Hunter Mahan participated in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Wednesday, revealing a bit about himself and life on the PGA Tour.
Among the highlights of the Q and A are Mahan saying he’d fight a Sean Foley-sized duck, his thoughts on the recent appointment of Davis Love III and flopping in the NBA, along with his answer to what he’d do if he was leading the Masters and his wife went into labor.
Here’s a selection from Wednesday’s AMA.
Hunter, who is the worst person to play with on tour and why is it Rory Sabbatini?
HM: Well, I wouldn’t say it’s Rory Sabbatini. I know why people would say that, but I don’t have a problem with Rory, and I think the worst person can depend on the mood you’re in! Sometimes I’m the worst person to play with, haha! The only person who can stop you from having a good time is yourself.
Hunter – I’ve been yelling solely at you for 4 years between 16 green and 17 tee at the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale. Do you ever actually hear me and why does Marcus Smart flop so much?
HM: AHHAAHAHAHAHAHA! I do hear that guy! The last couple of years! And I appreciate your humor, because we get to hear a lot of things that aren’t very funny, and are somewhat derogatory, but it’s always funny to hear somebody say something – not personal, but i can understand your frustration.
And I would say: that’s just basketball. And that’s how basketball’s played nowadays. Flopping is a part of the game. Get used to it.
If your wife went into labor while you were in the lead of the masters, would you keep playing?
HM: Umm… it depends on where I was in the tournament, I guess! If I’m playing the back nine, or if I’m just starting my round, or if I’m sleeping on it, most of the time I’d come home, unless I had just a few holes left – then I’d finish up and head out of there.
Hey Hunter, thanks for doing this. Huge golf fan here. Two questions: You have finished top 10 in every major. Which tournament do you think will most likely yield your first major championship? Who is the funniest guy in the clubhouse or on the course? Thanks, and good luck this year.
HM: I think that first, the US Open compliments me very well, and it’s a great tournament that I obviously want to win, and it has the best players in the world, so it’s one that suits my game very well.
I would say Matt Kuchar – because he’s pretty willing to say anything at any given moment, no matter the situation! Even if we’re at a big event, or the US open, he can always lighten the mood in just the right way. And everyone is comfortable around him. He’s a guy that makes everyone laugh, all the time.
Hunter, Congrats on your win at the Barclays last year. I vividly remember watching you as you waited to tee off on the 17th after a bit of a wait and it struck me how calm and focused you looked. What’s it like to get to that place of calm and what do you do to keep it there when the nerves are creeping in?
HM: Great question. I try to remember “this is the one shot that I’m playing right now. I can’t win the golf tournament on this shot. I can only hit this shot as good as I can hit it.” I try to focus on good posture, and good alignment, and then trust the work that I’ve put into my game.
Did you ever fix the Barclays trophy and how much duct tape did you use?
HM: HAHAHA! Well, luckily, Barclays was very nice about the trophy breaking, knowing it was an accident and not my fault, so they got a replica to me, and so it’s safe and sound and perfectly in one piece.
Hunter, what was the oddest thing someone asked you to autograph?
HM: Umm…. I think… a person’s shoes? Like, they took their shoes off their feet at a tournament, because they didn’t have anything to sign, and said “Here, just sign my shoes.” I signed ’em. I’m a people-pleaser.
Hunter – what’s the best part about playing in the Masters?
HM: Oh! EVERYTHING. I think the fact that – soon as you’re in the Masters, you know, you have the ability to go play there whenever you want. I’m going to go play there this weekend, this Sunday and Monday, so just the fact that I can call up and just show up and play – it’s such a privilege and an honor. Every time I go to Augusta, I get excited to play golf.
You were on two good Ryder Cup teams in 2008 (congrats on the only win in a while) and 2010, what do you think went wrong with last years? Also, when are we getting Golf Boys 3.0?
HM: Well, we were… in 2008, we had a great leader and captain, Paul Azinger, and he had a very specific plan for us, and we knew that plan on Monday of that week, and from there, we just got prepared to play golf. There was very little to figure out after that point. We just had to prepare ourselves to play the best golf we could.
And for Golf Boys… it’s very difficult to get 4 guys together who have 7 kids total, and competing schedules. It’s tough to get us all together in the same place. So I see no plans at this given juncture.
Hunter, which major this year are you most looking forward to?
HM: Good question. Probably… the old course, at St. Andrew’s, the British open.
Do you think that the pick of Davis Love as the next U.S. captain will bring us a win in 2016?
