Tour champion Jon Rahm says he moves on quickly from mistakes after learning from them.

It doesn’t pay for the average golfer to have a really bad shot in the first couple of holes in a round.

The average golfer doesn’t forget easily. That 5 iron shank can ride in the golf cart rather ominously for the rest of the round, clouding every drive and putt to come.

Jon Rahm, who knows a bit about such matters, has some advice in this category. So much about golf can be complicated, but this, Rahm insists, is not.

It’s simple: Fuhgeddaboutit.

“I mean sometimes forgetting certain things is good,” Rahm said. “Not forgetting but just getting over it, right? Get over yourself. It’s that simple.

“You play bad, you did what you did, it’s over. Move on to the next thing. All you can do from that is learn. Learn from what happened, analyze what you did and move on. That’s it. And you don’t want to forget everything because then you repeat the same mistakes over and over again, but I meant exactly that, just learn and get over it as quickly as you can. Luckily in golf, there’s always a next week.”

It might pay to give a listen to Rahm. He started 2022 with a flash, shooting 33 under in the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Remarkably, that score was good only for second place, as Rahm lost by one shot to an even better run by Cam Smith.

Rahm moved on the following week to play well again, this time in the American Express tournament in La Quinta, Calif., where he finished in a tie for 14th at 14-under.

Rahm is far from the quietest guy on tour. He leveled a blast of criticism at the American Express setup, saying the event was a “putting contest” as he walked off one green, making comments that were a bit off-color. Well, a lot off-color.

“We’re the best golfers on the planet, and we’re playing a golf course where missing the fairway means absolutely nothing,” he said later, underlining his on-course commentary. “There were times where missing the fairway by an inch was worse than missing the fairway by 20 yards. That to me is a mistake. No matter where you hit it, you’re going to be able to hit it on the green, and it becomes a putting contest – who can make the putts.”

Opening the year with new clubs clearly hasn’t been a handicap for the defending U.S. Open champion.

“We all put new stuff in the bag early on the year,” he said. “We’re all trying to improve as players. I think it’s key to get off to a good start in that sense. … The main thing is to come out believing I can win each one of these events, and that’s the goal.”

Working toward that goal involves more than pounding balls, hour after hour, into the distance on the practice range.

“I do a lot of mental work, as well,” Rahm said. “One thing I do that is kind of a bit of both is journaling. I like to write. … I kind of focus on myself, and it’s a way for me to restructure my thoughts and my emotions. It kind of helps me navigate through it, and when I’m done I get almost the same sense I do when I’m meditating or practicing mindfulness because I’m so in the moment thinking about what I’m feeling. It’s a great practice, and it’s something I do, as well, every day.”

And sometimes, he just forgets about it.

Mike Hembree

Mike Hembree is a veteran journalist who has covered a variety of sports for numerous publications and websites, including USA Today, Fox Sports, TV Guide and The Greenville (S.C.) News. He has written 14 books and has won numerous writing awards at the national, regional and state levels. He is a seven-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.