Honestly, I never thought I would ever use that word in a modern context. So why not use it again while we’re at it, right?
When a dominant player comes along, it’s inevitable for the golfing world to try and find out everything about him. Where did he come from? How did he get here? What’s his secret.
We study his technique. We buy his clubs. We might even try to dress like him.
For almost 20 years, most of the spotlight has been on Tiger Woods. His influence was undeniable.
2015 saw the emergence of Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. Together with Rory McIlroy, they are the next big three… according to a certain guy named Nick Faldo. (See my other post.)
They grew up watching Tiger. Now it’s their turn to be watched. Whether or not they live up to expectations, only time will tell. But they have common denominators that we can definitely learn from.
– They are students of history. They know who did what and what happened where. It’s part of the reason why they think, talk and act older than they are. Watch this video of Rory as a kid.
– They are fearless. They play aggressively because they know they have great short games. Want to make more birdies? Fire at the flags. But make sure you practice your short game.
– They are comfortable talking about their own abilities, without sounding arrogant. They seem to play better under pressure. You have to like that kind of attention to do that.
– They are no strangers to adversity. Jordan has a sister who is autistic. Rory’s parents worked multiple jobs in order to fund his training. Day lost his father when he was 12. He also has vertigo. Those experiences helped make them to become mentally tough. So what’s your excuse?
– They stuck with one coach for most of their careers. Jordan has worked with Cameron McCormick for 10 years. Rory has worked with Michael Bannon for 19 years. Jason Day has worked with Col Swatton for 15 years. In contrast, I see a lot of youngsters today who jump from one instructor to the next looking for that magic formula. There is one formula that works: the one you commit to.
– None of their coaches are high profile or what you would consider big names in the industry. Looking for a coach? Credentials are important. But judge a tree by its fruit.
– They are fierce competitors. But at the end of the day, they know they can still be friends. Mutual respect. You see it in the way they appreciate each other’s success. They are great role models when they win. But even better when they don’t..