The SPY Q+A: Justin Thomas Strikes Back
Q: Later this year your first course, Panther National, is slated to open. You co-designed it with Jack Nicklaus, what did you learn from the experience?
“Yeah, it’s been really cool! We’re still going through the process, so I’m still learning, honestly. More than anything I try to sit back and listen to him and just kind of hear the things he has to say, whether it be about why you build a bunker a certain way, or put a green a certain way. It’s been more so just watching him work and understanding.”
It’s not enough to be a great athlete anymore. You have to be a great athlete and a likable star to succeed beyond the game in today’s media age. In the Netflix sports documentary “Full Swing” – pitched as “Drive to Survive but for…” Justin Thomas flaunted his smooth and unmistakable charm while notching a second major championship.
Back in 2019, he had a mole removed. Thus the scar. A biopsy revealed the growth was early stage melanoma. Thomas had not taken sun protection seriously. He’d embraced the stupid golf hat tan thing and shrugged off burns. But the diagnosis shook him enough to start lathering up when outdoors. Then he took the next step and started his own extremely self-explanatory sunscreen brand, Wear SPF.
SPY caught up with the reigning PGA Championship winner at his home in Jupiter, Florida, where he was preparing for a title defense at Oak Hill Country Club.