Fortune favours the brave

16 April 2024, Tuesday

Be Brave. Be Bold. Be First

Next week all golfing eyes will be on St Andrews as Jordan Spieth continues in his quest to become the first ever player to capture a Golfing Grand Slam.

 

Judging by his spectacular performance at Chambers Bay, it’s certainly within his own ‘realm of possibility’.

I’m just really fortunate to be on this side of it Jordan Spieth on winning the US Open at Chambers Bay.

Spieth seems to have all the aces up his sleeve, or should we rather say the full bag of C’s – ‘The Stuff of Champions’.

Let’s take a brief look – as they all apply in real life as well.

COURAGE:

At 21 years of age Spieth has it – and more . He says he was fortunate at Chambers Bay – with Dustin Johnson missing two ‘clutch putts’ on the  72nd . But , moments earlier Spieth had birdied the very same hole.

CONQUER:

Chambers Bay is not a place for the feint hearted. At well over 7000 meters long, it was described by many as ‘basically un-playable’. Whilst many golfers spent their time criticizing and complaining about the course, Spieth went about his business with a different mindset – with a game plan to conquer – not fight the course .

CHARACTER :

There is a funny thing about great champions. The greater they become – the more humble they become. At 21 ,Spieth seems humble beyond his years. Those close to him speak with great admiration and affection for the Texan who’s inspired by a very close bond with his younger autistic sister.

His feet firmly on the ground – drawing strength from adversity .

CAPABILITY:

Spieth may not be the longest driver on tour, but his all round game is setting him up to soon be the World Number One. Capability is about creating – and then coming from a position of strength.

In Spieth’s case like with most of us , talent and technology can only take one so far , and then it comes down to practice, preparation and planning – both physical and mental.

CONSISTENCY:

Golf is a game of consistency. Spieth is fast closing in on injured Rory Mcllroy’s World Number One ranking, being one of only six players to ever win the Masters and US Open in the same year.

CERTAINTY and CONTROL:

And add certainty and control to consistency. They’re something which champion golfers thrive on. But, they also know that every tournament, every course, every hole, every shot is different. They grasp the notion of ‘control the controllables’.

There’s always an element of luck in golf.

Maybe philosopher Lucius Seneca captured it best:

 Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity 

CONCENTRATION :

Champion golfers also grasp the fine line between the mental states of concentration and awareness. It keeps them fresh for when they have to ‘step up to the plate’. Spieth certainly did that at Chambers Bay – stepping up to birdie the 72nd.

Knowing when to concentrate, and when not to, preserves one’s finite energy levels .

Don’t hurry, don’t worry. Enjoy the roses along the way . Walter Hagen

COMMITTMENT :

 

Lewis Pugh , the human polar bear , was once given this  powerful advice ;

 

If you’re going to swim the English channel – you must leave your doubt on the beach in Dover ‘

Champions zone in on ‘the one thing. Spieth has a golfing Grand Slam in his sights.

CHALLENGE :

Champions love challenge – they regard challenge as a building block . Never allowing challenge to become constraint.

CREATIVITY :

Champions clean out their inner minds –  their fear , their doubt, their worry –  to open up for the creative flow of their genius.

Enabling them to create those ‘magic moments ‘ ……those magic shots.

CONFIDENCE :

Conquering a monster course like Chambers Bay is never easy. It will be the same at the home of golf: St Andrews.

It takes Faith, Confidence and Belief ( F.C.B ) – the hallmark of every great champion.

Spieth now finds himself on another continent  in  unfamiliar  surroundings . Can he lift the Claret jug and continue his epic journey to a first ever Grand Slam , or will someone take it away from him.

It’s unlikely, as this young star is cool, calm ,collected  – and composed .

It’s the stuff of champions.

With Rory now injured ,  he has a great chance , but then again golf is a funny game .


Rob Opie can be contacted at robopie@thegameplan.co.za. . For more insight , innovation and inspiration please visit www.thegameplan.co.za