I was compelled to write this after watching #rahmbo fire a nonchalant Rd2 65 this morning at the Scottish Open…it could have been lower and that scares me.
It’s no secret out on Tour that Jon Rahm is considered one of or the most talented player in golf. I hear it from everyone, caddies, tour reps, players, etc. You mention his name, and people just shake their heads, “That guy is a beast” is the predominant verbiage. And now that I’ve had ample time to see it live week in and week out I can honestly say it’s a concrete fact that JR is just built differently.
The best quote I ever heard was from Rocco Mediate who said, “If Rahm went and lived on an island without touching a club for 5 years and decided to come back, he would still be Top 3 in the world without missing a step.”, “He’s got that kind of talent, there haven’t been many players like that but he’s one of them.”
This is not the next Tiger conversation, that will never happen again. #facts. What Tiger did from 1999 to 2009 was the most dominant 10 years in all of sport. It was literally Tiger VS the field and if you picked him you won a lot. It was completely insane by any metric.
However, Jon Rahm in my opinion is on to something different and he has distinct advantages over his competition that ensure his consistency for what I think will be the next 8-10 years at least.
WHY? YOU ASK…
- He’s not afraid of himself: This is a real thing. Ask any player on Tour and they will tell you that all the greats have an extra gear that elevates them. Some would call it confidence but in golf, it’s more knowing the worst version of you is still good enough. JR could show up with his worst and the guy still knows he has a chance. In my opinion, it was this that made the switch into our gear so successful. Let’s face it, Rahm was playing VERY well with his past set up and under normal circumstances, a switch may sound crazy. As we are seeing now it wasn’t crazy at all. Let’s call this character trait brass balls.
- He owns his swing: Go back and look at videos of Jon from ASU and compare them to today. His swing has not changed at all. AND he grew up doing something that every young player on tour wants to do once they get out there, hit a hard cut. JR has been doing that since he was a kid so his natural resting state for the past 10 years (at least) is built for the highest level. If you watch him play or even hit balls, there is no manufacturing going on. The guy never looks perplexed, ever. I hate describing it this way but it’s literally all feel. He sees a shot and morphs his body to encourage it. It’s scary. Trevino and Sergio are the only other players that come to mind. It’s a homegrown action that is all he knows how to do. This is a HUGE advantage for longevity.
- He’s growing up: “He’s hot under the collar” is the critique he may get when describing his weaknesses. An argument could be made for that sure, but I could say that about a ton of players. A perfect example is what happened at Memorial. In my opinion, he could have gone scorched earth and to some would have been justified in doing so. I was IRATE for him. Ask my buddies lol. The Jon Rahm that gave that humble statement on Social Media, press conference at the US Open was the same guy behind the scenes. His reaction was 100% what was in his heart and the guy wanted to just look forward. Trust me, I asked him and his reaction made me want to hug the guy. He patted me on the shoulder and said, “it’s all good brother, it’s behind us.” and went on to melt a 5-wood down the 2nd hole at Torrey Pines. Being a new dad brings gifts and perspective is one of the finest ones.
- He’s old school: I mean this across the board. The way he plays is not a modern tact beyond the speed and how he looks at his gear is no different. At no point in my time observing him does Rahm ever get into the technology weeds. His set make-up hasn’t changed at all since he was a rookie and it’s merely based on what he trusts VS what he can discover. His swing, his clubs, his approach is all a fixed point that he maintains as opposed to a starting point to find more. The whole point is trusting that what he does naturally is good enough all the time. There are no extra “what if” variables to disrupt him. The closest player that I would compare him to is DJ, they have very similar approaches in regards to playing well. What separates them is JR didn’t have to gain new skills to get here, DJ had to transform into a fader and dial in his wedges. Rahm rolls outta bed like that.
He’s 26 years old and still not even close to his prime. Since he needs to gain nothing to play at this level and his swing is not manufactured he can (god willing) rely on staying healthy well into his 30’s. He’s already won HUGE events on both tours so learning how to play in the Thunder Dome is no issue and he has arguably the best caddie (Adam Hayes) in all of golf. The whole situation is built to get better and what makes it even scarier is Rahm is a player that is only limited by his ability to stay in his body. No swing changes, no new gimmicks, just grab your sticks and go play. Look at his stats and find a hole in his game, it’s not there.
My prediction for the next 10 years is 40+ wins and 8-10 Majors and it will start with another trophy next week at St. Georges.
I love this guy. LFG