Max Homa’s #golf goes from joke to catalyst for positivity (with help from Shane Bacon, Aaron Rodgers)

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Adam Woodard
·5 min read
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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Max Homa?

It’s probably not his 2013 NCAA individual national title, or the fact that he finished T-9 in his first PGA Tour event as a pro, or even that he’s won more recently on Tour than highly touted players like Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.

It’s his hilarious swing roasts and creative Twitter jokes, right? The 30-year-old is one of the most entertaining players to follow on social media, but after a handful of missed cuts by just one shot last summer led to some unfriendly messages, Homa decided to start “tweeting the boring (expletive) that everyone else tweets.”

For example:

“I would #golf because that’s the most boring thing you could write and then people started to like it. It was actually kind of funny, guys started to like it, even I started to like it,” said Homa with a laugh. “Everything I think I do on the internet is like a parody. So it’s like a parody of people being robotic on their social media while also not being robotic. It’s like a little #golf community.

“It’s a bit of a culture thing now,” Homa continued. “We want people to be less robotic but we also want them to fit in this box.”

Who better to talk about being placed in a box than Homa, who jokes every January that his New Year’s resolution is to no longer be the Twitter guy, but be the golf guy.

“Obviously I have my friends that know me really well, but most people online do not,” explained Homa. “I guess I could be misconstrued as someone who’s always on their phone and goofing around, but I take (golf) incredibly seriously.”

If you’ve been following closely, Homa is hitting his stride and becoming just as fun to follow on the course and he is off of it. Since missing the weekend at the November Masters, Homa has made the cut in his last five starts, including a T-12 finish in December in Mexico at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and more recently a T-7 at last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

These days Homa is comfortable in his process, approaching golf like Kobe Bryant – his idol – approached basketball and approaching life like Max Homa would approach life.

Max Homa Kobe Bryant
Max Homa Kobe Bryant

Max Homa plays the 16th hole wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey during the first round of the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. (Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Republic)

After his first appearance at Augusta National in the fall, Homa realized – with the help of his caddie, Joe, and wife, Lacey – that he was focusing too much on the physical aspect of golf, but not the mental side. He thought about that a lot for the two weeks leading up to the Mayakoba. When he got to Mexico, his only goal for the week was to own every shot. Fully commit, and then roll with the punches.

When he came home, he went to a small gathering – socially distanced, of course – where he met a musical artist who told him about meditation and even got him into a book club. Homa also learned how that same guy wakes up every morning and writes down what he’s grateful for and what he wants to be.

“It takes you out of your head,” Homa said. “If I’m 1 over at a golf tournament or if I have a really hard shot and I’m worrying about the outcome, if I remember I have a great wife, great dog, I get to play golf for a living and I have an awesome caddie in Joe, my life is pretty great. If the ball goes in the water, it’s not the end of the world. We’re good.”

“It’s just a good way to stay happy,” he said of the new process back in January after a Saturday 7-under 65 propelled him to a share of the American Express lead entering the final round. “Golf is my life, but I don’t want it to consume me. I want to win, I want to be the best player in the world at some point one day, I want to be the best me I can be and all that kind of comes with being a happy dude. So I’m just trying to be a happy dude, I guess.”

Easier said than done, but Homa credited two parts of his life that help with his positive outlook, and they actually go hand-in-hand: his weekly “Get a Grip” podcast with good friend Shane Bacon, and texts from his other pal, 2020 NFL MVP and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

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Max Homa's best swing roasts of 2020

“He’s literally the best at what he does, and I’ll argue that, far superior to where I’m at in my career now, and I can talk to someone who gets it. Who truly, truly gets it,” Homa said of Rodgers, who texts him after almost every round. “When he says something, you listen. He always seems to drop just a little knowledge.”

Rodgers was a guest every Tuesday on the Pat McAfee Show during the NFL season, and the future Hall of Famer credited his entertaining weekly appearances on the show as being a reason for his stellar play. Homa will tell you the same thing about his podcast with Bacon.

“What (the podcast) turned in to is kind of like therapy at times,” said Homa. “It’s been a bit of a blessing in that regard to get that off my chest, but in the end I just really wanted to do it to chat with a buddy and present a different viewpoint for golf fans. I love the game of golf, I want it to grow and I think it’s a small part of that journey.”

#golf