Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1957, Hanzel found success in golf early and often, winning over 30 junior golf tournaments in the state of Ohio, including the 1974 Ohio State High School Championship. He continued that success at Kent State University where he was a four-year letterman and served as team captain in 1978-1979. He led his team to win the 1977 Mid-American Conference Championship, and twice-earned All-Conference recognition in 1978 and 1979.
After his time at Kent State, Hanzel enrolled in medical school at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He then moved to Savannah, GA., in 1989 and his success on the golf course followed him South. Hanzel is a fixture on the amateur golf scene in Georgia. He won the 2004 Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship, and the 2006 Georgia Four-Ball Championship.
Once Hanzel turned 50 and became eligible to compete as a senior, the wins started piling up. He is the three-time winner of the Georgia Senior Championship. (2012, 2014, 2015). Hanzel (with partner Jack Hall) has won the past three Georgia Senior Four-Ball Championships-only team to ever win three straight. He has earned multiple GSGA Senior Player of the Year honors, including the recipient of the Tommy Barnes Award, signifying the GSGA’s overall Player of the Years, in 2012 and 2013.
Hanzel has qualified for several United States Golf Association national championships, the highlight came in 2013 when he won the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, N.C.. He has qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship five times, the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship four times and the U.S. Senior Open five times. Hanzel represented Georgia at the USGA Men’s State Team Championship twice.
In 2012, he became the only player ever to advance to match play at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, U.S. Senior Amateur Championship and earn low amateur honors at the U.S. Senior Open in the same year.
Hanzel has six Society of Seniors titles, including two SOS National Championships, 2013 and 2018.
Hanzel was inducted as a member of the Northern Ohio Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Kent State University Sports Hall of Fame in 2017, and also inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2019.