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Amateur Sawin Leaves Job, Gets To Work On His Game

The photo on the home page of John Sawin’s website conveys his story in one simple, revealing image. Sawin gazes skyward, intently following the flight of his golf ball as he completes his swing at Torrey Pines. The sky is blue, the grass is green and San Diego’s scenic shoreline looms invitingly in the background.
“OUT OF OFFICE,” it says in large, orange type.
Below, as a form of succinct explanation, Sawin’s message reads, “from Silicon Valley desk job to the far corners of the amateur golf world.”
Sawin’s name probably stirs little recognition even among regular followers of the amateur game. He did not wade in glory at a traditional golf power, blazing through Arizona State as Phil Mickelson did or stopping at Stanford on his way to fame and fortune as Tiger Woods did.
That’s fine, because Sawin’s story should resonate with golf fans precisely because he’s not a household name.
Sawin had a real job until March. He was an investment banker for Barclays in its Menlo Park office, right down the street from Stanford. This counts as a good job, especially for a bright and ambitious Princeton graduate with a degree in economics.
Still, at his core, Sawin is a golfer. The game long ago grabbed him and captivated him and seeped into his soul. He’s 29, in his athletic prime and unmarried without kids. If ever he were to devote himself to golf for a year, choose total immersion, this is the time.


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