Game Changers

Steph Curry Identifies the Parallels of Success in Golf and Basketball

By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

Steph Curry looks on during Friday Afternoon Fourball Matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 24, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Anyone that watched the Ryder Cup this past week and happens to be a fan of sports in general, surely noticed that Michael Jordan was in attendance with his buddy and fellow golf nut Ahmad Rashād by his side. Also following the play at Whistling Straights was fellow hoopster and future Hall of Famer Steph Curry. The 7-time All-Star, 2-time MVP and 3-time NBA champ is a huge fan of golf and plays to a very, very respectful level; having played in two Korn Ferry Tour events in 2017 and 2018.
In what was a fascinating interview with Rich Learner last Friday on the Golf Channel, Steph talked about some of the things that he sees as parallels between a high-level golfer and a basketball player. Most notably, Curry talked about how shooting on the hardcourt and hitting short game shots on the course required much of the same key components for success. 
The Parallels and What you Can Learn from Steph’s Assessment…
One key factor Steph mentioned in his chat with Rich Learner was Visualization. As one of basketball’s best shooters ever, Curry can certainly speak on how important this component is in being a great shooter. Seeing things come together in your mind, as you move without the ball, to your spot, collect the pass, square up, and release, leading to splashdown, and chalking up two or three points on the board, is likely the scenario Steph is referring to. In golf, especially on and around the green with pitch, chip, and bunker shots, as well as putts of varying lengths, you want to see things happening in your mind, then set up, trust, and execute.
Anyone that achieves at a high level in any sport doesn’t do so without putting in a lot of work. Curry is known as one of the hardest workers in the NBA. He is relentless in practicing his technique so that it can become automatic in game-time situations. Quite simply, all the work in practice leads to success. Nothing can be more true than this idea when it comes to your golf…especially with the “scoring shots” that make up your short game.
The greats in any sport reach the heights that they do from working hard, a commitment to repetition through practice and an understanding of using visualization. While many of us may not have the same level of talent that a Steph Curry, Michael Jordan, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, or Jon Rahm has, we can most certainly follow their example in order to be the best that we can be.

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Brendon R. Elliott, PGA


Executive Director/Founder

Sorrento, FL

Brendon Elliott is considered by his peers in the industry as one of the top youth golf coaches in the world. He is a multiple, local, state, regional, national and world award winning instructor with a focus on junior golfers ages 3-18. With numerous appearances on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, local TV, nationwide radio and countless publications, Elliott is one of the foremost experts in the youth golf arena. His Little Linksters 501c3 nonprofit is recognized as an example for introducing children as young as three to the game as well as how to help introduce youth with disabilities to our golf. Elliott has been recommended by industry titian's such as Nicklaus, Player, Floyd, Sorenstam, Speith and more. Among his numerous accolades, Elliott was named the PGA of America's 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development Award Winner in 2017.
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