In the latest edition of the European Tour Player Blog, Compleat Golfer‘s playing editor Brandon Stone opens up about the challenges the coronavirus has presented to the game of golf.
Stone became the recent South African golfer to share some of his personal thoughts and experiences from the game on the Tour blog.
In the lengthy feature Stone touches on a number of subjects, including how he convinced life-long friend Teagan Moore to come out of retirement to be his caddy.
But, the 2016 SA Open champion’s most honest review, however, is how he had to adapt to the new challenges the pandemic brought to the game since last year.
‘This pandemic will not define my career,’ Stone defiantly writes.
‘Whether this goes on for the rest of 2021, or into 2022 or 2023, this will not define my career because my career will go on longer than that. So I am going to make the most out of whatever comes my way.
‘Once I go to work at a tournament, I usually tend to remove myself from my friends, so previously I wouldn’t talk to them that much during events, because it is work. Now I find myself communicating with those friends a lot more. During lockdown, you miss them and that camaraderie. You miss the energy you get from them because you have handpicked them to be your closest inner circle.’
Stone further continues by sharing some of the valuable lessons he has learnt in that process of adaption.
‘If 2020 taught me anything, it is different mechanisms for dealing with things when they go wrong.We are dealing with things all the time at the moment coming from South Africa, whether it is travel issues, passport issues, visa issues. Things have happened in the last 18 months that have never happened for centuries, so you simply have to adapt and get on with it. It’s a bit like golf itself. If you let two or three bogeys define a tournament, I’m sorry but you are not going to be consistent or performing at the top because every single player on the planet goes through a rough patch.’
The 27-year-old made an excellent start to his year by finishing in second spot at last week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic where England’s Paul Casey claimed victory.
And, this week, Stone is in action at the exciting Saudi International, alongside another whole host of local players.
‘I spent hours working on Saturday and Sunday trying to get my confidence back as I had felt really good going into Abu Dhabi and then mentally what happened on the Friday shook me up. It obviously paid dividends because I felt fantastic last week, all week. I played some of the best golf I’ve played in many, many months,’ he added.