There are golf swings and there are golf shots; Jordan Spieth is trying to focus more on the latter.
It’s no secret that the former world No. 1 battled swing thoughts throughout much of 2022. Anyone who watched him stand over the ball and make rehearsal after rehearsal could clearly see a player that was thinking more about the swing and less about the shot itself.
“Ideally, I don’t have to do it,” Spieth said Thursday about the rehearsals while standing over the ball, which were notably missing for much of his first round at the Sony Open.
“I still would like to be more so shot-focused than swing-focused,” Spieth said. “When you’re doing a bunch of rehearsal, if you do it weeks in a row, I think you can – like last year, I was doing it the week I won, but I wasn’t really thinking about it. It was just kind of a get-set motion.
“I had done it for so many weeks. When you start doing it or changing it up and doing it, I think you just start trying to make good swings instead of hit great shots, and it doesn’t have to be perfect in this game. But I’m not trying to be either. I’m just trying to get some things back in order.”
Spieth had his game in order Thursday at Waialae Country Club, shooting a first-round 6-under 64 that has him tied for the lead with Chris Kirk. The most encouraging part? The three-time major champion gained more than 1.1 strokes off the tee to finish his round inside the top 10 in that category on Day 1.
The former Texas Longhorn spoke to a confidence in his game that he hasn’t had in recent years — a confidence that a solid first round is sustainable throughout a full tournament.
“I’m confident relative to other time periods I’ve been off to similar starts, which is a really good place to be,” Spieth said. “I believe I can shoot 5 or 6 under each day out here. Not to say that that means it’ll happen, but there are other times I would be sitting there going, ‘How do I hold this sh*t together?’ To be honest.”
As the golf world found out in 2015, a confident Spieth can be a dangerous Spieth.