Jordan Spieth has won the hearts of many as he has conquered the golf industry.
Spieth left college early after dominating NCAA Men’s Golf as a freshman at the University of Texas winning the Individual Championship. The next year, in 2013, he was PGA Rookie of the Year. He was the youngest player to earn a PGA Tour Membership, play in the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and win on the PGA Tour. In 2015 Spieth was named Player of the Year after winning the U.S. Open, Masters, The Tour Championship, and two more PGA Tour events.
One attribute that makes Spieth successful and sets him apart is the fact that he is an incredible putter.
He does it differently. How so? By employing a cross handed grip. This allows him to make a better, squarer stroke, resulting in more solid impact and ball control. When you place your lead hand lower than your trail hand it can adjust your shoulders, which controls the direction of the stroke. Many golfers unknowingly open their shoulders, giving them a natural stroke that scrapes across the ball, which makes the ball spin and roll away from their target. But not Spieth.
Another interesting characteristic of his play is his tendency to putt with his eyes on the cup.
This allows him to relieve tension and focus. Many golf instructors, including myself, encourage students to do this so they learn to trust their mechanics and play golf on a more unconscious level. Have you heard of “paralysis from analysis”? Analyzing and mulling over all the 1,000 variables in a golf shot can stymie your execution of the shot and steal your joy. Jordan Spieth enjoys the difficult moments in golf because he has learned to react to the target, like in baseball, which was his first love as a kid.
But Spieth hasn’t just found success in his game of golf.
Inspired by his sister Ellie who as born with a neurological disorder, he launched the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation. It’s a charitable endeavor focused on providing financial assistance and support to children with special needs. It also military families and junior golfers. With all of the opportunities he was given, Spieth chose to serve and help others in the community. This is one of his biggest dreams—to give back in some of the biggest ways possible.
Some things can’t be taught, but technique and respect are teachable qualities that end up not only shaping a golfer’s game. It is also their outlook and attitude. This is one reason the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy offers a class modeled after Jordan Spieth. It’s there that golfers will learn to be mentally tough, but playful, and still score lower with imperfect technique.
By Doug Weaver, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort