This is ‘the biggest lie in golf,’ according to Max Homa

Max Homa Ryen Russillo

Max Homa joined Ryen Russillo's podcast and dropped some hilarious takes on amateur driving distance.

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The secret’s out: Max Homa is a fantastic interview. The California native, PGA Tour winner and renowned swing-roaster has a fantastic story and proper perspective, having lost his PGA Tour card twice but never his sense of humor.

That’s why it was a pleasure to see Homa appear as a guest on the Ryen Russillo Podcast, which covers a variety of sports and pop culture — but rarely features golf guests. As we’ve seen with Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and plenty of others, golfers can show a different side when paired with a good interviewer from outside the golf world, and Homa with Russillo was no exception.

The entire interview, which features segments like “Life Advice” and Homa’s favorite Tiger Woods story, is worth a listen here, but I particularly enjoyed the segment in which Russillo posed his biggest golf theory: That the only thing more lied about than 40-yard-dash times are amateur golfers’ perceptions about their driving distance.

“Maybe the second most-lied about thing [in sports] is how many people think they actually drive the ball like 280 and don’t,” Russillo says in the pod.

Homa, laughing, is all in.

“100 percent,” he agrees. “It is unbelievable how many people — first of all, to measure out a drive you actually have to do the math from the tee, which you didn’t do, so you’re just guessing the number. “

Homa perfectly illustrates his point by referencing one particularly ridiculous drive that his podcast co-host Shane Bacon (a former mini-tour player) has to his name.

“Shane hit a 494-yard drive, and this is legit 494. Now the thing is, the ball was straight downwind, straight downhill, got every — he hits it far, but got every break you could get. He does not now go around telling people, ‘Yeah, I hit it 490.’ That’s just a story he has!”

“Where my Dad will hit one 4-iron in his life 220 yards, and then every time he’s 220 hits 4-iron and tells people he hits 4-iron 220. It’s like, ‘Dude, you just don’t. That’s not your normal number. Yes, it could happen, but you could also play golf on a hill, you could hit it way down that hill and yes, the ball will go farther.”

This chart breaks down a male golfer’s average driving distance, based on handicap. USGA/R&A

The data suggests that Russillo and Homa each have a point. For perspective, one study showed that an average male amateur hits it 208 yards off the tee, with that average rising to 236 for players with a 6-handicap or better. The average female amateur drives it 146, while 6-handicaps or better drive it 195.

“That’s where the biggest lie in golf comes from, a guy’s like, ‘Yeah, I hit my average drive like 290. It’s like, you think this girl at the bar is going to want to date you now because you hit your driver 290?’ Just save it, man, we know you don’t!”

You can hear the entire podcast interview here.
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