My name is Kevin Hall, this is my story.
I was 2 1/2 years old when I contacted H-flu meningitis. My diagnosis was imminent death, or life as a vegetable. Somehow through the grace of God I survived and the only thing I lost was my hearing. I was fortunate otherwise be a normal child, but I had gained a new course in life.
My parents made a promise to each other to raise me as a normal person and to this day they have kept their word. I enrolled in St. Rita School for the Deaf as well as mainstream programs. My heart always had a passion and desire to pursue sports, and I tried my hand and enjoyed many of them. One day when I was 9 years old, a family friend Sonny Barnes handed me a golf club and introduced me to the game of golf. I gripped the club, took a look at the golfers around me on the driving range and swung for the first time. Feeling the sweet sensation of perfect contact and watching the ball take flight told me everything I needed to know.
I practiced every day. I absorbed everything about golf I could get my hands on and sure enough I continued to get better each and every day. I wanted to earn a college scholarship to play golf, so I did everything I could to become the best player in Cincinnati my senior year of high school. My hard work earned me a scholarship to the Ohio State University and the distinction of being the first deaf African-American in the storied program’s history. I got better every year and it culminated with winning the Big Ten Championship by 11 strokes in 2004. I graduated in 2005 with a journalism degree.
After college, I didn’t feel satisfied with my career in golf and I wanted more. With the support of my family and friends, I decided to turn pro in the fall of 2005 and since then, I have competed in six PGA Tour events, 11 web.com events and a variety of mini-tours.
Golf has been an unrelenting passion for me ever since I took that first shot at 9 years old. I wake up every morning thinking, ‘I can’t wait to get better.’ Through golf, I have been fortunate to meet many interesting people, have amazing experiences and continue to grow not just as a golfer but also as a man. I thank God for the opportunity to pursue my dream, for the people in my life and the opportunity to inspire others through what I do. I don’t know what’s in store for me down the road but I owe it to myself and everyone who ever supported me to work as hard as I possibly can while enjoying the journey.
There’s not a lot of people on Tour who have had to overcome what I have as a double minority – deaf & African American – trying to make it in an extremely competitive sport. As much as I enjoy golf, my journey is often lonely and there’s a lot of added pressure to succeed on behalf of the communities I represent. I learned early on that nothing in life is easy and there’s really nothing else to do but deal with it and keep pressing on. What helps a lot is the support of others and knowing that my story can inspire others. I know if I had a few more role models like myself growing up, maybe the journey would not be as difficult, so I owe it to the future to pave a better path. Whether I make it or not, I will give it everything I have and keep striving to be better. As long as I do that and trust in God’s plan, I know I will be fine.
‘With God, anything is possible.’ Whatever endeavor you choose, the journey is never a smooth one. Be strong, learn as much as you can and keep on keeping on. I know I will.
Hit them long and straight!