Jordan Spieth: A word of caution

2014 04 Jordan Spieth

When did we all become so future orientated?


“I’ll do this at the weekend.” “One day, I’d like to work there.” “I can’t wait until I can go here.”

We’re all guilty of it. All of us. In all walks of life. The future can’t happen soon enough. But what’s wrong with just enjoying the present?

I was thinking about this last week in the wake of the Masters. No sooner had Jordan Spieth, the classy young Texan, finished joint second at Augusta National than seemingly everybody started excitably steering him towards outcomes that will only unfold in the fullness of time.

“He can win multiple Masters.” “He can become an all-time great.” “He could be the Tiger of his generation.” “He might turn out to be the best player that’s ever played the game.” “He has the potential to become golf's biggest-ever earner.”

All natural reactions when somebody does something that is relatively unexpected or out of the blue. But, again, I have to ask: what’s the rush?

Spieth’s performance at Augusta was mighty impressive. The 20-year-old clearly has some serious skills, and to contend well into the final day of what was only his fifth major – fifth! – was a great antidote for a tournament that, in my opinion, was noticeably lacking in its customary drama.
What Jordan Spieth needs is people to be patient and enjoy what he is accomplishing right now.

To observe the reaction to his impressive Masters debut, however, was to witness a spectacle bordering on hysteria. People on Twitter and in various respected publications almost fell over themselves in a vain attempt to make the most outlandish predictions for Spieth’s future.

“Sure, it’d be nice if he had a little more charisma and uniqueness, but ‘20-year-old phenom’ will do just fine for now,” exclaimed one American advertising guru. Phenom ‘will do’? ‘For now’? Dearie me. No pressure, Jordan.

And herein lies the point. Speculation is no good to Jordan Spieth right now. He’s only 20-years-old. He has been pro for little over a year. What he needs is people to be patient and enjoy what he is accomplishing right now, not what he has shown mere glimpses of becoming.

The history of golf – particularly its recent history – is littered with other young phenoms who have failed to live up to people’s expectations of them. Casey Wittenberg, Ty Tryon, Michelle Wie, Ricky Barnes, Bobby Clampett… the list goes on. So, too, does the rampant, foolhardy speculation.

Yes, Jordan Spieth has demonstrated that he has the potential to achieve so much. But let’s not get carried away. Instead, let’s enjoy him for what he is right here, right now: an exceptionally gifted young golfer.

Jordan Spieth: Your thoughts


Do you agree with Michael McEwan that we should all cool it with the expectations of Jordan Spieth? Or do you have a different opinion? Leave your thoughts in our 'Comments' section below.

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