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Jordan Spieth - What Stands Out?


GolfSpy Barbajo
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That was an incredible performance by young Jordan over the weekend...

 

The kid was dominant and unflappable from start to finish, but one thing struck me as odd while watching:

 

He's not Bubba or Rory long...

 

He didn't pull off miraculous approach or escape shots like Tiger or Phil (not that he had to....)

 

His putting was exceptional, but most of these guys are exceptional putters.

 

He was just machine like in his consistency and his misses weren't deadly, even if no single part of his game made you say "wow."  It was his overall game that made you say "wow."

 

So what is it about this kid that makes him so good?  

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What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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Why does anything have to stand out?  If all facets of his game are working equally well, that seems like a recipe for winning at that level.  If I had to say that something really stood out from all the other good players, I would say that it was his mental game.  He planned his game using knowledge from last year, and I am sure that Crenshaw and Jackson helped a bunch too!  He stuck to his plan, and executed the shots so that he didn't have to deviate from that plan.  Doesn't really get any better than that.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Jordan touched on something in his interview after the ceremony that provided a little insight. He noted that he is very much a 'feel' player - didn't spend a lot of time pounding balls growing up, but a lot of time just playing golf. Said that he sees lines and angles - is really good at imagining fall lines on the green, approach lines etc. I think this was a huge help at Augusta National.

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Didn't pull off any miraculous shots?  What did you call that up and down at 18 on Saturday, routine? 

 

He manages his game exceedingly well and even though they are all great putters he's a better putter than they are.  So if you manage your game well, you hole your putts when it's time to attack and get up and down when it's not.....

 

What else is there really?  It's like saying, well Hank Aaron couldn't hit a baseball as far as Babe Ruth - true - but he could hit it far enough.  Jordan may not be as long as Bubba or Rory but he hits it long enough - it's not like he's not able to get home in regulation on the monster par 4's or in 2 on the par 5's - he is, just with a little longer club. 

 

He's also likely to get longer as he gets a little older.  I like his game - a lot.

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Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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He made the best golfers in the world look extremely average.

 

 

He doesn't do anything "the best," and like Rev said, you don't need to. But to me it seemed like his misses just seemed better than most players misses. He made mistakes, that's for sure, but there were multiple times where he had thought he missed a put and it went in, or he thought an iron would be very short and ended up just a few feet away. That's what I took away from his play.

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That's kind of where I was going here - he wasn't the BIG hitter or the escape artist or Phil whacking it between the trees off the pine straw.  He was just ridiculously solid and consistent, and solid.  Really, really solid. 

 

Consistently solid.  

 

No mistakes - just a surgical dismantling of the course.  In '97 Tiger overpowered Augusta with a hammer - not to say the other parts of his game weren't sharp - they were, but it seemed like Spieth sliced it to pieces with a scalpel.  Rose and Mickleson played amazing - as did Rory late - but that they couldn't come within 4 shots of the kid is kinda scary.  

 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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For me, its his mental game.  The kid just seems to go about his business and doesnt let things get to him.  He knows his game and doesnt seem to try to do things that are outside of that game.

It just goes to show you, if you are smart and consistent you dont need to be Bubba long or pull off some 1 out of 100 trick shot.

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"I suppose its better to be a master of 7 than to be vaguely familiar with 14." - Chick Evans

Whats in my Sun Mountain 2.5+ stand bag?

Woods: Tommy Armour Atomic 10.5* 

Hybrid: Cobra King 3H

Irons: Titleist King Cobra Pro CB 5, 7 and 9-irons

Wedge: Tommy Armour 845 54* and Top Flite chipper

Putter: Tommy Armour Impact 2

Ball: Maxfli Tour X

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For me, its his mental game.  The kid just seems to go about his business and doesnt let things get to him.  He knows his game and doesnt seem to try to do things that are outside of that game.

It just goes to show you, if you are smart and consistent you dont need to be Bubba long or pull off some 1 out of 100 trick shot.

 

Well, that's good news!  I am not Bubba long.  [C'mon, take your shot... I can take it with the best of them.]

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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His heart and the six inches between his ears.

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Driver -  :taylormade-small: M1 9.5* w/ Aldila Rogue Silver 70X

Fairway -   :taylormade-small: M1 5W 19* w/ Aldila Rogue Silver 70X

Hybrids -   :ping-small: G25 4H 23*

Irons -  :mizuno-small: JPX 850 Forged 4-PW w/ Nippon N.S. Pro 1150S

Wedges - :mizuno-small: S5 50*07, 54*12, 58*12 w/ Nippon N.S. Pro 1150S

Putter - Oddyssey Metal-X #7 w/ SuperStroke Pistol GT 2.0

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He might not be "the best" at any ONE thing, but he was the best combination at ALL aspects of the game.  The kid has amazing composure and thinks his way around a course as well, or better than anyone.

