- The power of consistency
Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. — E. James Rohn
Season One — Ep. 5
I’m not a golfer. A busy year on the fairway will see me play two or three rounds. Further, these rounds are mainly best-ball tournaments for business or charity purposes. Without these events, my on-green average would drop well below one a year, closer to around every half-decade.
Watching golf is even rarer. Because I don’t understand the game mechanics or fully appreciate the mastery it takes to hit a golf ball consistently straight. I only watch golf when I’m at someone else’s house, and it’s the TV, which happens to be in the same room that I’m in. I am unable to go to another room. I think you get my point.
Me and golf are not a match made in heaven, aka; Augusta National Golf Club’s well-maintained course.
And yet, despite all of this ‘lack of interest,’ I am just as likely or even more likely to read about Golf on ESPN or TSN than any other sport.
It goes to the title of this article. The golf world is ridiculously consistent (in some ways, they cling to history too much, but that is for another piece). As a simple example, I know about The Masters, held each year at Augusta National (or Augusta or the National). This type of consistency isn’t rare to only golf (I mean, the Yankees have been the Yankees for a very long time), but there is never any question of where the most prized golf tournament will be held every year. And all of their games (for the most part) are kept the same. I know where the Open (or US Open) will be played. I know where the Tour Championship will be played. And, more importantly, I have a pretty good guess as to who will be playing.
For several years the top golfers in the world have been, give or take, the same. Now, before any real golf fans toss me under a bus, let me explain what I mean.
When I read golf news, I know the majority of the names I read. Dustin Johnson, Rory Mcllroy, Jordan Spieth, Mike Weir and of course, Tiger Woods. These names come up again and again (Mike comes up because I’m Canadian). While not everyone on this list is in the top ten, only Dustin Johnson and Rory Mcllroy crack that list. The golf industry loves to tell stories about key figures in the game.
- Will this be the year Jordan Spieth comes back to form?
Will Mike Weir find magic once more at the Masters?
Golf does a fantastic job of highlighting its top players and finding ways to keep them in the limelight for years, sometimes — decades. And that’s the difference when you look across the other major sports.
Tiger Woods hasn’t been “The Tiger” for a while*. He is still a great player, but he hasn’t been in the top 10 for some time. Yet, he remained one of the most talked-about golfers in the world through all of his struggles. He was, and is, one of the most popular, and the media continue to look for storylines of how “this could be the comeback.” *Before I go forward, I want to note/recognize that Tiger Woods may no longer be able to play due to a horrific car accident. However, before the accident, you would have sworn that Tiger was at the top of the field or, at the very least, in the top five. He wasn’t. Currently, Tiger is ranked 20th (which is incredible all things consider), but 20 is a long way from 1 or 2. But Golf is an individual sport filled with personalized storylines.
One other aspect that always draws me in and this goes back to the idea of consistency. The game has been the game for decades. Yes, the equipment has improved (no more Wood in those Woods), and yes, the golfers are in far better shape and aware of how fitness and nutrition impact their abilities (no more beer & burgers at the turn). But golf — golf hasn’t changed much. The concept is still identical to what has been played at Augusta National since 1934. The nature of the sport, i.e. hit the ball as best you can as little as you can, hasn’t changed. For the most part, the courses look oddly familiar year-over-year, and the rules governing the sport at a foundational level remain unchanged. Yes, over the years, with TV and sponsors becoming a much more significant part, the game’s flow and look have been impacted. But nothing compared to what we’ve seen happen in the NBA, MLB, NHL etc. And the decorum, the way those who attend (aka; people like me and you), has been only slightly changed (and for the positive, I may add). If you get a chance to go to The Masters, you will be greeted with a dress code. Some rules and procedures feel ancient. And while golf has struggled and has failed in many areas (i.e. not allowing women onto the property), they bridge the past with the present when they get the balance right.
As a non-golfer, I don’t appreciate many of the nuances that I’m sure a real golfer would pick up in an instant. I’m confident I’m missing elements that would fly in the face of this whole article. But that’s the point. I’m not a golfer, and I don’t notice these changes. I’m not a big fan of basketball either, but I see how different the game was today versus when Magic or Michael played. And that is the power of consistency — you can draw in people who otherwise shouldn’t be drawn in.
- Date of publication:
- Thu, 04/08/2021 - 08:44
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