RE­LAX­ING GAME

Inside Sport - - INSIDER -

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.”

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