Golf’s four majors did not disappoint this past season. Each major had a different winner, with some familiar faces taking home the trophies. With the PGA Championship now in the books, let’s look back at each major to see what it taught us about succeeding as a professional.
Going into Sunday, there were four household names ready to go at it for the green jacket. Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, and Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia made up the last pairings of the weekend. Fowler and Spieth didn’t do too well, but Rose and Garcia did. They played so well, in fact, that they were forced into a playoff – which was won by Garcia for his first major championship.
What did it teach us? It taught us that it’s not the end of the world to fall behind. At one point, Sergio Garcia had a 3 shot lead over Rose, then eight holes later he was losing by 2 shots to Rose with 5 holes to play. Garcia slowly worked his way back into contention by making an eagle on 15 and saving par the rest of the way. With a little luck, he came from behind to force the playoff and ultimately win The Masters.
It’s important to not force yourself behind the eight ball when something goes astray. Much like Garcia did in the final round, you have to pick yourself up and keep doing things the way you know how to. If you do, then you’ll end up with some sort of victory which will allow you to succeed.
The U.S. Open
The second major of the season was the major of the underdog. Won by first-time champion Brooks Koepka, the tournament at Erin Hills saw the top 3 golfers in the world miss the cut. This paved the way for the underdogs. They grabbed the bull by the horns and made the most of their opportunity.
What did it teach us? The U.S. Open taught us that you don’t have to be top-dog to be successful. When you look at the final leaderboard, most of the top ten are not common household names. There weren’t any Spieths or Johnsons at the top. This allowed the less-commonly known golfers to shine and make a name for themselves. And although there was only one clear-cut champion, many underdogs were successful at Erin Hills.
There will be times when you’re the underdog in your career. You’ll be forced to try and gain the recognition of your boss against people who have been at the company much longer than you. When you’re the underdog, it is important to stay true to yourself and work as hard as you can. If you can do this, you’ll be able to prove that you’re in it to win it – much like Brooks Koepka did back in June.
England’s finest and most historic golf tournament proved to be one of the best weekends of the summer. Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar went neck-and-neck on Sunday, and even traded leads. At 13, Spieth hit a bad shot off the tee and had to hit from the driving range. He miraculously made it out and ended up finishing the next holes a combined five-under.
What did it teach us? It taught us that trust can go a long way when it comes to being successful. When he was hitting his shot from the driving range on the 13th hole, Spieth took advice from his caddy and it paid off. He trusted the advice he was given, trusted his ability to execute the shot, and turned it into gold.
We’re all faced with difficult situations in our career. When these situations present themselves, we need to be able to trust those around us, as well as ourselves. Just like Jordan Spieth did at 13, we need to take any and all advice to heart and believe that we can execute the shot.
The last major of the season was a scramble on the last day. A weekend full of surprises, and Sunday was no exception. Justin Thomas was able to play himself to his first major championship of his career. He got pretty lucky on the 10th hole, which ended up being a huge momentum swing in his favor. Thomas finished the back nine 2 strokes under par, which sealed the victory for him.
What did it teach us? It taught us that perseverance is key. Thomas started the day four shots behind the leader. He didn’t just give up. He continued to play his game and it ended up being the perfect strategy. Thomas never gave up, and persevered, even after shooting over par on the first day of the tournament. He fought back and ended up winning.
Perseverance is extremely important in any career. When things get tough or you’re at a road block, you need to find a way to persevere through it. In order to be successful you need to give it your all, no matter how many times you fail or how hard it is. Much like Thomas, if you persevere through a tough time, your successes will taste a little sweeter.
This spring/summer gave us quite a few great sporting events. We were also given a great Stanley Cup Final, as well as an entertaining Home Run Derby. Now, to put a cherry on top of the summer, golf taught us a few things we can use in our career. As the season comes to an end, we can only hope that the first full week of April comes as quickly as possible. If the next season is half as good as this one was, we’ll be well on our way to a few more lessons.