#GolfMoms Can Take a Page from Chris Spieth
The mother of three, including AT&T-sponsored athlete Jordan Spieth, is still along for an incredible ride heading into this Mother’s Day weekend and the 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson
Jordan returns to the Dallas tournament where his PGA TOUR career took off in 2010
“This event is so special to me. It was my first PGA TOUR event ever and has become even more special through my partnership with AT&T,” says Jordan Spieth. AT&T caught up with Jordan and his mom Chris Spieth for an exclusive interview ahead of the 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson taking place at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas through this Mother’s Day weekend. It’s an event for PGA TOUR fans worldwide, and for the North Texas community where AT&T has its headquarters.
“There are kids I’ve seen out here on the course for a few years in a row, and I feel like I’m watching them grow up each year I come back to the AT&T Byron Nelson,” says Jordan. More than 200,000 attendees are expected to visit during the May 9-12 tournament that will continue the PGA TOUR’s tradition with pink-hued elements on Mother’s Day, from on the course to in the broadcast available in stunning DIRECTV 4K HDR and on CBS and Golf Channel.
Back in 2010, this tournament was Jordan’s first PGA TOUR event thanks to his letter requesting a sponsor exemption. It worked, and he landed a spot on the roster. When he returned to play again a second time, he traded walking across the stage at his high school graduation for taking the world stage on the PGA TOUR. “To let me miss walking the stage at graduation and to be supportive of me taking that next step, was pretty cool,” says Jordan of his parents.
Cool and supportive parents indeed. “Jordan and his brother would tag along to the driving range with their dad when they were very young,” remembers Jordan’s mom Chris. “At around age 8, Jordan wanted to play on the actual golf course instead of just going to a driving range. I was not surprised that he loved the game from an early age. He loved all sports, and when other organized sports weren’t taking place in summer, he played golf.”
Like many moms, Chris was busy and on the go. Raising three kids, she’d take Jordan to the golf course anytime he wasn’t playing football, basketball, or baseball so he could meet up with friends. “My mom has always been involved and supportive of my golf game, and really everything my siblings and I have taken on,” says Jordan of his siblings Steven and Ellie. He and his family started the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation in 2014 with four mission pillars: special needs youth, junior golf, military families and pediatric cancer.
The foundation will donate to Operation Shower one of Jordan’s signed, pink golf bags that AT&T produced for Jordan to carry during the 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson as part of the tournament’s recognition of Mother’s Day this weekend. Operation Shower will auction off the autographed bag to support its mission to bring joy to military families – one amazing baby shower at a time.
“My mom has been instrumental with the foundation since its inception, and specifically helped the board understand how we can best support special needs families. It means the world to me, and it’s why it’s a family foundation,” says Jordan.
“Inclusion is a word that is being used more and more frequently in the media when it comes to supporting special needs kids and families,” says Chris. “My hope is that families all over the world would instill in their children how awesome these special kids are and how much joy they would bring to their lives if they were included in their everyday activities.”
When Chris isn’t busy with Jordan’s sister’s and brother’s activities, she makes it to about 12 PGA TOUR tournaments a year and watches on TV if she can’t be there. “It’s amazing she still does so much for all of us,” says Jordan. The family gets together whenever Jordan is back at home in Dallas, for family dinners and occasions with the Spieth family’s friends. “Having that familiarity of people around, back in the house that I grew up in – that’s awesome,” he says.
Looking back on what it took to raise three kids, Chris says its important to let kids play whatever sport they want. “Don’t make them play a sport just because you think they are good at it. We never signed our boys up for anything unless they absolutely wanted to play it.”
She and Jordan agree that it’s also important to foster the social interaction that comes with playing organized sports, especially for golf. “Even with an individual sport like golf, it’s important to build relationships with other juniors, coaches, teammates – whoever it may be,” says Jordan. “Make sure they’re connecting with other people. And make sure they’re having fun.”
From those early days, to his sponsor exemption that got him onto the PGA TOUR, these days Chris says she loves being along for an incredible ride with Jordan, getting to cheer from the ropes at many tournaments. What she loves most though is what many might not get to see watching Jordan when he’s on the course. “His commitment to his family, to his faith, and to helping others in tangible and intangible ways. I am so proud of him.”
Sounds like Jordan’s already made it a happy mother’s day.