If you’ve been confused by Jordan Spieth’s game since 2018 or 2019, you’re not the only one. Jordan Spieth himself just admitted at the Masters that he had spent too much time “working really, really hard without really knowing what I was doing.”
He said it put him “in a hole” as far as his game was concerned.
Then, as kind of a backlash to that effort, he worked on his game less, and, of course, didn’t make any progress with that approach either. Finally, he realized he had to stop trying to do the same thing without good results.
As everybody has heard, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Sometimes though, it’s just the definition of not knowing what else to do. Everybody has been stuck in some kind of rut at some point in time in their life, even the best at what they do.
Jordan Spieth was no exception, although the problem was of his own making.
"“There were a lot of years in a row where I would go to the course, and I would be uncertain if I would come out that day feeling better or worse.” – Jordan Spieth."
Finally, he recognized he had been successful, perhaps by accident, perhaps by skill, and he just needed to get back to where he had been. He decided to reverse-engineer his swing. He has said previously that he was retooling it from impact back. It is a big order.
After five victories, including two majors in 2015, two victories in 2016, a third major and two other titles in 2017, his game left him. Or perhaps the better way to describe it is he left his game in search of distance.
It is one of the biggest mistakes professional golfers make in their careers. Some of them never come back from the distance chase. The lucky ones, like Rory McIlroy, do. Although McIlroy’s major-less since 2014, he’s not winless. He just added his 21st, 22nd, and 23rd last year, one of which was the Tour Championship worth about a gazillion dollars.
Since the 2017 British Open victory, six years ago, Jordan Spieth has only won twice. It’s certainly nothing like the pace he had set in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
With the reverse engineering nearly completed, now, when he goes to practice, he knows what he needs to work on in his game. He has purpose.
“There were a lot of years in a row where I would go to the course, and I would be uncertain if I would come out that day feeling better or worse. That’s tough to go into,” he added.
It went on for years? He doesn’t turn 30 until July.
Right now, Spieth doesn’t feel he has all the skills he needs to match the results of his former self, but he thinks he has enough of them to make a good start, certainly enough of them to win some tournaments. He thinks he’s getting better each day, and that’s certainly an improvement over not knowing what was wrong and much less how to fix it.
"“The point is, I feel the ability to have the consistency that I once had, and that’s really what I was striving for.”"
He talked about falling in love with the process and re-falling in love with the game, and that can only be a good prognosis going forward, if not this year, perhaps next.
With his newfound interest in learning how his swing works and what he does to hit good shots, maybe this is the new beginning of the old Jordan Spieth people have been hoping to see.
Even though he doesn’t like that phrase, that “he’s back,” – Spieth contends he never went anywhere — he has just admitted that the phrase is closer to the truth than people knew when they said it.
Spieth was also looking for the old Jordan Spieth.
Luckily, Spieth’s better than world-class chipping, putting, and sand game never left him, or he could likely have fallen so far that instead of saying, ” He’s back!” people would be saying, “Remember Jordan Spieth?”