I would first like to start off by sending my condolences to the families of the nine people who lost their lives during the Helicopter crash on January 26th, 2020. Rest in Peace to Kobe and Gianna Bryant, as well as the seven others who sadly passed away. Kobe was a generational athlete who affected the lives of millions of people.
Sunday I spent my day primarily watching two things on TV, The Farmers Insurance Open and Kobe Bryant’s tribute videos. Watching the Kobe tribute videos got me thinking about his Mamba Mentality, which I believe is doing whatever has to be done in order to win.
I truly believe that in all aspects of life you should strive to be a winner. I feel that today some golfers don’t have the “Mamba Mentality,” and think it is more important to have fun than win.
The biggest reason why I feel golfers don’t have the drive to win is because of sponsorships. Unlike many other sports golfers can show their sponsorships by wearing a logo on their shirt, something which can’t be done in the NBA or NFL.
Golfers are sponsored by Car Companies, Tech Companies, Watch Companies, on top of their sponsorship for golf balls, gloves, clubs, and clothing.
Let’s take a look at Rickie Fowler, for example. Rickie uses a TaylorMade golf ball and glove, along with Cobra clubs, and Puma clothing. Rickie is also sponsored by Mercedes, Farmers Insurance, Rocket Mortgage, Rolex, and many more.
Due to his bright colored clothing, Rickie Fowler is very popular among the kids, and people like myself want to dress like him. He is also one of the most Famous golfers in the world, while only being ranked the 26th best golfer in the world, as of the current standings. Rickie has also only won 5 times on the PGA tour, while being on it for over 10 years.
Rickie has been able to make a lot of money just from his sponsors, so he does not need to play each round as if he could not feed his family if he lost.
Another huge reason why golfers don’t need to win is because of how much money you can make just by finishing in the top 10. In other sports a second place finish would not be something to be happy about, unless you are a LeBron fan, but in golf coming in second could make you over $300,000 dollars, and a top 10 finish is still making you over $100,000 dollars.
Using the Rickie Fowler example again, although he has only won 5 tournaments, he has made almost $40 million dollars just from playing golf, sponsors not included. You do not even need to finish top 10 every tournament to make a lot of money. If you were to finish 30 for every tournament you would make about $50,000 each weekend. By playing 15 events a year you have made $750,000 dollars, and even more from sponsorships.
I am not trying to say that anyone can become a pro golfer and make millions of dollars a year, but if you are good enough it takes away a lot of stress of knowing that just by finishing in the top 30 you still have a great pay-day.
Something that separates the average person from the greatest person, is their ability to do whatever it takes to win. The greatest athletes of all time did not care about what everyone thought about them, they only wanted to win. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan Tom Brady, and of course Kobe Bryant, would do whatever they could do win no matter how much work they had to put, or relationships they had to end.
Some golfers today care more about the money than the legacy, and aren’t willing to do whatever they have to do to win.
P/C: Business Insider