Australian golfer Adam Scott is a former world number one, who at the end of 2019 sat 13th in the sport’s rankings.
While hovering on the cusp of the world’s top 10 golfers is no mean feat, what troubles the 40-year-old is the fact it’s now almost seven years since he won his first and, to date, only major golf tournament at the familiar and picturesque course of Augusta National in April 2013.
Scott has managed 11 finishes in the top 10, including that Masters triumph, but still he’s not been able to win that elusive second victory. From 2012 to 2015, his form figures at The Open Championship were 2, T-3, T-5, T-10 and all at different courses.
The Adelaide-born golfer talks to RSNG about how he likes to be at his best – and look his best – when the golf clubs come out.
RSNG You’ve been on both ends of spectacular golfing collapses, as in you’ve profited from that in others and it has cost you too. How do you come to terms with it when that happens? ADAM SCOTT, PRO GOLFER ‘I think when it has happened to me in the past – and there have been a couple of big occasions – I have been able to come to terms with it in the knowledge that I probably didn’t do too much wrong.’
‘It’s not like I lost my mind and started playing crazy shots. I can probably say with some certainty I’d play the same shots again.’
‘The reality of golf is sometimes you will get the most incredible piece of luck going your way; on other occasions that luck will go against you. And on some days that good or bad luck will accumulate, and on very rare occasions it’s on the back nine of a major tournament!’
‘That’s the way I need to think of it, just like Jordan [Spieth], Greg [Norman] and Jean [Van der Velde] have had to come to terms with it as well. We’re not going to start changing the way we play just because we’ve had a bad round.’
Getting back on tour is ultimately about allowing yourself the time to build up the momentum at each event
RSNG You’re 20 years a professional this year. How do you motivate yourself for every new season? AS ‘I always expect the best from myself, regardless of when I play golf. But when you start a new season, you want to hit the ground running as soon as you can and get into that rhythm when you know you’re somewhere approaching your best.’
‘It does help when I get to courses which I find familiar and have played well at in the past, especially if I have had some time away from golf.
‘Getting back on tour is ultimately about allowing yourself the time to build up the momentum at each event, whilst obviously trying to finish as high up the leaderboard as possible. It’s about being able to carry your progress into the next event, then level off at some sort of peak through the season.’
RSNG Do you have times when you look at the calendar and want to attack certain events where you know that your game is strong? AS ‘It can be like that sometimes, yeah. I know where I feel comfortable, how I feel comfortable and how to get comfortable at places where I may sense that it may take a little more for me to get involved at a certain tournament.’
‘But myself and my team have been known to speak about targeting a few events when we know that I have played and finished well at competitions consistently, over the years. However, that doesn’t mean to say that I won’t be trying to win every other event on the tour calendar.’
‘Being realistic almost to the point of being blatantly obvious, you cannot win every tournament. I feel that the best way to secure a few wins each season is to make sure you prepare right for the ones you feel you can do well at and for the others, make sure you are swinging well to get as high up the leaderboard and again, carry that momentum throughout the season.’
RSNG How difficult is it when you come to play the three Majors which switch around each year? AS ‘It hasn’t massively affected me, I don’t think. Last year I managed a top 10 finish at Bethpage Black for the PGA (Championship) – although Brooks [Koepka] ran away with that and even managed to shoot four over par on Sunday and still win by two!’
‘At Pebble Beach, I finished in the top 10 again for the US Open and I scored well in the final round to overtake quite a few players there.’
‘It helps that the Masters is at the same course every year and allows you to know exactly how to play that course, notwithstanding the subtle changes made each year. I do love playing at Augusta and I think that shows each year. I hope that’s something which continues.’
There is a lot in the psychology of getting up and getting out – dress well, feel good, perform with confidence
RSNG Regardless of how your game is at any point, you always get compliments on having the best swing in golf, the best-dressed player. How does that make you feel? AS ‘Haha! I do like those kinds of compliments and comments and I will always try to live up to such great feedback, as well. I love to look smart and it’s not a bad reputation to have, make no mistake about that.’
‘Yes, it can really lead to some funny ribbing from my fellow golfers – something which I’d like to think is a bit of jealousy from them, haha!’
Seriously though, I do like making a big effort to wear the clothes I feel are smart, which stand out and which contribute to me feeling good about my game.There is a lot in the psychology of getting up and getting out – dress well, feel good, perform with confidence.’
WHAT NEXT? Find out why deliberate practice is the key to upping your golfing game with our guide.
Then, watch Adam Scott’s 54ft eagle putt.