South Jersey man overcomes addiction, becomes head golf professional

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Monday, August 8, 2022
South Jersey man overcomes addiction, becomes head golf professional
"If it can happen to me, it really can happen to anybody," said Brian Hecker, a golfer who charted a course to recovery on the green.

WILLIAMSTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- "The cautionary tale is: I was a good kid. I went to college. I got great grades," said Brian Hecker. "So, if it could happen to me, it really can happen to anybody. And it does."

Hecker seemed to have it all until he had a hernia and wrist injury. He was engaged, had a successful job in sales, but then required two surgeries and painkillers. He became dependent on the drugs before he could realize they were no longer needed.

"And so six months down the road, I am homeless. I am jobless. I have no fiance and my nurse practitioner says you're going to die if you don't stop using," he said.

Hecker's rock-bottom moment came on a hospital bed after waking up from open heart surgery. With the help of his parents, he muscled his way through 90 days of sobriety before acquiring a job at Scotland Run Golf Club.

That life-changing employment came in 2011 and Hecker has been clean ever since.

"I've watched myself go from range guy to the bag drop to get the promotion to first assistant and then three years ago, I was asked to be the head pro here at my home club," said Hecker. "I carry so much pride with it and I think that shows."

As Head Golf Professional, Hecker gets to work with and mentor a community of golfers that call Scotland Run their home. From kids to adults, Hecker has the chance to improve lives similar to how others improved his.

"Everything that I did drugs for was to try and get a calm and a peace over me that I only found through sobriety," he said. "I couldn't get enough of that using. It never gave me that feeling. But things like this do."

To learn more about recreational or educational opportunities at Scotland Run Golf Club, visit their website.

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