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What's In The Bag

Driver :titelist-small:

Titleist 913 D2 10.5* (set to 9.75* / Neutral) 46" Paderson KINETIXX Kevlar Green - R

Fairway Wood

Tom Wishon 949 MC 16.5* Fujikura Speeder 569-A

Hybrid  :cleveland-small: Hibore 22* Aldila VS Proto Blue

Irons  :ping-small: G series 5-P

Wedges :ping-small:Glide 54* SS / 60* TS - SCOR 53*

Putter     :nike-small: Nike Method 001 / P2 Reflex grip 35"

Ball

Master Grip Tour C4

Bag

Datrek DG Lite  

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To me he as good as the best or is the best in the world with the flat stick in his hand. His putter and mental game are off the charts. He makes putts under pressure as good as anyone in the game. Nothing else stands out except consistency. I also can't think of anything he does poorly which is impressive.

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Driver- Tmag 2017 M2 tour issue 8.5* actual loft 7.8* w/ HZRDS Green PVD 70TX"
Fairway Metal- Taylormade SLDR Mini Driver 12* w/ Fujikura Rombax TP95-X"

Utility- Mizuno MPH5 1 iron w/ Aldila RIP 85X (depending on course/ conditions)

Irons- Mizuno MP- FLI HI 2i w/ Aldila Proto ByYou 100X
          Mizuno MP59 4i-6I w/ PX 6.5

          Mizuno MP69 7i-PW w/ PX 6.5

Wedges- Scratch 8620 Driver/Slider set.  50*, 54* bent to 55* and 60*

Putter- Taylormade Spider Tour w/ flow neck
Ball- Bridgestone Tour B X

Bag- Sun Mountain C130 Supercharged

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I've noticed a few comment on his mental game or not letting things get to him... I do see him being able to focus on the moment, there's not doubting that, but I liken that to having great focus and not mental toughness.

 

I don't see him having a great mental toughness at all. To me, when he talks to his ball on most every shot or has his outbursts it shows that he is a loose cannon or a roller coaster of emotions and just a kid. He definitely wears his emotions on his sleeve and you can see that after a poor putt or bunker shot where he walks after in disgust long before it stops rolling. Maybe this a habit after watching Tiger all those years, or just being a kid, I don't know.

 

If you're a psychiatrist and can tell me that focus and mental toughness are the same thing, then I will believe it. Until then though, I'll still figure him more of a Pat Perez than a Zach Johnson.

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I was impressed how he got out of trouble. He hit one of his drives right, in the trees, had a shot to the green, but water left. He had the crowd move back, which took forever, but he was patient and punched out right and short of the green to take the water out of play instead of trying to pull off some miracle low cut that could have ended in the water if he didn't pull it off perfectly.

 

A 1 in 10 chance of putting a low cut on the green would have been more fun to watch, sure. But he saved par and kept going. He played smart.

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I've noticed a few comment on his mental game or not letting things get to him... I do see him being able to focus on the moment, there's not doubting that, but I liken that to having great focus and not mental toughness.

I don't see him having a great mental toughness at all. To me, when he talks to his ball on most every shot or has his outbursts it shows that he is a loose cannon or a roller coaster of emotions and just a kid. He definitely wears his emotions on his sleeve and you can see that after a poor putt or bunker shot where he walks after in disgust long before it stops rolling. Maybe this a habit after watching Tiger all those years, or just being a kid, I don't know.

If you're a psychiatrist and can tell me that focus and mental toughness are the same thing, then I will believe it. Until then though, I'll still figure him more of a Pat Perez than a Zach Johnson.

Mental game not mental toughness. He plays the course as it needs to be played to suit him. He lays up if he needs to, doesn't do anything stupid to when he puts himself in trouble and maybe most importantly he misses in the right spots. He thinks his way around the course as well as anyone in the game right now. He is also very clutch which is what you call focus. To me, he can talk to his ball all he wants if it continues to listen so well. I've tried talking to mine but it doesn't seem to listen like Jordan's does lol.
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Driver- Tmag 2017 M2 tour issue 8.5* actual loft 7.8* w/ HZRDS Green PVD 70TX"
Fairway Metal- Taylormade SLDR Mini Driver 12* w/ Fujikura Rombax TP95-X"

Utility- Mizuno MPH5 1 iron w/ Aldila RIP 85X (depending on course/ conditions)

Irons- Mizuno MP- FLI HI 2i w/ Aldila Proto ByYou 100X
          Mizuno MP59 4i-6I w/ PX 6.5

          Mizuno MP69 7i-PW w/ PX 6.5

Wedges- Scratch 8620 Driver/Slider set.  50*, 54* bent to 55* and 60*

Putter- Taylormade Spider Tour w/ flow neck
Ball- Bridgestone Tour B X

Bag- Sun Mountain C130 Supercharged

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To me, he can talk to his ball all he wants if it continues to listen so well. I've tried talking to mine but it doesn't seem to listen like Jordan's does lol.

 

You are using Female balls.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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You are using Female balls.

