Not sure if this is contrarian, or even a take, but…
Are we seeing the beginnings of a shift in golf pro career bell curve?
It seemed to me back in the day that most Tour pros took a while to get going. You turned up and tried to survive for a few years. Then maybe around year 5 you were hoping to get some shots at a win. Maybe around late 20’s / early 30’s you’d get a look at a major. Pick up one or two in your 30’s. Keep being competitive right up to 50. 30 years. Pretty gradual up and down. All good.
There were outliers (Tiger and Jack) but even Phil, one of the greatest golfers of all time, didn’t win a major until he was 33. Rose career is pretty old school classic too. Stenson. But all guys in their 40’s now.
Now, the past decade has given us so many kids who smash it right out of the block that it’s become the new normal.
But what if the flip side is their careers are way shorter, with a bell curve that peaks at 25, not 35?
By the end of 2014 we all thought Rory was going to dominate for a decade with 9/10 majors by now. Instead he hasn’t hit a fucking wedge properly in 5 years. And (I hate to say this) but what if he never gets it back? And what if we’re beginning to see Spieth on the same path? Bunch of majors by 25… then fade away?
Golf has always been odd amongst sports in that its participants peaked much later and had longer careers than others. But what if the increased athleticism of the modern game has also drawn them level in terms of career trajectories? Maybe all the high end training just wears out the synapses and twitch muscle reactions sooner?