Golf

Jon Rahm says this is the biggest mistake amateur golfers make

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Jon Rahm says the biggest mistake he sees amateurs make is overestimating how far they can hit every club.
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One of the biggest parts of being a pro golfer is playing in pro-ams. Without these outings the week of tournaments, pro golf tours would lose a huge money-maker. So, pros participate each week paired with a foursome of weekend hackers.
It’s easy to get nervous when teeing it up in these outings. Playing golf in front of a crowd is never easy, and when you’ve got a professional watching you all day, the nerves only get ramped up. But talk to most pros and they’ll tell you they don’t really care how good your golf game is. The only thing they look for is enjoyable company.
But just because pros don’t judge you based on your golf game doesn’t mean they don’t take note of your play. If you hit a good shot, they’ll let you know. And if you ask for advice, they’re typically more than happy to share their knowledge.
With these pro-ams taking place each week (and sometimes twice a week), pro golfers have plenty of experience playing with a variety of skill levels. According to Jon Rahm, though, there’s one mistake that golfers of every skill level make that he sees far too often.
“Most of the average golfers, they’re hoping ‘Well I can get this 8-iron there once every 3,000 balls, so I’m gonna hit 8-iron,’” Rahm says. “Maybe try the 7 or 6-iron to where if you miss, you still get there and give yourself a chance.”
Overestimating how far you hit the ball is a killer for recreational players. Most weekend hackers assume that their absolute max for each club is how far they hit it. But in reality, their average is much shorter, which should play into their club selection.
“We hear that a lot. ‘Oh, I hit an 8-iron 160 [yards] once, so forever I’m going to hit the 8-iron from 160,’” Rahm says. “That’s the most common thing we see that is easily fixable.”
Don’t be afraid to take an extra club to make sure you get the ball all the way to the target. Once you swallow your pride, it becomes much easier to bring your scores down.

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.
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