How to find the perfect golf teammate, according to Justin Thomas

HAVEN, Wis. The United States hasn’t had many positives to celebrate at the Ryder Cup in recent years, but Justin Thomas has been an undisputed bright spot: having gone 4-1-0 at the 2018 edition and 6-2-2 in two Presidents Cup appearances, he’s become the leader of the U.S. team coming into this week.

“My record is obviously good in team events, but you look at my partners in Jordan, Rickie and Tiger, I’ve been very fortunate to have some really good partners,” he said on Tuesday. “That’s like the number one rule that caddies will tell you: Having a good caddie career [means] having a good player.”

Thomas is no-doubt being modest, because while his play alone may not have been enough to secure victory, he also has a knack of getting the best out of those he’s playing alongside.

Find a friendly connection

Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, 2018 Ryder Cup
Thomas, left, and Spieth make a good team.

And that’s something the rest of us can learn from, as we seek our own unstoppable playing partners. The secret to finding one? According to Thomas, it’s more about an emotional connection:

“It’s pretty important to put two personalities together, two friends together, two guys that get along, maybe their games complement each other,” he says.

It’s interesting that complimentary games came third on his priority list. Important, yes, but not essential. The true non-negotiable is finding somebody you get along with, who puts you at ease, and that you can trust.

Maybe that’s what the U.S. team has been missing in recent years, and if they can find it this week, it could prove to be the difference. Again.

Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.