golf

Jordan Spieth is Sport - The Power of Goals

Masters Champion 2015

Image from masters.com

Image from masters.com

Image from Masters.com

Image from Masters.com

The Approach

What a phenomenal showing by a young man that has character and maturity well beyond his years.  No one knew or expected that Jordan would win The Masters; the only person that knew was Jordan.  

In his Green Jacket Ceremony speech he mentioned his support system (from his family to his team), it also included his goals for the future. He stated "now the goals change. This was the ultimate goal in my life, in my golf life, from when I was a young kid...time to try and join Bubba as a two time champion".  It was interesting to see this old video (below) surface while he was making his run to 18 under par, and in the video, the very young Jordan Spieth makes a very clear confident goal. He stated to his coach, "I wanted to win The Masters". He most likely had his goal of winning The Masters written down in one location, if not many.  

The Marks of A Champion

Quality Off Course Support

✓ Clear Written Goals

✓ Determination

✓ Work Ethic

✓ Fire and Passion

Before he was a PGA pro headed to the British Open, Jordan Spieth was a student athlete at Jesuit High School in Dallas. Watch a profile of Jordan from 2008. Before he was a PGA pro headed to the British Open, Jordan Spieth was a student athlete at Jesuit High School in Dallas.

The Takeaway

The biggest takeaway from all the fantastic golf this weekend was the ability for Jordan to stay focused, while seasoned PGA veterans like Phil Mickelson, Charley Hoffman, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy chased him down, only for Jordan to dowse each fire making well timed putts down the stretch. Truly a well focused and smart win. 

Golf has continued to struggle with Tiger Woods' absence from the game, the only questions is, will Jordan have the same affect on the game for future generations to get fired-up and inspired like the "big cat". 

Is Jordan the next Tiger? What do you think?

Jordan Spieth is White Tiger Woods

The Quest is Now Available on SoundCloud - T.Q.F.S First Show...

Proud to announce the latest addition to the T.Q.F.S blog. You can now hear the sounds of improvement delivered right to your computer or mobile device. If you are interested in being the first guest on the show please click contact above for more information.  

Download SoundCloud on your mobile device HERE - Android and IOS

More audio can be found here: Quest Fore Scratch Podcast

January Swing: Swing Change - GolfTec San Diego

Swing Analysis from GolfTec - Value $150.

GolfTec Review - San Diego

GolfTec is a fantastic idea; it's helped 100's of golfers improve their game through a systematic approach on a monthly basis.  I was able to visually see the benefits from the video instruction like the above. Videos can be accessed through GolfTec's online portal after the session with a PGA Professional.  The online portal can be accessed 24/7 for continued learning and instruction. Additional videos of drills are added to the online account that are related to areas that need improvement. 

The cost for the evaluation is $150, and if you choose to work with GolfTec the fee will be refunded if you sign up for one of the plans that day. They have six and twelve month plans. Expect to pay an up-front percentage for any plan you choose. The six month plan cost approximately $260 per month and the year plan is about $160 per month, the site indicates it varies by location.  The added value, as told by GolfTec, is the access to the facility/range whenever members want, with advanced bookings through the online account. And if you're traveling, don't worry as the membership allows access to the many GolfTec locations around the country, think gym membership.

"Only an objective, quantified analysis of your swing can provide the basis for where your swing needs work and how to measure your improvement. GolfTEC’s patented g-SWING technology allows you to see real-time video and motion measurement simultaneously. A color-coding system indicate how much adjustment the different areas of the swing may require. Combining the objective data with video analysis makes it easy for you and your coach to see precisely what changes will be needed to improve your game."

If you are struggling with your game like I am currently, consider professional help.  You can access instructors in your area by visiting The PGA of America's website - pga.com 

Now go out and hit em' straight! 

Grow the Game - Organizational Change

I grew up playing soccer and it seemed to be a cultural melting pot. I always felt like I could relate to the simple game. I believe children can relate to soccer because any child can visualize themselves playing the game; from male to female, black to white.  The popularity of soccer continues to grow because of ethnic and gender diversity that is well established with no barriers to limit such diversity; the diversity far exceeds the confines of the field and extends to the companies that lead soccer in the United States including The USA Soccer Federation, comprised of diverse leaders.

Click image for the full list of diverse executives

Click image for the full list of diverse executives

A Cultural Change From the Top Down 

Now let's examine golf.  Golf is NOT the most culturally diverse game and it continues to struggle with attracting youthful athletes, including new amateur golfers.  The game has many barriers to contend with which include, cost, time, and access to appropriate facilities.  

