One of the many things that came out of The Match: Champions for Charity is that when done the right way, golf can be entertaining to the casual sports fan outside of its typically-niche existence.
Granted, The Match had a confluence of events going for it — two of the most marketable golfers of all-time coupled with two of the greatest American athletes of the generation in a sports-free environment — but the event was covered by a swath of sports media outlets who don’t pay attention to golf outside of the major championships.
Homa, who has proven himself to not only be a great golfer, but one of the best personalities on Tour, did not disappoint in their hour-plus conversation. Perhaps the highlight of the interview came when Russillo began comparing golf to other sports, and lamenting some of the oft-told lies that regular Joes tell in order to inflate their self-worth.
“There’s nothing more lied about than 40(-yard dash) times,” Russillo said. “Maybe the second most-lied about thing (in sports) is how many people think they actually drive the ball like 280 and don’t.”
Homa, the veteran of hundreds of pro-ams and a lifelong golfer agreed.
“100 percent,” Homa said. “It is unbelievable how many people — first of all, to measure out the drive you actually have to do the math from the tee, which you didn’t do, so you’re just guessing the number.
“Second, I can eyeball it. And I do a podcast with my buddy Shane Bacon (the Fox Sports host and a former mini-tour player). Shane hit a 494-yard drive, and this is legit 494. Now the thing is, the ball was straight downwind, straight downhill. He hits it far, but he 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!
“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 can 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.
“That’s where the biggest lies in golf come from, from the average guy. He’s like, ‘Yeah, I hit my driver 290.’ It’s like, do you really 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.”
Homa’s assertion was previously espoused by Jordan Spieth who gave a similar piece of advice on the Dan Patrick Show last year.
“They need to hit more club into greens,” Spieth said of amateurs. “What I see a lot is someone will hit a 7-iron on the range and it’ll go 180 yards, so they just assume they’re going to hit the 7-iron 180 yards every time they hit it.
“They’ll get on the course, they’ll have 180 yards and pull a 7-iron and come up short of the green because their contact is not as consistent as ours is. When you mishit it off the heel, toe, thin, fat, whatever it is, it knocks 10-15 yards off the ball, so if you just hit more club, swing a little easier, you have a better chance at better contact.”
There you have it from two of the best in the world: you don’t hit it as far as you think you do; take more club.