The transition from amateur golf to the professional ranks is full of questions and unknowns. A longtime member of AmateurGolf.com named Amol Mahal is in the process of making the leap into the professional ranks.
Amol Mahal is chasing his dream as a professional golfer
Over the next year, we are looking forward to bringing Amol’s experience to Amateurgolf.com through a series of articles and interviews. We hope to pull back the curtain and provide some answers to the questions many golfers have about the logistical process of turning pro while sharing interesting stories that Amol collects along the way while he chases a dream.
When the pandemic struck in March 2020, many people reevaluated their priorities. Some were pushed out of jobs, some left jobs, some started baking or cooking, and many headed outside for walks, runs, hikes, and rounds of golf.
was one of those people that headed to the golf course. He hadn’t touched a golf club for four years following his graduation from UC-Santa Barbara.
Amol’s introduction to the game came at the local community college football field as a three-year-old. Amol and his three siblings, along with his father, would hit balls in every direction possible. When they grew bored or restless, the wide-open spaces allowed for sprinting and playing other games.
“Sometimes people would ask us to leave,” Amol said with a laugh. “And other times people would watch us because we were the family that came to the community college football field to play golf.”
Amol outgrew the confines of San Mateo’s football field and slowly started to learn the game in more traditional ways.
At age 9, Amol won a closest to the pin competition and was awarded a box of logo Pinnacle golf balls in his first JJCC tournament. He was hooked.
Like so many who love golf, Amol and his older brother spent the long California summer days golfing and goofing around at the Santa Clara Golf and Tennis Club. Their dad would drop them off before work and pick them up in the gloaming.
His talent didn’t go unnoticed.
At the age of 13, he earned a junior merit membership at the Peninsula Golf and Country Club. This provided Mahal a place to practice; the club competed against local clubs. It also offered Mahal an opportunity to sharpen his game and earn a spot on the UC-Santa Barbara golf team.
Mahal credits his time at UC-Santa Barbara for his growth as a person and finding an identity outside of golf. “I was well-rounded after leaving Santa Barbara,” he said. “I ventured out and grew as an individual.”
Part of that growth meant Amol was ready to leave golf behind and shift his focus to his new career selling software at Dropbox.
However, Amol knew golf has a long shelf-life.
“It was always in the back of my head that I felt like I had another chapter to write with golf. I wasn’t sure when that would happen. The way the pandemic all lined up, it made sense around June 2020 for me to make that move and try golf full time again.”
As the saying goes: If you love something, let it go free. If it comes back, love it forever.
Amol won the coveted San Francisco City Men's Championship in November
In June of 2020, after setting golf free, it came back. Amol decided he wanted to play again, not just as a weekend warrior hanging out with friends, but as a professional, chasing a dream that had been resting dormant. He felt motivated in a completely different way.
“Now the onus is on me, and this is something I very much want to do. I’m taking ownership of it. It feels much different and rewarding,” he said.
Life-altering decisions, with a pandemic in the backdrop, require support from others. His girlfriend, who is in an oral surgery residency program, gave Amol her full support. His parents and siblings have also been instrumental in giving him the confidence and love needed to take this leap of faith.
Amol has been spending the last 18 months building up to January 2022. He has played in numerous events and made an attempt to qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour. Amol also recently won The San Francisco City Championship in November. However, the next five months will be a new challenge for him as he’ll be traveling around the country to play in PGA Tour and Korn Ferry pre-qualifiers and Monday qualifiers.
He’s excited to travel, see new courses, and formulate plans of attack. He’s also aware of all the learning he’ll be doing on the fly as he manages travel logistics and caddies and diet and exercise.
The key might be tapping into the energy of that kid who whacked a golf ball around a football field with his family all those years ago without a care in the world.