As a kid, you can head out with a basketball and find a hoop in the local park, or if you play soccer, all you need is a ball to start kicking about. For that matter, you can grab a football and throw it in the street to start learning the game without the need for pads. There are many things you need to start in golf: clubs, bag, gloves, balls and about 100+ acres to really learn the game.  As more courses begin to close their doors, access will be limited, which will ultimately lead to higher cost for hard working Americans to enjoy one of the best games ever invented. Combine that with limited time and resources for most parents raising large families, and it is easy to see why the game is in desperate need of change.

This task will not be easy, since the change needs to start from the top, which would be The PGA of America and The PGA Tour. These are two separate organizations being led in a similar fashion. Their executive teams are comprised of older, caucasian, affluent males that posses many strengths and years of experience, however it is not the team you want in place to incite change.  Now, I am not insinuating that these men are not qualified or lack the vision for change, only that having no diversity at the top, within each organization leaves much to be desired in the overall health and growth of the game. Even with recent changes at the PGA of America, like the firing of Ted Bishop, it seems like they have yet to make a cultural change that will actually make an impact for the longevity and prosperous future of the the game. 

@IanJamesPoulter – Faldo’s record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time RC points. Yours vs. His? Lil Girl. @NickFaldo006 @pgaofamerica.
— Ted Bishop on Twitter

The Pros

There seems to be a level of pretentiousness in the golf industry. It is as if certain industry veterans have found the secret to life and they don't want to let you into their "little" secret.  That exact sentiment bleeds through from professional golfers; from Bubba Watson to Phil Mickelson. If the stories that have been muttered throughout the years are true, it would make for an interesting article, but not a topic to delve into at this moment.

The PGA Tour does everything in its power to portray the game of golf as the last gentlemanly sport to have ever graced the world yet in reality it's far from it. This comes across to the public as disingenuous and unoriginal. Why do you think so many people (not all) "like" John Daly? It's because he is always real on and off the course, no editing, just a raw competitive man who was not afraid to show his true self. 

Tribute to Shooter

The PGA Tour would be more appealing to new audiences if they could somehow capture a genuine quality and uniqueness that would be exciting for a wider global audience, like the popular international game of soccer. Ripping down bearers of pretentious road blocks will enhance the game and draw new golfers to the game. The tradition set by many generations before is a great attribute of golf that many enjoy, myself included. Allowing time for new golfers to adjust to these traditions would be ideal to continue growing with the game. I don't know what the best course of action would be, a metamorphosis of thinking is definitely needed for the entire game of golf. 

Next Steps - Solutions

So far there are more questions than solutions:

  • Why aren't there women on the executive team in said organizations?
  • Why is there no person of ethnic decent on the executive team?
  • How do the organizations let what they did in the past influence how they proceed in the future?
  • How does the PGA Tour refine their image to be more authentic?
  • Why is the PGA of America and The PGA Tour failing to connecting with youth, minorities and women?

My only summation is that diversity should be a high priority for both organizations and should follow in the footsteps of Augusta National by allowing women and minorities into "The Club" . The diversity is clearly more advanced in the LPGA. The LPGA has done a great job of developing a cultural diverse tour and the global brand continues to outpace their older brother, which is The PGA Tour. Michael Whan, Commissioner of the Women's Tour, has done a fantastic job leading his diverse team in the 21st century.  Maybe each PGA organization can invite Mr. Whan in as a consultant to help with the growth of the game, and bring awareness to the discrepancy that exists within The PGA Tour and The PGA of America. 

PGA Tour Head Shots

PGA Tour Head Shots

Whan developed a passion for golf at a young age, cutting greens and caddying to earn money. He attended Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Ilinois, for his freshman and sophomore years before transferring to Anderson High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Whan graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1987.

Michael Whan is the eighth commissioner of the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association), one of the longest-running and most successful women’s sports organizations in the world. Whan assumed the leadership role at the LPGA on Jan. 4, 2010 with an eye toward enhancing business relationships, increasing exposure for the players and maximizing the LPGA experience for fans.
— www.lpga.com
LPGA Tour 

LPGA Tour 

One Final Thought

This all leads back to the evolution needed to attract new people to the game of golf through each organization. There seems to be a disconnect with the target audience. When a golfer is struggling with his game, he makes a tweak to his swing. When a golfer is not seeing eye to eye with his caddie he finds a new one. When Tiger Woods starts to see diminishing returns from his swing coach, he fires him.  It's time for the PGA of America and the PGA Tour to evaluate their own game, and make the adjustments needed in order to ensure the prosperity of the golf industry. 

Thank you for reading and please leave a comment to share your ideas on how to grow the game.