The Focus, Patience, and Determination of Tiger Woods

Tiger is one of the greatest golfers of all time. He has supplied so many great moments and electricity for the game of golf since he turned pro in the 90s. His 2019 Masters victory was historic. It was a golf comeback, it was a life comeback, and it was a culmination of focus, patience, and determination. 

Watching pretty much every minute of the Masters, I watched Tiger closely. He was one of my picks, and my gut was telling me he was going to win this. I have been watching his swing and short game, and it looks as good as it did in the early 2000s. I also knew that Tiger loves Augusta, knows every inch of it and has an amazing record there. This was happening.

But what was incredible about this was his Focus. Tiger's focus was back. He was very quiet and in his own world. He would pipe a drive down the middle or make a huge birdie putt, and he had no facial emotion. It was incredible to observe. He was controlling his emotions which is so key to golf success. Because of this, I knew that he wouldn't self implode out there. I knew this was the Tiger of old on Sunday. Aspire to focus so well that the focus overrides the emotion of the game. Imagine doing that? That's what Tiger does. Its something all us golfers need to work on. 

The other quality I observed was his incredible Patience. Tiger had multiple instances out there on Sunday where he was waiting between shots and really critical shots. The field was moving up, and down the leaderboard, crowd roars left and right, 4 and 3-way ties for the lead with multiple big-name players. There was so much going on, the tension was high, and he was patient on every shot. He didn't rush; he stepped off shots due to the wind, he played the smart shots, knew where to land his shots, didn't get eager, aggressive, or overconfident to provoke stupid decisions. His patience out there led to extremely smart play and course management. Patience made him extremely tactical on Sunday. I was in awe of this; it was extremely impressive. 

Determination is what got Tiger back to the top. It also got him through 72 holes at Augusta at 13 under par at 43 years old. Think about that. The guy screwed up his marriage, got divorced, became incapacitated with back injuries, had surgeries, was being told that he may never play golf again, got a DUI, etc. He was a damn mess, pretty much at all time lows. But being great isn't about having it easy all the time, its about powering through challenges. That's what Tiger did with determination. Not only did he play golf again, but he played on the PGA Tour again at the highest level, then won the Tour Championship, then won the damn Masters. The path to this point is inspiring for many.

Additionally, he used his determination to grind through 72 holes at Augusta to win his 15th major. The shot shaping, shots from the woods, no double bogeys, execution, no fatigue, and strategy showed how determined he was. In his press conference he mentioned two things: 1) He was training for the Masters since he won the Tour Championship. That was his only focus. 2) He said giving up never crossed his mind, and giving up is never an option.

As amateurs, we need to take note of what he has done to become one of the greatest of all time. We are lucky enough to witness this, and we should apply increased Focus, Patience, and Determination in our own lives to reach higher levels and overcome challenges. Watch the best, read about the best and learn from the best. Tiger has his flaws and is not a perfect person, but he does have a close to perfect mindset to win and overcome challenges, something we all can learn from.


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