Justin Thomas, like all PGA Tour pros, is no stranger to the Wednesday pro-am — the obligatory hit-and-giggle with lucky hackers or golfers who snagged a spot through a corporate partner, work deal or some other avenue.
Either way, these are cushy gigs for the ams. Where else can you tee it up alongside some of the world’s best golfers? Plus, you don’t necessarily need a low Handicap Index to secure a pro-am spot. In fact, most of the people pros play alongside in these events are middling golfers like the rest of us.
What’s our point here? It’s that Thomas and other pros have seen it all.
The two-time major champ recently joined GOLF’s Dylan Dethier on the range at Panther National — Thomas’ new course design — for our latest episode of Warming Up. In it they discussed Thomas’ preparation, how he hits his go-to shots, some of his fondest memories on the course and more. He also answered this: What’s the most common advice he’s given during a pro-am round?
“Hit more club, hands down,” he said. “No amateur ever hits enough club. They are just infatuated with that 7-iron that they one time hit 180 yards with all that roll, and every time they are 180 yards they hit a 7-iron. I’m like ‘Guys, no offense, you are not good enough to be hitting the wrong club every time. You need to at least do yourself a favor.'”
Thomas’ advice checks out. (Even stats guru Mark Broadie has touched on this topic.)
But speaking of pro-ams, Thomas himself said he approaches them differently than he used to. For example, he likes to go to the gym before tournament rounds, but that wasn’t something he necessarily did before other rounds. But then he decided he needed a change. He says he now tries to get in a habit of doing what he does before tournament rounds when he’s just playing at home, or even in pro-ams.
“I was essentially playing so bad in pro-ams, finally my dad was like, ‘Alright, well it’s one of two things,'” Thomas said. “‘One, you just need to get over how you are playing. Or two, you need to actually treat this seriously. Because you are not going to the gym, you are not warming up, you are hitting like 12 golf balls and then going to the tee and then you are getting pissed off how you are playing.’ He’s just like, ‘You need to do one or the other.'”
You can watch the complete Warming Up video with Thomas at the top of this article, or click below to watch it on YouTube.