Tiger Woods Dominance

When Tiger came onto the scene in 1996 he was already a star in the making. He had won the U.S. Junior Championship twice, 3 straight U.S. Amateur Championships, and the NCCA individual title at Stanford University. Once he turned pro he signed several endorsement deals totaling roughly $100 million. He was pure gold for every brand he represented, but most notably he single-handedly shaped and evolved Nike’s golf line.

Tiger was young, confident, lovable and incredibly talented. He also had a very diverse ethnic makeup, which was rather unusual on the PGA Tour at the time.

In 1996, he earned rookie of the year honors, was named Sportsman of the year, and went on to win the Masters in just his second year on tour

Tiger won 6 straight tournaments in 2000, while also taking home the “Tigerslam” after winning 4 straight majors from 2000 to 2001.

PGA Tour purses are 3-5 times bigger than they were prior to Tiger Woods, and TV ratings have never been higher. There is no ignoring the fact that Tiger Woods transformed golf in a way that no one else has.

HOWEVER, Tiger’s impact is exactly the reason why Jordan Spieth’s success is so important right now. The stakes are higher than ever to keep golfers, especially millennials, interested in the game. It is no secret that golf participation is on the decline and that the industry is trying to get more creative than ever to promote the game. They are investing millions of dollars into various growth of the game initiatives hoping that something, anything, sticks.


Jordan Spieth’s Rise to Stardom

Now Jordan Spieth. He is young, confident, marketable, and is otherworldly talented…sound familiar? At a high level, from a golfing standpoint, he is very much like Tiger Woods.

He has transformed the Under Armor brand. He won the U.S. Junior Championship twice, which had only been done previously by…guess who…Tiger Woods. He led Texas to a National Championship as a freshman and was named the NCCA Player of the Year.

Then you have Spieth’s professional accomplishments to date. He is the youngest player to win the US Open since Bobby Jones in 1923, and the youngest player to win two career majors since Gene Sarazen in 1922. When Spieth won the John Deere Classic in 2013 he became the 4th youngest player to win a PGA Tour event, and the first teenager in 82 years.

By winning the 2015 Masters by dominating the field, he tied Tiger Woods lowest 72 hole score at 18 under par. If it wasn’t for a 3-foot putt he missed on the 18th hole he would have finished at 19 under…those 3-foot putts are a doozy! Just ask Dustin Johnson.


Who else could have the Tiger affect

Golf needs a stable foundation to build upon in the future.

We thought Bubba Watson could be that guy with his fun-loving attitude and small town feel, but with every new social media post he sends out he aggravates golfing fans more and more. He is completely unaware that his attitude needs a serious makeover.

Rickie Fowler could be that guy, but he is too inconsistent. Winning the Players Championship in the fashion that he did was epic, but 1 tournament isn’t enough. He can be on Spieth’s level both on and off the course, but that time isn’t now.

Dustin Johnson has too many scandals under his belt.

Jason Day is the man, but he just doesn’t have the feel of a golf icon.

Rory is the closest to Spieth, but after his personal life drama and ended engagement became so public, a lot of people seem to have formed a new opinion about the Irish Superstar.

Spieth over Tiger

Now that all the cards are on the table, here is why I think Spieth is better for golf than Tiger in his prime.

Spieth is just as talented as Tiger Woods was. His short game is top tier, has all the shots in the game, he is crazy competitive, and he thrives under pressure. Although he doesn’t have the length Tiger had, he doesn’t really need it as much given the advancements in technology today.

What he has that Tiger didn’t is a sense of normalcy you can relate to.

Spieth is a young kid with an old soul. He is wise beyond his years and grounded as can be. He is still with his college girlfriend, by all accounts is very close with his family, incredibly personable, and very much aware of his place in the game.

Tiger Woods was always above golf, some may even say he was bigger than golf. Tiger was the guy who would make or break every tournament’s rating and relevance with his presence or position on the leaderboard.

Jordan Spieth is golf. He is just another competitor that happens to be a notch better than everyone else, and has all the intangibles that will one day make him legendary.

After winning the The Masters in record fashion he refocused and played in the RBC Heritage the next week. He did that because he knew how important he was to the tournament and made a commitment to them prior to The Masters.

The vast majority of golfers would have taken that week off and basked in their glory for a little. But not Jordan.

We need someone like Jordan Spieth to dominate golf and take the game we love into the future. Tiger evolved the game like no one before, but that is exactly why today’s game needs to have a face we can count on both on and off the course.

I always wanted to be Tiger Woods growing up, but with Jordan it is different. I want to be like Jordan Spieth more than anything. He is the kid next door with a crazy talent and a good heart, so for all of our sakes I hope nothing ever changes. As he becomes a superstar he will inevitably face the challenges that come with it, but I think he’s ready.

My favorite Jordan Spieth quote is, “Whenever the heat’s on, my whole life, I’ve just kind of learned to focus a little more.”

We can tell Jordan, we can tell.