Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Woods Are Full of Long Drivers

I listened with utter amazement to Aron Oberholser on the Golfchannel claiming that Jordan Spieth would not dominate golf because he wasn't long enough. Length, in golf, is very seductive. It seems to be so important. But does length really matter? Unfortunately, most men certainly seem to believe it does!

Jordan Spieth is a breath of fresh air. He isn't the longest player. He isn't the best ball striker. But, since last December, he's been the best player in the game. He plays the game better than anyone. We can all learn a great lesson from him. Golf is not about adding twenty yards to your drives, or hitting a pitching wedge a hundred and eighty yards. Golf is about getting the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible.

Harvey Penick said, "The woods are full of long drivers." He also said that a good putter is a match for anyone. This young Texan has obviously learned that lesson. He has become a dominant player despite the fact that he isn't a bomber. His win in Australia, at the Hero World Challenge, and now at Augusta, prove that managing your emotions, playing your own game, and being a fearless and imaginative putter trumps the power game.

Jordan also indicated that he prefers playing golf to hitting balls on the range. Bobby Jones, who said that you learn the game by playing, would be applauding. While Tiger continues to talk about release patterns, and once again retreats to the range to try to find his game, and Rory spends hours in the gym, Jordan Spieth just keeps playing golf and seems to contend every week.

This should be good news to all of us. We can improve by learning how to manage our game, and by playing golf. We don't have to beat balls, or bench press Volkswagons, in order to get better. There is hope for all of us; not to win the Masters; but to improve and play our best. We don't need to hit the ball three hundred yards. The woods are full of long drivers. I'm talking to you, Oberholser.