Aaron Rodgers’ ‘crap’ handicap adjusted for 2024 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
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Many of the amateur competitors at this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am were likely curious about what number would be assigned to a certain star NFL quarterback in the field.
No, not the number 12 Aaron Rodgers wore on his jersey for his soon-to-be Hall of Fame career with the Green Bay Packers or the number 8 he now wears for the New York Jets. We’re instead referring to the number of handicap strokes he would be awarded in the pro-am portion tournament.
Why is Rodgers’ handicap of great interest to the field? Not only will the four-time NFL MVP have a target on his back for winning the pro-am contest a year ago with Ben Silverman, but also because Rodgers, who is low single-digit handicap, got an eye-popping 10 shots during each of the three rounds of the event (the pro-am was cut short last year due to weather).
This year will be a very different story as Rodgers will play to a 4 handicap for the two-round pro-am.
Rodgers came into last year’s tournament carrying a 3.0 GHIN index, so naturally, the seven-stroke adjustment didn’t sit well with the rest of the field.
“Aaron Rodgers doesn’t count. His handicap was crap,” Keith Mitchell, who paired with Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen to finish fourth in the pro-am, said after the fourth round last year. “I haven’t looked. When we were on 18, we might have been up there, but if we finished second to Aaron, I consider us winning the trophy.”
Allen, who got nine shots last year, had more fun with his fellow signal-caller, butting into scrum Rodgers was to say, “I wish I got 10 shots.”
GOLF’s Alan Bastable reported last year that the tournament doesn’t just use GHIN indexes to allocate strokes for the amateur side of the competition. Last year, the event was staged over three courses (just two this year) with different slope and ratings to account for.
“The tournament committee assigns handicaps,” Lesley Varney, VP, marketing and business development of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, which stages the Pro-Am, wrote in an email to GOLF last year. “The past few years [Rodgers] has played as a 9 and has only made the cut once.”
While amateurs did not end up playing the final round last year, it never hurts to set up the biggest-name celebs to stick around longer.
Rodgers claimed that he wasn’t playing well heading into the event last year. On Monday of that week, he said he teed it up for his first round since the past July and fired an 86 at Sherwood Country Club, in California. But several months before that, at the 2022 American Century Championship, he had played as 5 and finished 9th.
Rodgers played that event again in 2023 and finished 5th as a 4, clipping 10-time major winner Annika Sorenstam by a point.
Rodgers will have more reason to feel rusty this year. In his first game with the Jets last September, he tore his Achilles tendon on just the fourth play of the season, causing him to miss the rest of the year. He’s had an encouraging recovery, though, even sparking rumors he could have returned late in the Jets’ 7-10 season.
When Rodgers returned to the course two weeks ago at Shadow Creek, in Las Vegas, he enjoyed a career golf moment: making a hole-in-one.
Conspicuously, upon searching for Rodgers’ current handicap index in the GHIN database, searches in Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey and his native California all turned up empty.