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)

More & more professional athletes from all types of sports are picking up golf in their spare time.
Anyone that watched the Ryder Cup last year surely noticed that all-time basketball great Michael Jordan was in attendance with his buddy and fellow golf nut Ahmad Rashād by his side. Also following the play at Whistling Straits was fellow hoopster and future Hall of Famer Steph Curry. The 8-time All-Star, 2-time MVP and 4-time NBA champ is a huge fan of golf and plays to a very, very high level; having teed it up in two Korn Ferry Tour events in 2017 and 2018. He even recently replicated Collin Morikawa's iconic drive on the 16th hole at TPC Harding Park.
In what was a fascinating interview on the Golf Channel during the 2020 Ryder Cup, Steph & Michael talked about some of the things that they see 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. While Jordan mentioned that the need for patience, self mastery & perfection on the course helped fuel his competitive juices & focus on the court.
The Parallels and What You Can Learn from Steph’s Assessment…
One key factor Steph mentioned 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 his mind, as he moves without the ball, to his spot, collects the pass, squares up, and releases, SWISH. 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 the shots 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, 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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