A native of St. Paul, Alberta, Jamie Sadlowski grew up on skates — not golf spikes. The 29-year-old professional is known for his incredibly athletic swing and outrageous ball speed he creates at impact. Twice a junior world long drive champion, Sadlowski subsequently stepped up on the big stage at the World Long Drive Championship and won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. He has nine consecutive television finals and has never finished worse than 5th in the world since he started competing.
After performing more than 600 exhibitions/shows around the world, Sadlowski made the commitment in the fall of 2016 to become a PGA Tour player. Sadlowski has proven he can play by making numerous cuts on the Canadian, Web.com and Asian PGA Tour. In 2018, Sadlowski will focus on playing a full schedule in Canada followed by several tournaments across Asia & Australia.
THE SADLOWSKI STORY
I won back-to-back Junior World Long Drive Championships in 2005 and 2006, which propelled me into the Open Division (18-45 years old). This allowed me to focus on long drive as a full-time profession, giving up my dream of playing hockey professionally, and I ended up winning back-to-back World Long Drive Championships. That success propelled me to doing 60-to-70 corporate outings a year and making a very nice living. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after my junior hockey career, but I was very fortunate to find consistent success in long drive as one of the best in the world.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion for you?
I want to get better. Golf is something I have done all my life, and long drive has been my focus since I was 14-years-old. I hit the pinnacle in that sport, and I would love to do the same as a professional golfer on the PGA Tour.
You became world champion in long drive — what motivated you to reach the pinnacle?
Long drive for me came so naturally, and I honestly thought I was better than everyone else. I handled myself in a way that when people met me their first reaction was not how far I could hit a golf ball but how good of a dude I was. Because of this, I was so confident in my ability, and I always knew I could beat anyone at any given time.
You continued to pursue long drive competitions even after falling from the top spot. Was there a lack of motivation to continue doing so?
There wasn’t a lack of motivation at all. I consider the World Long Drive Championships similar to the Olympics in a sense. It happens once a year, there’s no undoing a bad performance, and you can’t afford to have one bad round. Many things can beat you in long drive, a bounce here or there. I won two world championships, made the Top 8 (Finals) 10 straight years and had the opportunity to win every year which is something I’m proud of. Very few can say they had that opportunity.
In the last few years you’ve decided to pursue aggressively a career as a touring professional. What was the biggest challenge initially?
There’s still challenges, but the biggest thing for me is being behind the eight-ball in not having competed weekly or having any professional golf experience under my belt. Ability is one thing, but you can’t teach someone how to play in the heat of the moment. I’m learning. I know I have the ability, now it’s about fast-tracking and getting the results through my process.
How do find life while traveling from one tournament to the next?
I actually really enjoy going to tournaments knowing I’m going to be there for a week. It’s easier to get settled and prepare versus always getting in late one night and out that following day. Travel doesn’t bother me. I’ve been doing it for so long with all the corporate outings (60-70 per year) throughout my career.
You chose Cleveland / Srixon as your golf equipment company. Why?
Cleveland/Srixon takes a very personal approach to their brand ambassadors, and I enjoy the “small family” environment they have created. I wanted to partner with a company that would use me to help promote their driver, and I really believe in the performance of the Launcher HB Driver. Another immediate benefit has come from the amazing performance of the Srixon XV golf ball. This golf ball fits me perfectly and will allow me to play much better when facing windy conditions. I’m excited about playing the Srixon forged irons and versatile Cleveland wedges.
Were other companies considered and interested in you?
You can change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
Slow play. Plain and simple. It drives me crazy. Golf, even at the pro level, should not take more than 3.5 hours, yet it takes 5-5.5 hours on tour.
A number of major golf organizations — USGA, R&A, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, LPGA — are all seeking to attract new players to the game. This is especially so for Millennials, women and minorities. If you were advising them what would you recommend.
I would recommend having a totally different set of rules. Bowlers start out with bumpers so I think it’s OK for these new players to ground their club in the bunker, tee the ball up in the fairway so they can achieve success. Golf is incredibly hard and that’s why people leave the game.
Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
This maybe isn’t advice I got from someone, but it’s something I think about every day. It doesn’t matter how good you are, there’s always someone better. You have to work if you want it; there’s no “gimmies” in golf and in life.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?