Champions Corner

Golf pro Sergio Garcia: Success isn't all about winning

Golf pro Sergio Garcia has enjoyed an illustrious two-decade career, much of it in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking.

But despite earning pole position in more than 30 international tournaments, the 39-year-old Spaniard insists that winning is not his main measure of success.

"Obviously winning is important, but it's not the main thing," Garcia told CNBC Make It at the 2019 SMBC Singapore Open. "I've always been very proud of my career because of the consistency I had."

Consistency is key

Consistency, Garcia went on to say, is more reflective of long-term success than winning. Striving for consistency allows you to look at the bigger picture instead of getting caught up in the highs and lows of wins and losses, he noted.

"I think the most important thing is to be able to maintain it," said Garcia, who won the 2018 SMBC Singapore Open.

"That's where your motivation comes into play; to make sure that you stay motivated, you keep working hard, and you try to be as consistent as possible."

Coping with failure

Garcia's big picture strategy came in especially useful in 2009. After a career-topping year in 2008, he suffered a major slump and fell out of the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.

He decided at that point to take a year out and miss the 2010 Ryder Cup so he could focus on getting back to form. When he returned to the game in 2011, Garcia earned a spot in the U.S. Open and finished in tied seventh position.

Sergio Garcia of Spain plays a shot during day two of the Honma Hong Kong Open at The Hong Kong Golf Club on November 23, 2018.
Arep Kulal | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Sergio Garcia of Spain plays a shot during day two of the Honma Hong Kong Open at The Hong Kong Golf Club on November 23, 2018.

"You lose more than you win, even if you're a great player," noted Garcia.

"Some weeks, you're really, really good; some other weeks you're not quite as good," he continued. "At the end of the day, it's just (that) you love the game, you love what you do, and it motivates you to keep practicing hard, keep trying hard, and that's all you can do."

Advice for others

While Garcia is best known for his achievements on the golf course, he's also found success in other fields, including as chairman of Spanish football club CF Borriol.

He said others looking to achieve similar success, either in sports or elsewhere, should concentrate on two key things.

"Obviously, you have to work hard at it to make sure that you're the best that you can be," said Garcia. "But, also, you have to enjoy what you do."

"If you enjoy what you do, it's much easier to do it at a high level, it's much easier to practice to try to get better at it. Those two things are important if you want to try to be successful."

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