Jordan Spieth is one of the great talents in the game.
From an early age it was evident that he was a very talented golfer. Turning pro before he even finished college in 2012 was certainly a brave decision, as he didn’t even manage to make the final stage of Q school.
In his first pro tournament in January 2013, he failed to make the cut. But it wasn’t long before he was making progress on tour, with a couple of top 10 finishes within a few months and in July the same year he won his first PGA Tour event at the John Deer Classic at the age of just 19.
He continued to progress and in 2015 he won the Masters at the age of 21 and added another 2 majors to his collection, the U.S. Open in 2016 and the Open Championship in 2017.
He’s had his share of success in his relatively short golf career, but he’s also missed several chances of winning tournaments and lifting a trophy.
In 2016 at the Masters, he was 5 shots in the lead standing on the 10th tee but managed to throw away 4 shots in 3 holes and finally ended up being beaten by Danny Willett by one shot, which stopped him winning back to back green jackets.
By all accounts he puts himself under immense pressure with his own expectations, never mind what the media think, which maybe is the reason why he's not smiled much on the course in previous years.
No one is able to keep their foot on the gas so to peak permanently. It’s just not possible. Not even Tiger. We are human after all and that’s what may tend to forget.
There’s a time and place for having great expectations of our game and pushing ourselves on, but sometimes we need to spend a bit of time reflecting on what we are doing so we don’t forget to enjoy the ride along the way.
So, what’s one thing we can learn from such a talent that doesn't revolve around the swing?
By his own admission, there were times when he was a little short tempered and he aimed to change his focus.
At the start of 2017 he stated he simply wanted to enjoy playing golf more. “I want to just feel I’m really enjoying the process enjoying playing and living out my dream”.
At this year’s Masters when he trailed the leader by 9 shots on the final day, he was asked if he had any sort of plan for his final round, to which he simply said “‘Go out and have fun”.
He did and he shot 64 because as he said, he had no pressure on him. No unrealistic expectations. No chasing leaderboards or focusing on what everyone else is doing. Just the freedom to focus on his own game, have fun and simply let his natural golf come through.
Which seems to be a problem for many golfers, including professionals.
Many seem unhappy, some just downright miserable, instead of being happy they’re doing what they love.
Playing golf, some for an awful lot of money. But not always enjoying the ride along the way.
Maybe it’s because they’re focusing on the pressure and everything that goes with it: the scoreboard, what may happen, what may not happen, “What if…” and a myriad of other distracting thoughts and emotions instead of enjoying the process along the way.
We don’t start out playing the game this way.
We start playing the game because it’s fun and we enjoy it. But somewhere along the line, if we aren’t fully aware, it can take us away from that enjoyment and it becomes a grind and a source of frustration, which only adds more problems to our game.
If we can take a leaf out of Jordan's book and focus on having fun and enjoy the process, it may just bring a more relaxed and enjoyable game to your golf. And better results.
Try it and see what happens.
The worst that can happen is you just end up enjoying yourself.
How bad can that be?
If you like this and want to know more about how to improve your mental golf game, grab a copy of my
7 Keys to Improve Your Golf Game
To your success.
Performance Coach & Trainer at Golfing minds