FedEx Cup Champ Viktor Hovland Credits Poker in Helping Golf Game

Newly crowned FedEx Cup champion Viktor Hovland touted what he’s learned from poker while talking about his success on the golf course.

jeff walsh
1 de septiembre de 2023
Crédito de la imagen: Unsplash

No es ningún secreto que pro poker players love to get out on the links to play some golf. There’s something about the game that scratches that same itch of being incredibly difficult to master.

And the side action doesn’t hurt.

Well, this week it was a pro golfer who was touting the virtues of poker. Twenty-five-year-old Viktor Hovland from Norway went on a media tour after taking home the FedEx Cup trophy for winning the Tour Championship and its $18 million first-place prize.

After the win, Hovland spent time making the media rounds to talk about how his successful season – and his love (and study) of the game of poker came up multiple times.

First up, here’s Hovland talking on the popular Pat McAfree show about hiring “a stats guy”, Edoardo Molinari, and a new coach, Joseph Mayo, to help him navigate his aggression on the golf course.

“The best players in the world play very aggressively. And when you’re on, you’re on. That’s when you reap the benefits,” Hovland said, right before comparing the adjustments he needed to make on the course to adjustments and decisions while playing poker.

Hovland also sat down with GQ Magazine, where he once again talked about his analytical decision-making on the course and how it evolved along with his love of poker.

“…if you make fundamentally sound decisions over time, you’re going to increase your likelihood of being successful. And I think that’s what’s really cool with the game of poker. All you can do is just make the best decisions possible. Sometimes you get beat, if it’s bad luck or if you made a bad decision. Well, if you made a bad decision, you try to change it, and hopefully in the future it works out. Golf is the same way.”

He went on to talk about his understanding of GTO as it relates to poker and how he took the thought process trying to continually make optimal decisions as a part of his winning season. Finally, when asked about how often Hovland trades the greens of the course for the green of the felt, it turns out, he’s really quite a fan.

“I play a little bit online, I play a little bit in casinos, and I like to watch YouTube videos and try to study it a little bit. But I don’t have as much time, of course, to do it. But I really like the game. And when I have time, I like to get into it.”

Lee el artículo completo "Golfer Viktor Hovland on his $18 Million Weekend and Why Golf Is Like Poker” by Sam Schube over on GQ.com.