included, is not the hard part. Everyone can focus, and you’re almost switched on all the time these days. The switching-off part is harder, because you’re so focused on the shot you’ve just hit or the one you’re about to, and you forget, hang on, you’ve got about three to four minutes before you hit the next one. If I’m worrying about what I’m going to do or what just happened, my mind is going to be a blur by the end of the round. So I’ve always felt the most relaxed when I just switch off between shots, talk to my caddie or playing partners, talk about anything other than golf. When I get 20 yards from my ball, I’ll get the glove out and start to re-focus.”
[The Tavistock Cup is a friendly-yet-spirited match between a pair of glitzy Florida clubs that boast a membership full of tour players. In 2008, O’Hern won the individual portion of the event.] “The Tavistock was probably the most relaxed I’ve ever been out there. I was playing with Ernie Els again, so his rhythm rubbed off on me. Between shots, I had family and friends wanting to talk to me, so it was great. My mind was completely off golf between shots, because everyone wanted to have a chat. The hardest part was switching back on – I felt guilty about walking away from everyone to go hit a golf ball. And that was easily one of the most relaxed rounds of golf I ever played. I came off the course just thinking, oh, are we finished? Didn’t even realise. What did I shoot? Seven-under, wow. If you could have that attitude every time, golf would be an easy game. But obviously that’s not the case.
“It’s amazing – when you’re playing well, everything is easy. The only thing that can get you out of it is your own mind – if you actually start thinking about it. That’s when you want to get out of your own way, in a sense; just focus on your process, not care about your result.”