NASCAR’s Kevin Harvick to continue leaving his mark on golf post-retirement
Kevin Harvick has made an impact in the golf world, and after announcing Thursday that he will retire from NASCAR following the 2023 season, his footprint in a sport he loves will likely expand.
In addition to racing, the 47-year-old, who is ninth all-time in career wins (60) and made his Cup Series debut in 2001, replacing the late Dale Earnhardt for Richard Childress Racing, is an avid golfer.
Roughly 12 years ago, Harvick wanted something to take his mind off racing, so he picked up golf.
“(Golf) was the opposite of what I do on the weekends,” the 2014 Cup Series champion told Golf Channel in 2017. “It was quiet, there was nobody around. It was a great release for me to get away from racing.”
Harvick’s golf obsession only grew from there. After playing at Augusta National Golf Club, he built a replica of its historic par-3 12th hole in his backyard. And he made sure to duplicate every detail — from Rae’s Creek to the Hogan Bridge and the azaleas.
However, in 2011, Harvick took on another endeavor off the race track.
After UFC fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone asked Harvick if he’d be interested in managing him, Harvick has operated KHI Management, a full-service sports agency.
Amongst the agency’s 14 current clients, three are PGA Tour players — Vaughn Taylor, Chesson Hadley and James Hahn.
Jason Gore was the first professional golfer to sign with KHI. In 2014, Gore was playing mostly on the Korn Ferry Tour after losing his Tour card. Wanting to rejuvenate his career, Gore contacted Harvick and regained Tour status in 2015. The 48-year-old is now a senior vice president and player advisor to Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.
“I was looking to change some stuff and having doubts about making changes and (Harvick) goes, ‘Hey man, if you’re not changing, you’re not trying to get better,’” Gore told The Athletic in 2020. “So he started (helping me think about being) open to change and try to keep becoming better and better and better. Then, I did.”
Hahn represented himself during his first few years on Tour, but after notching his maiden win in 2015, he felt the missing piece to his career was finding a reliable management company to help grow his brand. According to ESPN, Drew Steckel, a coach of Gore, was one day standing with Hahn. Steckel knew Hahn was seeking a management team and asked Gore if KHI was looking to add another golfer. Gore then immediately spearheaded the partnership.
“It’s probably been the best decision that I’d ever had in my entire career,” Hahn told The Athletic.
Harvick still has one season left driving the No. 4 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing. Though he’s reportedly set to join Fox Sports as a NASCAR broadcaster in 2024, golf — playing and managing — will continue to be a big part of the “18ish” handicap’s life. And with more time on his hands following this season, he hopes to shave some strokes off his game.
“Absolutely. 100%,” Harvick said in 2017 when asked if he’ll become a better golfer after his racing days are over.