Outside his place in Tempe, Ariz., you’ll find the one true indulgence PGA Tour up-and-comer Jon Rahm has treated himself to following his successful pro debut this summer, a shiny red Porsche. “I’m not sure how much my parents like it,” he says somewhat sheepishly. Indeed, the sports car isn’t necessarily Rahm’s style; the humble 21-year-old from Spain wouldn’t say what kind of Porsche he bought partly out of fear of being to braggadocio.
The slick ride, however, seems appropriate given Rahm’s quick trip to full membership on the PGA Tour. After wrapping up a highly successful college career at Arizona State in June, where he won 11 times and was national player of the year as a senior, Rahm needed just four tour starts to make enough money to earn a card for the 2016-’17 season.
Indeed, Rahm has made the transition to pro golf seem almost too easy. In eight tour starts, he’s had two top-three finishes, four top-15s and missed only one cut. His highest score in a regular PGA Tour event (discounting majors) is just a 72. He averaged 306 yards off the tee during the summer, which unofficially ranked tied for seventh on tour (he didn’t play enough rounds to officially qualify). Equally impressive, his .768 strokes gained/putting would have ranked him second on tour.
Rahm says the car—the first he’s ever bought—symbolizes to him all the hard work he’s put in, on and off the course, since he gave up other sports to focus solely on golf as a teenager. “It’s good for me to see it, wake up every day and see what I’ve accomplished the last eight years.”
Rahm talks about the journey on this week’s Golf Digest podcast.
Among the interesting discussion points:
• He had never been to the United States—and spoke almost no English—before arriving in Tempe in fall 2012 to enroll at ASU.
• The hole-in-one he made on the second hole of the first event of the 2016-’17 season, the Safeway Open, was the first of his career.
• Among the other sports the 6-foot-4, 240 pounder tried as a kid—and now hopes to resume after getting his feet wet on tour: Kung Fu.