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The Loop

They say golf is an individual sport, but these major winners say it's really all about team

August 03, 2015

Editor's Note: This story originally ran in the Aug. 3, 2015 issue of Golf World.

After Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson won their majors this year, you heard them credit "team."

It's not like the days when Jack Nicklaus relied only on the eyes of instructor Jack Grout and the guiding hand of wife Barbara. Or going back to the generation before that, when Ben Hogan took deep pride in self-reliance. The old guys never said "We." They said "Me."

While still only the player hits the shots and makes the putts, the fractional difference that leads to excelling at 21st-century tour golf could be provided by what Johnson calls the "foundational trusses" of having a team. Johnson believes it's a crucial part of how a 39-year-old non-prototype player coming off the mini-tours can own two majors and be on the cusp of a Hall of Fame career.

"There are so many levels to it," Johnson said last week from his home in St. Simons Island, Ga. "You have the mental side, you have the physical side and you have the spiritual side as far as I'm concerned. If one is out of balance, it can filter in to the others, and things can go off kilter."