That would explain them doing exactly the opposite of what I asked them. Male golfballs must be exclusive tour only.
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Driver- Tmag 2017 M2 tour issue 8.5* actual loft 7.8* w/ HZRDS Green PVD 70TX"
Fairway Metal- Taylormade SLDR Mini Driver 12* w/ Fujikura Rombax TP95-X"

Utility- Mizuno MPH5 1 iron w/ Aldila RIP 85X (depending on course/ conditions)

Irons- Mizuno MP- FLI HI 2i w/ Aldila Proto ByYou 100X
          Mizuno MP59 4i-6I w/ PX 6.5

          Mizuno MP69 7i-PW w/ PX 6.5

Wedges- Scratch 8620 Driver/Slider set.  50*, 54* bent to 55* and 60*

Putter- Taylormade Spider Tour w/ flow neck
Ball- Bridgestone Tour B X

Bag- Sun Mountain C130 Supercharged

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I listened to this today on XM radio and it was quite telling. Of course on the radio you hear much better detail of what is happening than the TV announcers. On the first hole this morning, Spieth is in the rough, and they tell that he has a bad lie, in wet grass, green slopes away from him, and any ball struck towards the hole will not have the proper spin and will carry off the back of the green. There is no way Spieth can possibly get this near the hole. And he then hits it 25' left of the hole, perfect distance where the greens slope will hold the ball, nearly sinks a birdie but has a tap in par.

 

Then later on he has a good lie and angle and he hits it close and makes birdie. I just thought it interesting how he new when to play safe and when not go for it. He seems to plan each shot well.

 

I think he will become even better as the year wears on. If he would have lost this Masters, he could have ended up on the scrap heap having to listen to talk of his "last year's failure". Now he is relaxed because he has proven himself.

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Driver:      :ping-small:  G425MAX 10.5° -1° Flat on Fujikura VENTUS Blue 5S

Fairway:   :ping-small:  G410 3 wood LST & 5  Wood Flat on :ping-small: Alta CB 65R

                     :ping-small:  G425MAX  7 & 9  Flat on :ping-small: Alta CB 65R

Hybrid:     :ping-small:  G425MAX  6 H Flat on :ping-small: Alta CB 65R

Irons:     :ping-small:  i 500 7-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :vokey-small: SM8 50°, 54° & 60° on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: Studio Style Newport 1.5

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He did pretty well his first year on tour, and I told the guys to watch out for him once he gets used to playing the courses. Some of the tour players have played the same courses for years and haven't done as well as Spieth has done on them in his first couple of years. He's just going to keep getting better... unless he marries his girlfriend and she tries to change him!

 

FYI, women marry men hoping they'll change, and they don't; men marry women hoping they don't change, and they do.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Why does anything have to stand out?  If all facets of his game are working equally well, that seems like a recipe for winning at that level.  If I had to say that something really stood out from all the other good players, I would say that it was his mental game.  He planned his game using knowledge from last year, and I am sure that Crenshaw and Jackson helped a bunch too!  He stuck to his plan, and executed the shots so that he didn't have to deviate from that plan.  Doesn't really get any better than that.

 

Kenny: Good comment. it will be very interesting to see where Jordan goes from here. Historically, most Masters winners don't do very well after the tournament for the rest of the year. No one seems to know why. Maybe they're just too tired from all the media obligations ;-) I think it's fair to say that in most cases, the winner of any tournament is, more than likely, the guy (or girl) who happened to be really in a tight zone that week - more so than any of the other players. I think that is what separates the majority of the players on the tour from the Palmers, Nicklaus', Hogans, Woods, McIIroys, etc., of the world. There are many great players on the PGA tour, but very few great (and consistent) winners. It is my hope that Jordan is just what he appears to be - cut from a different mold; a player who will win multiple tournaments each year, and not a single tournament once every other year or so. And who knows... maybe if Tiger had been raised in a family environment similar to Jordan's, instead of by a retired Green Beret who had infidelity problems of his own, Tiger might have a few more majors under his belt by know.

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Kenny: Good comment. it will be very interesting to see where Jordan goes from here. Historically, most Masters winners don't do very well after the tournament for the rest of the year. No now seems to know why. Maybe they're just too tired from all the media obligations ;-) I think it's fair to say that in most cases, the winner of any tournament is, more than likely, the guy (or girl) who happened to be really in a tight zone that week - more so than any of the other players. I think that is what separates the majority of the players on the tour from the Palmers, Nicklaus', Hogans, Woods, McIIroys, etc., of the world. There are many great players on the PGA tour, but very few great (and consistent) winners. It is my hope that Jordan is just what he appears to be - cut from a different mold; a player who will win multiple tournaments each year, and not a single tournament once every other year or so. And who knows... maybe if Tiger had been raised in a family environment similar to Jordan's, instead of by a retired Green Beret who had infidelity problems of his own, Tiger might have a few more majors under his belt by know.

Agree totally. I think Jordan is the real deal. He gets focused and has the consistency to be there week in - week out. He doesn't seem to get overly "into himself", a class act.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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