He started out on tour like a house a’fire. Three majors in his first five years, fourteen wins, and a putting stroke for the ages. Jordan was on track for legend status. But after his win at the Open in 2017, robbing Kooch of his first major, he went dry. Nothing. Nada. Nyet. The guy who was number one in putting at 25 feet dropped to somewhere off the charts. The guy who was long enough and in the fairway most of the time started missing fairways like…well, me. And people started talking. Jordan was through, done, kaput.
When he first came out, I wondered about that swing. Bowed wrist at the top. Chicken wing at impact. And he begged a lot after the strike. His putting was gold though. No doubt there. But after the Open win, I began to notice the drop in his putting effectiveness. And when the putting starts to go south, one’s overall confidence begins to slip, and confidence is what this game is all about, especially at a professional level. But I figured, just a fluke. It’ll come back. I’d witnessed the great putters of recent history: Nicklaus, Casper, Faxon, Nelson, Crenshaw, Woods, even Daly. Solid strokes that lasted for many years. Soft hands. Great speed control. Jordan would get it back, I thought. But until recently, he didn’t. And he kept missing those damn ten footers. That’s an ominous sign that something is seriously amiss.
However…Jordan, over the past several events, has shown indications that he is indeed coming back from his malaise. He’s hitting more fairways and greens; and he’s dropping more putts, he scoring better, including, yes, those daunting ten footers. I suspect we’ll be seeing Jordan back in the winner’s circle before too long, including a major or two.
I think we can all learn something from Jordan Spieth in relation to golf and life. Never give up. Keep at it. Let go thoughts of defeat and woe. Keep practicing. Keep getting better. Golf is a learning process, with ups and downs like any learning process. And, remember, there can also be a whole lot of pleasure in that process.
Golf, like life, deals us rotten hands at times, but the next shuffle, the next draw, the next card could be as sweet as apple pie.
Godspeed to Tiger Woods in his recovery from this terrible accident. And blessings to his mom and his kids to help them through this time of travail.