Lively eyes, a perennial smile, talkative, Bermuda shorts, striped polo shirt with the US Open logo... Edorta, Jon Rahm's father, at first is not particularly enthusiastic to talk about his famous son. “What am I going to say?” he asks. But once he begins to narrate his offspring’s exploits he gains confidence and doesn’t even pay attention to the croquettes that are waiting as his starter before he later heads out to the Aloha fairways.

Beside him are his mother Miren, wife Ángela and the president of this renowned club located in Marbella’s Golf Valley, Rafael Fontán. And so, while the rest of the diners begin to satiate their hunger, the father of the world's number one ranked golfer, Edorta (handicap 9 – his wife, 26), begins to reel off some childhood episodes from the dazzling personal history of the first Spaniard in win the US Open – his little (but grand) Jon.

This Is How It All Started

He went with his mother to the Martiartu driving range to hit some balls. His mother was having a lesson and he was there enjoying a snack. He took a club, hit two balls, and bit by bit started to play golf. He would have been six or seven years old, and then from the age of 10 or 11 things began to become more serious, with both Jorge Losada and Eduardo Celles as his teachers.


He was very competitive in all sports, the same in football as in taekwondo and playing Basque pelota. In football, for example, when he played as goalkeeper – his older brother was also a goalkeeper – and they scored a goal he would become angry and leave the pitch. "These are really bad" (his teammates)... and he would be off.

The Brother

His brother is much more laidback, not as competitive as Jon, who is up there because he is very competitive, and the second part (of his success) is that he actually practises to be competitive. He is one of those who says, “I want to win”, but he also practises to win.


When I Grow up I Want To Be...

He had no clear idea of what he wanted to be when he grew up. He played several sports at the same time – football, canoeing, taekwondo – and in the end he opted for golf, because that defined him. I would take him to Larrabea or Neguri to play, and I’d drop him off and go off to play with my friends. I’d say to him, “Hey, we're going home at six, do whatever you want”, until a friend of ours told me, “Hey, Edorta, this kid plays golf well. Why don't you take him to the Spanish children's championship?" “Championship of Spain?” I said. And I sent him with my parents and a nephew of mine who is his age, I put them in a car, and off they went, and that is when he started to commit to golf.


His adolescent years were very easy-going. As for going out and the like…  we would go to Larrabea or Neguri to play golf, or wherever, and he immediately returned home. He had his group of school friends, but he didn't go out much and he came home early.


To my knowledge he had none – that I know of. Maybe a friend out there tells us something one day, but no, outside of sports Jon is very calm, very normal.


He was not all that girl crazy. When he went to Madrid he met a girl who was also at the Blume (high performance sports centre) and he went out with her. They were dating for a while. When he was in Madrid he got up to a bit of mischief at Blume. He snuck out one night with her, to go to the theatre to see The Lion King... they were caught and well, these things happen. I often say that if people knew what I did! But I wouldn't tell him, of course. They were also immature at times, him and his brother.


United States and English

Actually, the university immediately gave him private lessons. An interesting fact... he tells me, “We’re in a private English class in the afternoon and the only European is me: 30 Chinese, 30 Arabs and me.” The first term was the hardest, which was the one when he had the best grades, in spite of it being the hardest, and everything went smoothly after that – he started to win straight away.

From Amateur to Professional

From the beginning we pushed him a lot with his studies. It was very important for him to study because I – as someone who followed golf a little – saw the number of ones there who faded away. I saw that not everyone who went to the United States succeeded. You take the list of British Amateur champions and there are a lot of them who we haven’t heard about since, or the Spanish national champions. We pushed him but he had a great time at the university, he was very comfortable, and he also liked university competition, the leagues and finals, so he accepted it willingly. At no stage was there the possibility of his turning pro before finishing his studies.


They had been together for four years, since the last year of university, and in the United States it is more common to marry young. He was financially independent, so it didn’t seem a bad idea to me, because in reality it was to continue living the same life he already had, just married – they already lived together. It was to sign a piece of paper, and that’s it.

Since Becoming a Father

He has matured a lot, and every day that passes even more so. I’m amazed when I read what he says (about family life) and think, “what have we created!", in the sense that it seems incredible to me.

But, well, it's still him. At Valderrama he wanted us to play mus (card game), and we played every afternoon, arguing it has to be said, but hey...

The Season

The year has been very long, very hard and very complicated. In less than 12 months he has played six majors, that is, two from the previous year and the four this year. He couldn’t come here (Spain) for Christmas (2020), the season started again, and then the positive (COVID) at the Memorial was very hard. Then came his victory at the US Open, and what was very, very hard was the Ryder Cup. He’s had an incredible season.

What about Valderrama?

The other day Jon was talking to Valderrama and Keith Pelley (European Tour executive director) to see if they could bring the Valderrama tournament forward to July. "Damn it, we have to bring it forward because I’m fresher, I come (to Europe) then to play the (British) Open." Let's see what happens – we don't know anything.

What We Can Expect

Every year when I talk to him at Christmas I tell him, "Next year, achieving half of what you have done this year would be amazing." And he says yes, but he’s not satisfied. And I say to him, "Let's see, Jon, when you were playing as an amateur you won the Spanish title, you won five tournaments there, so next year doing half that again it’s already amazing. For anyone else it would be amazing.” And he says, “Yes, but…” He is clear that next year he wants to win another major, that’s his goal, even bearing in mind how difficult it is to win a major, because they are the 150 best players in the world.

The Brother… Again

Eriz teaches golf to young children at Larrabea – he loves doing that. He has been a good youth football coach – he always liked football more – and now he has teamed up with Mikel Galdos at a golf academy. He plays a very relaxed game. The other day we played at Sotogrande – and very well.

Number one?

We didn’t imagine that he was going to be number one, or that he was going to win the US Open, or that he was going to play in the Ryder Cup. How many players in the world are there who want to do that? It would have been incredible, and then he started to tick them off. It’s been amazing.

The Mother

I feel very strange when they ask me about my son, but I’m very proud of all that he has achieved and all that it has cost him, and the work that it entails. I lived through Kepa's birth from afar because we couldn't go (due to the pandemic), but hey. You never know what it feels like to have grandchildren until you have one; it's really great. I also have a granddaughter, Eriz’s daughter. In this era of the pandemic, post-pandemic and the like, they are two pearls of happiness.