Jordan Spieth has heard it from enough people: He’s not the fastest golfer in the world. Far from it. He might even be slow.
And, to his credit, he’s decided to do something about it. He wants to play faster and talk less on the golf course. The two-time major winner is hoping that’ll translate to more success.
“The quicker part actually helps me, because then I just get up there and fire away,” Spieth said Friday after a 1-over 71 put him in a tie for sixth place at 1-under total, three shots behind 36-hole leader Jason Day. “The more I can do that, actually I think the better off [I am with a] kind of gun-slinging mentality, just to go up and hit the way I always have played.”
Spieth’s pace of play has become, at times, an unwanted distraction as he tries to play. He was cited for slow play in the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in February. His group was put on the clock on Thursday and Friday at the Masters. Officials pay his groups a visit with some regularity, asking to close the gap between the group in front of Spieth’s.
Spieth saw the comments on social media, and he couldn’t help but catch some in his galleries urging him to pick up the pace — some less polite than others. The 22-year-old even heard it from his coach, Cameron McCormick.
“I noticed and I’d get plenty of comments on it from other people,” Spieth said. “But Cameron also mentioned, ‘Hey, I think you’re going to play better if you just step up and swing.’ So I’m trying to do a bit of that.”
The Texan is looking for answers. He’s making some changes in his game, and he’s trying to get those dialed in while trying to prepare for a three-week stretch with two majors. After winning at Colonial in May, he’s finished T-57 at Memorial and T-37 at the U.S. Open. If he can get dialed in before heading over to Royal Troon, Spieth could have a season-transforming three-week stretch. Then there’s the Olympics, if he ultimately chooses to play. There’s a lot on the line.