The biggest mistakes amateurs make, according to Max Homa
Don’t stress next time you miss yet another 10- or 15-footer. According to Max Homa — and, well, statistics — you aren’t supposed to make all of those anyway.
Homa, who won the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday to claim his sixth PGA Tour victory, graced the cover of the latest issue of GOLF Magazine, and during that shoot in Scottsdale, Ariz., two months ago, Homa explained the best tip he’d ever received, but also dished out his own advice for amateurs.
“I could blame part of broadcasting golf for this, but so many times I hear a guy have a 15-footer in a pro-am, and he’ll miss it and be like, ‘Gosh, you know, I usually make those,'” Homa said. “And I have a couple of times said, ‘You don’t. I know that for a fact. Because no one out here does.’ But you watch golf so much I think you see so many shots go close and so many putts go in, that they get overly aggressive.”
Homa, in fact, leads the Tour in putting from 10-15 feet, making 51 percent of them so far this season. We’re early in the year, though, so a more fair number might be last year’s leader in that category, Alex Noren, who made 43 percent of his putts from that range. But still, the Tour average from that distance last year was just 30 percent. So that’s Homa’s point — if the best players in the world aren’t making the majority of those putts, amateurs shouldn’t act like they should.
Other round-killers Homa highlighted for amateurs: three-putts, and not practicing your short game.
“You go to the range and hit a million drivers and then you come out to the golf course and take four shots to get the ball in the hole from 40, 50 feet,” Homa said. “And it’s just like, if your goal is to just have fun and bomb drives then that’s great. But a lot of guys at the end of the day will just be frustrated. … [Your short game] is so much easier to control than to learn how to drive the ball like Rory McIlroy.”
Homa also explained another common misconception among most amateur players. In short, just because you hit your 9-iron 160 yards once doesn’t mean you hit it 160 yards every time.
He told a story about his dad.
“We were on a par-3 and he had like a 6-iron in, and I was about to hit like a 6 or a 7, and I was like, ‘I don’t think you hit that 6-iron 180’ or whatever yards it was, and he’s like, ‘No, I do, remember it, like two weeks ago I did?’ I’m like, ‘OK, well, I guess if we are playing that game,'” Homa said. “I think I would have the mentality that if I hit the purest shot of my life and I hit it 20 yards over the pin, I’d have some sort of like enjoyment with that. As opposed to hitting it and constantly being 30 yards short because I don’t hit it off the middle of the face. People I think hit one great 7-iron and decide I hit my 7-iron 180 yards and I’m going to tell the world and I’m going to believe that.”
For more on Homa, check out Dylan Dethier’s feature story that appeared in the latest issue of GOLF Magazine here, and check out the tee-to-green chat below.