Do you ever wonder why the best players in the world are the best players in the world? I certainly don’t. This past weekend there were any number of captivating stories throughout golf. This is coming after a week where the entire golf community was given a seismic scare in the horrific accident suffered by Tiger Woods. Inside the world’s reaction, I saw a common characteristic amongst golf’s elite. It caught my attention like a Tiger twirl at the end of a perfectly struck shot. Even though his magical moments may be sidelined for a while, watching this weekend gave me incredible inspiration that our game has some great leaders shining in his place.
Is there any doubt after Collin Morikawa’s interview on Sunday that he is a champion destined for continued greatness? Forget the poise he showed throughout the entire final round as he struck one solid iron shot after another, how about his perspective during the victory interview. Looking at the camera and thanking Tiger in a moment when most can barely utter a coherent sentence.
One of the coolest stories at the start of last week was Annika’s return to competition after a 12-year break. Most would see that she made the cut against talent half her age. Yet, I remember when there was a time that Annika took her game to the next level by choosing to practice with Tiger. Her appreciation of that career moment came out on Sunday with her choice to wear red and black to honor her friend.
Whether it was Rory’s tiger striped red shirt or Finau’s hat backwards “Tiger arrival” to the course, each of these great players showed an impressive awareness. As I started to digest all of the commonality from this past weekend’s storylines, one tremendous theme came to the forefront. Truly successful people, the best players, all maintain a big picture approach to life.
Following a week where we all took a moment to consider the future, I raise this very important point. To succeed you have to think past all of the petty moments and begin to build a bigger outlook. The 2021 campaign will be filled with all sorts of ups and down on and off the course. I know I’ll be better prepared for all of them by watching golf’s greatest handle their game, their mind, their winning interview.
Annika made a conscious choice to practice with Tiger. It was at that moment her career went from Hall of Fame status to GOAT emoji. Let me be clear, you don’t have to be on tour to learn from these examples. Apply them to your goals; to your strategy for improvement this year. Because if you do, you just might find your new approach will allow you to lower that handicap plateau you have been stuck on for the past three seasons.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a stick or a hack, each of us can determine how our outlook will affect our performance. Take the examples we all witnessed this weekend and put them into practice for yourself. When you work on your game, design a strategy that is well-rounded. Look for opportunities to grow as a player. I’m never surprised to see Collin Morikawa play well because he trains his mind to perform as much as his swing.
The tangible takeaway of this 4-minute read can lead to success. It’s proven in what we all witnessed this weekend. By building a better awareness in 2021, you can make real progress. You can be great at anything. That’s the beauty of life. Take what we witness from these greats and apply it to your strategy for success. I know if you do, the struggle to succeed will inspire you more on a daily basis.
Keith Stewart is a PGA Professional and storyteller. He has built a unique marketplace perspective through two decades in the golf industry. As a professional, he has worked at many prestigious clubs on the east coast, most notably, Isleworth Country Club from 1998 to 2003, home to Tiger Woods at the time. Currently, Keith uses his talent as the host of the ProShow on ESPN radio across the New York City market. His expertise in the industry blended with a comedic pop-culture filter entertains his listeners. He's a 5-time award winning PGA Professional who brings credibility to any discussion covering the world of sports. Keith resides in Hopewell, NJ with his wife Laurie and their two kids Owen and Abbey. He's a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and an avid golfer.
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