Darren Clarke has never been known to turn down a pint. But now Ryan Ballengee at Golf Talk Central reports that 2011 British Open champion has given up alcohol in an effort to back up is 2011 British Open title with a strong season in 2012.
“My golf career has been extended somewhat by winning the Open Championship, and I just thought that enough is enough, and it was time to get myself into better shape,” Clarke wrote on his blog this week.
Clarke has hired Belfast-based trainer Jonny Bloomfield to get him back into shape. Bloomfield came at the recommendation of Lee Westwood’s trainer, Steve MacGregor.
The Ulsterman has shelved the Guinness with the hope of a great 2012 season, which begins this week in South Africa at the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt.
“Therefore, my alcohol consumption is taking a massive dint...currently down to zero! However, no pain, no gain, and I'm very excited about the route that we're going down - it's a long road, but I will give it my best shot,” he wrote.
Q. You talked about what a difficult year last year was, was there a particular turning point and also anybody that helped you a lot in the learning process? After Deutsche Bank, golf was so frustrating I didn't know where the ball was going. And I didn't know whether to go grind and practice or whether to take time off or whether to just put it away until the Humana tournament came around in Palm Springs and take three months off.Trick-Shot Video of the Day Tweet of the Day
So I took a month off, I started practicing the day before I left for Asia, practiced in L.A. for one day, got on a plane, went to Korea, hit the ball as good as I've hit it all year.
And then went and played in China at the Shanghai Masters, and my game held up. I didn't know what to expect, but my game held up.
And I took a week off in Bali and didn't touch a club again, just kind of vacationed there and tried to think about what I could do to get better. And I realized that if I just let it go, my natural ability will take over and I'll be able to get the ball in the hole. That's what I'm good at. I need to just let it go, be free, and that's how I play my best golf. Some people need to think more, some people say I need to chip better, I need do this. I just need to let it go and be free. So that's what I'm going to be doing this year and hopefully it will work out and hopeful three will start this week.
Is this Golfweek stat good or bad news for Tiger: 25 of the past 100 majors have been won by guys age 36 or older.
— Steve Elling (@EllingYelling) January 19, 2012