Jordan Spieth has been playing golf as long as he can remember. When he was 2 years old, he picked up his first set of plastic clubs. At ten, he began to play tournaments. When Spieth was 13, he decided to try to take his game to another level and began playing golf every day. Since then, his career has skyrocketed upward. At 15, Spieth won his first U.S. junior tournament, but he didn’t stop there. The next year, 2010, at only 16, he played in his first PGA Tour event, the HP Byron Nelson in Dallas. “I was able to be in contention on Sunday and play really well and hold up under the pressure,” Spieth says. “[That tournament] made me realize, ‘Hey, I really, really want do this for a living.’ “
After graduating from Dallas Jesuit in 2011, Spieth decided to attend the University of Texas on a golf scholarship. During his freshman season at UT, Spieth led the team to a national championship. Despite the great season in college, Spieth decided to leave UT and turn pro. “There were a lot of factors that went into [the decision to leave college],” he says. “I talked with my parents a lot, and I talked to my support group and my instructor, and ultimately made the decision on my own. I haven’t looked back, and it’s been a great decision.”
Spieth didn’t miss a beat after turning pro, earning a spot on the PGA Tour for the rest of this year and most likely for next year based on his earnings from the tournaments he’s played. Spieth likes to make goals for himself and, because of his early success, he’s had to set the bar higher for some of those goals. One of his goals is to qualify for the PGA Championship at the end of the year, the last major. “That’s based off [the tournament’s] own money list, so I just have to keep playing well,” he says. “Right now, I’m kind of borderline.”
One tournament that Spieth will likely do well in is this year’s Byron Nelson, where he burst onto the scene as a high school student. He’s very experienced at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas, and feels very confident heading into the tournament. “I feel great,” he says. “The course looks great. It’s a great setup for me, and it’s the only course on the tour that I’ve played the tournament at multiple times.” If Spieth is able to win the Byron Nelson, he will be well on his way to qualifying for the PGA Championship and achieving one of his goals.
Despite his focus being on golf, Spieth still has another goal in mind that is not related to golf or even sports; he wants to earn his college degree. “I plan on [going back to college] once I can establish myself, hopefully, out on tour and kind of have a purse to play consistently,” he says. “In a few years or even sooner, [I’d like to] start taking some classes however I can, whether it be online or over the winter. [Getting my degree] was a goal of mine so I look forward to accomplishing it.”
Spieth is a great inspiration for kids everywhere. At just 19 years old, he has already won an NCAA Division 1 golf national championship and qualified for the PGA Tour. Spieth’s advice for kids who want to play golf or any other sport is this: don’t specialize too early. “Growing up, I think it’s important not to single out a certain sport. It’s healthy and beneficial for kids to play multiple sports growing up and just see what they like. If you love sports and you’re playing a few different sports, then you’ll find the one you’re best at and want to compete at.”
If Spieth continues to meet every challenge in front of him, major championships and top world rankings will be in his future. Spieth has been playing golf as long as he can remember, and it looks like he will be playing competitively for many years to come.