Jordan Spieth. Smelling the azaleas. Drinking the scene. Definitely in touch at 21 .

9 December 2023, Saturday

There was something special about Jordan’s Spieth’s maiden major victory at Augusta this a past weekend. And it was not just that he had won The Masters at age 21 .

He had announced himself as the world’s next superstar by joining an elite group of players that includes Palmer , Nicklaus and Floyd – those that have won The Masters wire to wire.

And at the tender age of 21!

 

Every  pro golfer knows that to win “wire to wire” takes some metal –  and some doing !

In golf it’s never easy to sleep on a lead knowing that the pack will come chasing you down . In a way , holding a lead in golf is similar to ‘the peloton’ hunting one down in road cycling , which makes Spieth’s  ‘wire to wire ‘ a small defining moment for Rory McIlroy .

Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and top-ranked Rory McIlroy, who have a combined 24 major championships, all tried, but no one could catch the 21-year-old Spieth at the Masters on Sunday. McIlroy’s World Number One ranking is about to be contested and he knows it.A new golfing era of young guns has begun- McIlroy 25 , Spieth 21 ,Fowler 25 ,Day27 and Matsuyame just 23 . A golfing era which will be dominated by the new young players all in their 20’s.

No longer will Rory be able to cruise to victory like he did in Dubai earlier this year by playing well within himself. Now, it’s all out golf. And that is great for golf!

But there is something more to Spieth that says that he will be the one to hold the world number one ranking shortly. His talent is undoubted, but it’s his demeanor which is different .His caddie Michael Greller who knows him best says this of him:

For Jordan, I don’t think winning The Masters is his ultimate goal. It’s nice feather in his cap, but knowing Jordan, how grounded and how humble he is, I think he’s going to savour it, but it’s not the ultimate.’

At 21 Spieth is obviously mature way beyond his years and can see the bigger picture of the game. The way he interacts with his young fans, as shown in the picture above, says something. It’s not all about golf. It’s about:

Entertaining, Educating, and Enriching the lives of others – through his innate talent.

It’s stark contrast to Tiger who brushes past his young fans  who stretch out a hand , just to  touch their hero.

Many sports stars get stuck in the human trap of believing it’s all about winning – some do it against all odds, and some do it at all cost. They end up chasing the outcome. They forget the journey. Spieth seems different, and it  looks like he has got the recipe for sustained success and significance just right – the recipe for greatness.

As long as he sees  The Masters  as  ‘along the way’ and not  ‘in the way’ , he ‘ll continue  to stack all the odds firmly  in his  favour  –  a  master- class  in golf and life.

Nike’s lastest video captures it best .

 

Greatness is not all about winning! It’s about the difference one makes in other’s lives.

Jordan is such a gentleman. He’s someone who remembers those who have helped him along the way  :  Clair Peterson, the tournament director for the John Deere Classic,

Jordan Spieth has won over people with his ridiculous talent, his passion, his purpose and his poise – but most of all his grounded personality. He’s in touch, he’s smelling the azaleas and he’s drinking the scene.

A new era of young guns has arrived.

And that’s great for the game.


 

* Brand Strategist, Rob Opie is the founder of a Strategic Brand Consultancy: The Game Plan , a Key Note Speaker, Author and Game Changer to organizational teams, sports teams and individuals.

Rob’s passion and purpose is to help elevate brands from good to great to greater – inspiring  ‘the next level’ of individual and team growth –  and contribution ! His ground breaking ‘The Game Plan Method’, which embraces potent game changing methodologies – and draws on insight and inspiration derived from the great champions of business, sport and life, is currently sweeping across South Africa, creating and delivering on extraordinary stories of success and significance.