I just back from Riviera Country Club, and am now back at my office here at Rollins College. First of all, congrats to Steve Stricker: he is such a great example of perfect thinking in golf. He gets it done the way I urge all fearless golfers to get it done. In fact, in many ways, I believe Steve’s game is a better model for most golfers than Tiger’s. He is one of the top 5 players on Tour with a wedge in his hand, and he is a great putter of the golf ball. So many young golfers want to keep hitting it further and further, and the #2 player in the world keeps hitting it short and straight … wedging it close … making putts … AND WINNING GOLF TOURNAMENTS!
What I find so impressive is that he came back from 337 in the world rankings five years ago, and is now ranked 2nd. It just shows that excellence is a process, and that golf is a cyclical game. You have to believe that, and understand that, in order to get through lows of your own. When you understand that adversity is built into golf, you don’t get frustrated when it visits you. You simply work through your adversity, with patience and confidence. There is no “avoiding” the lulls in the game; there is only learning from them.
As I pointed out in Fearless Golf, golf is not a game of one player against another, but rather a game where you take your game and play it against the golf course. You can’t try to play someone elses’ game. Steve Stricker captured that sentiment perfectly in his post round press conference. Here is what he said:
“No, I don’t allow that. We all know who the best player in the world is, and I went down that road when he came out on TOUR. I tried to compare my game to his back in ’96 or ’97, I guess, and it’s just — he’s just — there was no comparison for my game to his back then. You know, he does what he does, and I do the things that I do, and that’s what I’ve gotten down to is I just try to do what I’m good at, and that’s sometimes not the flashiest thing in the world. It may be grinding it out, making putts or getting it up-and-down, but it’s my way, it’s my style, I guess.
I’ll just continue to do what I do, and that’s practice hard and work at it and try to improve. That’s all I can ask.”
A great lesson in fearless golf from a great thinker and a great guy!
Until next time,