What better way to wake up the Monday of July 4th than to interview one of my favorite golfers at a Golf Club named for my alma mater? (Hook ‘em!)
That’s right, I spent Independence Day interviewing Jordan Spieth, a fellow Longhorn and all-around American icon. Heading into the morning of the AJGA’s Under Armour® / Jordan Spieth Championship presented by American Campus Communities, I didn’t think it was possible to be nervous speaking to someone 5 years younger than myself.
I proved myself wrong.
After arriving at the University of Texas Golf Club around 8 a.m. and heading to the Longhorn practice facility, reality set in. Not only was I about to conduct an on-camera interview for the world to see, but I was about to conduct an on-camera interview with a man who last year won two major championships on his way to a record $22 million season haul, not to mention his dominating takedown of the PGA Tour FedExCup.
Yeah, I was nervous.
Once I walked in the doors and had a brief hello with UT Coach and 2015–2016 National Coach of the Year, John Fields, I noticed a familiar face in Rex Hoggard from the Golf Channel. Feeling like I should absolutely just take a backseat and watch his and his team’s meticulous interview preparation unfold, I instead sat and practiced my questions with my co-workers. I was going to do my best not to look dumb.
Jordan was about 20 minutes late, which is far from a condemnable offense, considering he had flown into Austin late the night before, fresh off nearly pulling off a come-from-behind victory at the WGC at Firestone. In true Jordan Spieth fashion, he walked in the door, said hello to his coach, and then went on to sign a pin flag for every single participant in the AJGA event.
Golfsmith is a proud major sponsor of the event, which led to securing our interview, and later, a fun afternoon of getting absolutely schooled by one heck of a junior golfer in the AJGA Junior-Am.
Once Jordan was finished signing the various flags and other memorabilia strewn across the UT golf team’s locker room ping pong table (tough life, right?), he did his Golf Channel interview with Rex. Just watching their interaction put me at ease.
He’s got to be the easiest guy to interview. Give him an inch and he’ll take it a mile.
After Rex’s time and while our team was setting up, Jordan and I made small talk about an old, used Scotty Cameron that he played with throughout his days as a junior golfer. As it turns out, he had picked it up at a Golfsmith in Dallas, in the days when he’d peruse the aisles with his dad, begging for new gear at every turn.
As golf fans, we’ve all heard about Jordan’s genuine personality over the last three years. It’s been said he doesn’t have an on-off switch with the media—he’s just on—and that he gives some of the best, most detailed and honest answers in the business.
Well, I’m here to tell you—it’s all true.
Once the interview started, it was a blur of questions, ranging from quick-fire to those a bit more insightful, including some relating to his mindset during practice and tournament rounds. Not surprisingly, we were able to get a great answer to every question we asked, and we couldn’t have been more appreciative of his patience and willingness to answer everything we put in front of him.
When we were done, Jordan was quickly escorted to the UT practice facility where he put on a clinic in front of AJGA juniors, parents and guests.
Below Jordan spoke with me about what he was working on leading up to this week’s PGA Championship.