Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Driving success and resilience: What makes great golfers stand out

Discovering the five key qualities sets professionals apart

Published: Nov 30, 2023 11:43:15 AM IST
Updated: Nov 30, 2023 12:12:21 PM IST

Driving success and resilience: What makes great golfers stand outGolf, an ancient sport that is situated at a point that finely balances the game's physical and mental aspects, giving neither one preference over the other. The greatest golfers need to combine refined skill through countless hours perfecting one's golf swing with the courage and mental fortitude to weather the worst of days without ever losing sight of the green at the end of the fairway.

Golf is sport at its most essential because it pits you against yourself in a never-ending competition. Along the way, the sport imparts key lessons around its core principles of patience, resilience, consistency, and humility, all the while rewarding a competitive spirit.

Forbes India in collaboration with HSBC recognizes the common theme of persistence and success in these principles. These qualities can be found in the stories of golf's greatest players. Forbes India’s theory of success aligns with all the principles that apply to golf and its legendary players.


Calm Under Pressure: The Power of Patience and Precision

"I kept telling myself this word, 'process.' Focus on my process, don't care about the result."

- Rory McIlroy

Patience is a virtue that comes to the fore of anyone's golfing journey, be it the most determined dilettante or four-time major world champion, Rory McIlroy. Having been a world number one for 100 consecutive weeks and being one of the youngest golfers to win four world majors, few better understand and exemplify the patience one needs when striving for perfection in the sport. Malcolm Gladwell's theory of 10,000 hours applies to golf, too. Some golfers start early to build skills, resilience, and fill the gaps in their game, enduring early setbacks along the way.


Tony Finau's Journey of Triumph: Overcoming Adversity with Unyielding Resilience

"One of the things I learned growing up, a rule that I go by, is just never give up. That's one thing that I had to keep telling myself."

-Tony Finau

Tony Finau's challenging upbringing in a low-income, crowded household drove him to golf, not as a path to success but as an escape from adversity. With humble beginnings, he practiced in a makeshift garage and persevered at municipal courses to master his game. His journey of resilience led to a remarkable victory at the 2021 Open Championship over Jordan Spieth, making Tony Finau's story one of anticipation and inspiration.


Mastering the Art of Consistency: Justin Thomas' Path to Golfing Greatness

"When I am in control of my game, and my short game is on, I feel like I'll have a great chance to win any week I tee it up."

- Justin Thomas

As a golfer, Justin Thomas comes from the opposite end of the spectrum to Tony Finau. He had nearly everything he needed to become one of golfing's greatest players, especially with a father who was a former professional golfer guiding him every step of the way. However, Justin Thomas' competitive mindset and consistency match even that of Rory McIlroy, whom he snagged a victory over in the 2018 Ryder Cup. With five PGA Tour events and the FedEx championship in the same year in 2017, Justin Thomas proves time and again how consistency in practice is reflected in consistency of performance.


The Power of Humility: Scottie Scheffler's Gracious Rise to Golf's Pinnacle

"I never expected to be sitting where I am now. You know, you don't expect things to come to you in this life. You just do the best that you can and with the hand you're dealt and just go from there."

- Scottie Scheffler

With consistency comes humility, and Scottie Scheffler is a shining yet subdued example of the humility expressed by all but the most outstanding athletes. Even while sitting comfortably atop the world rankings, with a Players Championship in hand and a Masters Tournament jacket on his back, Scottie Scheffler's humility remains undiminished. While it is important not to let one bad day ruin one's composure, the real test comes from how one handles success, making sure not to forget the journey that brought them to their destination.

Competitive Spirit

Fueled by Fire: Joel Dahmen's Journey from Doubt to Dominance in Golf

"I'll never be in the top 10. I don't hit it far enough. Even when Rory plays badly, he's so much better than I am in almost every facet."

"My attitude is good because I'm a fierce competitor, and I have all the confidence in the world that I can beat everybody else. That's my attitude."

- Joel Dahmen

The two quotes by Joel Dahmen come from before and after his most recent PGA Tour win. Humility can sometimes be conflated with self-doubt, and Joel Dahmen's story is a reminder of the importance a competitive spirit carries, especially in a sport as cerebral and taxing as golf. It is possible to get complacent even when competing against oneself, and it was only when Joel Dahmen fought past his shortcomings and uncertainty to secure his first PGA Tour win against all odds that he proved he had the competitive spirit of a world-class golfer.

Golf, a solitary sport, unites players with a shared passion for excellence. Get a leg up into a world now condensed into a simple platform on The Golf League app. In collaboration with Forbes India, HSBC has established “HSBC Golf League”, your gateway to a streamlined golf experience. This app simplifies player connections, class bookings, and registration for exclusive golf events. To know more click here to download the app.

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