BILLINGS — Anybody who has ever met Mark Hahn has walked away smiling, because that's how he makes you feel. So it was no surprise when the Exchange City Par 3 head pro was presented with the 2020 Paul Allen Award Wednesday, honoring those who have made significant contributions to women's golf in Montana.
“Basically got goosebumps (when I heard)," Hahn said. "Thankfully, golf is the only thing I've ever really done in my life, and it started when I was about fourth grade. My folks moved out into a neighborhood, and at that time there were just gravel roads and everything, but of course the Yellowstone Country Club was there.
"So practically every day after school, I would just walk down there and hang out with the bag room boys. Mr. Allen finally asked me if I wanted a job, and so my first job was sweeping out the bag room. So twice a week I'd be in there, it would be all dusty, but it made me proud, and anything that has his name on it and that I could be affiliated with makes me real proud.”
Hahn has grown from the bag room into a 19-year head pro at Par 3, with stops at Briarwood County Club and Yegen Golf Club in between.
“It goes by so quick," Hahn said. "I got the job here when I was 32 years old, and my girls were just little. I always said if I could just stay here until they got done with high school. Now, Ruby’s graduated with college and Isabelle’s about to be a senior at MSUB, so it goes to show you how quickly time goes and how thankful I am for this place.”
Hahn said he's always been excited to teach women the game, specifically.
“I really appreciate what female golfers can do -- their talent, that they're eager to learn -- and the ladies league here is about 85 women strong," he said. "The ladies association were the ones that got the ball rolling to the Montana State Golf Association, so I'm really proud to be here.”
Ever the soft-spoken one, Hahn said he has just one more hurdle to clear: his acceptance speech.
“If I can just control my emotions, that's the main thing," he said.