectory has been a kind of slow and steady one, and I feel like I’m kind of always playing catch-up.
This has been my first year where I’m going to have really good status. I’ll get to see how I can do with almost a full schedule.
And what about you, Fredrik?
Fredrik: I’ve been all over the place – Europe, PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour Latinoamérica. I got pretty good status on PGA Tour Canada and they changed it to the Forme Tour because they based it in the US.
One of those Covid years, I finished 8th at Q-School but they only guaranteed six cards, so that was a bummer. Now I’m getting back to it.
It must be tough, and expensive, when you’re not making cuts?
Fredrik: Exactly. When Covid hit, I took a break. I started a company called Short Game Gains that produces training aids focused on the short game. Now I’ve got the funds to play.
We also have some unbelievable partnerships with brands including Bushnell and Stewart Golf, which gives us the finances to get back out there playing.
How did you guys meet?
Hannah: When I was in college, I needed to make some money. I was working remotely for an agency that did social media management, and I got an account where Jason Day was our main ambassador. We got to do a ton of fun stuff. Fred was also one of our ambassadors and content creators.
Hannah: Fred came up on my socials about a year later. One of my friends, said, ‘Oh, he’s single now, you need to make a move.’ I asked him if he liked speed sticks! I messaged him and was like, ‘Oh, do those work?’ and he sent me back, ‘Yeah’ [laughs]. I was like, ‘This is where you’re supposed to hit me back with something!’
Fredrik: I saw an article about the expenses of playing professional golf and I saw Hannah’s name. I was like, ‘Where the heck have I heard that name?’ I sent her a message and we started talking. I figured I’d ride her fame on social media and maybe I’ll learn something. And here we are!
You’ve both attracted some huge brands. Tell us about some of your partnerships.
Hannah: Our biggest partner for this year is GolfTec, a chain of approximately 500 locations across the world who do fittings and lessons.
This is something you sound very passionate about…
Hannah: There is still a lot of hesitation with people, maybe not wanting to get seen out on the range. It’s kind of nerve- wracking, right? So, it’s great for beginners. It’s cool that you can have this session with your coach.
You can also get fittings and full-bag evaluations. We love what GolfTec does and what it stands for. I took my dad there for a full-bag fitting and he loved it. So did Fred’s dad.
You’re also sporting some cool clothing in your social media videos?
Hannah: Dunning is my clothing sponsor for the year, and they’re also doing the Solheim Cup outfits for the USA. I’m very excited to see how all that works out.
There’s an interesting story about how you ended up with that particular relationship, isn’t there? Tell us how it all happened…
Hannah: It’s actually thanks to you guys! One of your writers, Alex Narey, saw some tweets that I had put out about the cost of pro golf. Periodically I tweet my expenses after a week on the road just so people know what goes into it.
Alex wrote a whole piece on me and another pro who talked about the costs involved. Dunning saw it and offered me a partnership. They have taken me to Jupiter, Sea Island, Kiawah and Ireland, so I’ve had a pretty good run with them so far.
Fredrik: I get to go with her and be an international fashion model. I should put that in my bio, as well as Instagram boyfriend.
What about some of the partnerships that you also have in place, Fredrik?
Fredrik: I started in college early on with the Bridgestone golf ball. I love the people at Bridgestone – they’re so cool. All the golf balls are made in the US, which I also think is pretty cool. We go to the plant. Every golf ball you see has been touched by hand; they have around 400 checkpoints to make sure that the ball is absolutely perfect.
We also have a partnership with Tour Tee. It claims to help the ball go further. We did a video to prove that this didn’t work and we brought along tour pro, Scott Stallings. All of us got better numbers!
The product actually doing what it promised must have scuppered plans for your intended video?
Hannah: Yes! We were like, ‘Hey, we’re going to show you guys the most amazing tee there’s ever been,’ being pretty sarcastic. By the end, Scott was fishing them out of my golf bag.
Fredrik: He’s playing them on tour. Cool stuff like that you can do with social. We got connected with Tour Tee, super-nice guys from Australia. We work with Bushnell, too. I have friends who have had Bushnell rangefinders for ten years – it works perfectly, great gear.
Your partnership is quite unique and it clearly works…
Fredrik: The cool thing about Hannah and me is that we offer both the female and male perspective for our partners. We’re so happy to be where we are. Really, it all comes from promoting ourselves through social media, growing that audience and getting brands engaged in creating content together. The content creation part we absolutely love.
And you coach a bit too, don’t you, Fredrik, particularly when it comes to the short game?
Fredrik: The last couple of years, I’ve only really coached tour players. I coach a few of the players on the Ladies European Tour. Some players come in and maybe have a check with their putting or their pitching and short game, which is really what I specialise in. There are better full-swing coaches out there. I couldn’t work with a tour player knowing I might not be the best one, but with the short game, I know I’m pretty darned good.
You’re also itching to get out and play on tour?
Fredrik: I’ve been watching Hannah making it through Q-School. I’m a little bit jealous. I don’t want to be the guy who just waves in the crowd. I want to be out there playing! It’s going to be a cool journey and hopefully we’re going to be able to caddie for each other certain weeks. We don’t have kids yet, so we have no restraints; we can be anywhere in the world. It’s a cool life we live.
You must be popular with friends who follow your travels on social media?
Fredrik: I look at my friends back home in the snow right now and I’m in 25 ̊C in Phoenix with my shades on with perfect turf. A lot of people hate me now back home!
Make us even more envious. Tell us about your recent trip to Mexico. The video on YouTube looked pretty incredible.
Hannah: We went to Quivira Los Cabos, down at the Baja Peninsula. We played an unbelievable golf course. The halfway hut on the 6th hole is basically an open-air bar that overlooks the ocean.
Fredrik: Afterwards, when we went back to edit the video, you can see this big whale jumping in the background. It just has two of the absolute coolest holes you will ever see in golf.
The job you have does involve some ugly stuff, too. What’s it like having to deal with some of the comments on social media?
Hannah: It was harder when I was first starting out. I hadn’t really made my way through the pro world yet, so when people would say, ‘You’re not even a real pro,’ I would be like, ‘Well, not yet.’ Everybody starts somewhere. It’s not weird to start at stage one of Q-School; it’s not weird to play in mini-tour events.
There have been some scary messages. Fred has helped me with it a ton. We have things in place so I feel good about what I’m posting and I feel safe, and I have a lot of really good people around me who don’t let those things affect me.
Ninety-nine per cent of your audience are clearly supportive and engage in a positive way…
Hannah: The people who follow me are such good people and they’re always so supportive. Those other people are not my followers – they’re always coming from some other random, gross place. It’s just something you’ve got to deal with; it’s not fun and I wish it would stop, but I’m going to keep raising awareness about it.