HM: Well, I hope so! I don’t care who’s the captain, I just hope the US wins in 2016! I heard he was an excellent captain in 2012, there were a lot of good candidates, and I know guys are really responsive to his leadership, and I think he’s going to be very motivated, since losing in the Ryder Cup is very painful.
Hunter, what are some examples of swing thoughts that you use or have used while playing in tournaments? Or if you have any current ones, what are they?
HM: One swing thought, right now, is to have a steeper shoulder-turn on the way back, on my backswing. And pushing off my right foot and keeping my right heel on the ground on the downswing.
Hey Hunter, love watching you play! Who are the most fun players on the tour? I imagine Dufner would be a hell of a guy with whom to have a beer.
HM: Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas and Fred Couples. Duff’s wit and intelligence always blows me away.
Hey Hunter, Do you have any sort of pre-round routine, either the night before or during the day leading up to your tee time?
HM: Bulletproof coffee in the morning, get to the course 2-2.5h before the round, see my trainer for 30-minute warm-up and stretch, and then eat about an hour and a half before the round. I start out with putting, then short-game and then I head to the range before I tee off.
Does the golf ball go too far these days resulting in classic courses being obsolete for pros? What’s your favorite design on tour?
HM: Um – no I don’t think the ball goes too far making classic courses obsolete. The technology of the grasses, and the fact that we can speed up the greens almost as fast as we want, it still requires great talent from core players. And I think classic courses – the older the golf course, the more I usually appreciate them and enjoy playing them. Riviera is one of my favorite golf courses on tour, and it’s one of the oldest ones we get to play, and six-under, they did very little to make the course super-difficult.
Hunter, You probably get asked which course you find the toughest a lot, but what I want to know is what one hole you find the most challenging personally? One that you dread coming up to on the course and when you get there you just hope you can scrape by with a par (if there is one). Also, who’s your favorite person to be paired up with during tournaments and what course has the best food at the turn?
HM: You know, we get to play a lot of great holes. I think the 10th hole at Riviera, we just played last week, is really one of the toughest holes in golf. I’ve played it for 10 years now, and I’ve seen sixes and sevens from world-class players with wedges in their hands, and guys hitting bunker shots back and forth, so I haven’t seen the right way to play it. So I’ll go through 4 rounds, try to play it even par.
Best food at the turn? Well, usually there’s not too much food at the turn, we have to bring our own food. But the best food at the clubhouse is probably the Memorial Tournament in Ohio, and they have these “buckeyes”- these little peanut butter like chocolate-covered treats they have for us, and they’re pretty delicious, and it’s hard not to grab 2 or 3 when you walk by ’em!
God, there are so many guys I enjoy playing with. I love playing with Phil Mickelson. He’s just incredible at always finding a way to shoot a great score, and his game is always so much fun to watch.
Hunter, what is your favourite course in the UK? And do you enjoy the different challenges of links golf?
HM: I really enjoy playing links golf. Every day is a new day, when you play links golf. And how you adjust to the challenges from a mental and physical perspective is what’s gonna separate you from everyone else. And Carnoustie Golf Links!
Hey Hunter, you have been my favorite golfer for a long time due to the fact that we share our first name! I was wondering what it was like to get your first PGA win in my home town at River Highlands?
HM: It was, no doubt, a dream come true. It’s hard to explain, but it just… to win it in the fashion I did, in a playoff, and with the first playoff hole, it really meant a lot to me, I felt like i really went out and won the tournament, and didn’t wait for someone to give it to me.
You like to talk cars? Favorite car? GO!
HM: Hahaha! Um… my favorite car is a Porsche 911.
If you could be equally as successful in any other profession, what profession would it be and why?
HM: I have before! My schedule now with 2 kids and traveling on tour and everything is difficult to say the least. But it is always humbling to play with fans and I get to host a junior tournament with the AJGA, and it’s always fun to talk to them, and hang out with junior golfers that -where I was in the same position as they are, gosh, 15 years ago.
Hi Hunter! Congratulations on the winning the Barclay’s last year! I may have been there following you around. How much would you say you practice each day?
HM: Probably 5-6 hours of practice. That’s kind of my limit on fully in-tune practicing.
Would you rather fight 100 duck sized Sean Foley’s? Or one Sean Foley sized duck?
HM: Probably one big thing.
Has anybody ever told you that you look like Macklemore?
HM: Uh, no. I have not been told that. I don’t have an extreme haircut like he does.
Hunter, you have a very nice job, however what is the worst part about being a professional Golf player?
HM: The worst part is having to leave your family. And in the future – missing out on basketball games, or soccer games, or something like that, that would be the hardest part.