Inside Golf : Inside Golf Mar 2016
cover story www.insidegolf.com.au | March 2016 23 Garrett Johnston is a golf journalist based in California. He covers the game on an international level for IG, New Zealand Golf Magazine, Today’s Golfer UK, and Golf World UK. Aaron Baddeley at last month’s Farmers Insurance Open. (Photo: Felix A. Marquez) would say he’s anti-method in that sense. A bit like Butch (Harmon). I think Butch has some similar characteristics where his players don’t know what to practice but Scott does that too and makes it super simple. Now I can go out there and play golf again. I don’t have to worry about making it super perfect. What’s an example of how you simplify things? I have three things that I work on and that’s it. One big thing and two little things. I just wake up and do the exact same thing every day. It’s just nice, you don’t have to try and figure out a different feel one week and a different feel the next. The swing starts to feel the same every day. It’s awesome. My bad move is my hips going toward the ball on the downswing, so that technically changes how the shaft on the way through the ball gets it up too high and the face gets very flippy. But if you keep your butt back, you’re basically keeping your levels. Keeping my levels and my tail back keeps my shaft consistent coming through the ball and lower which makes the face more stable and takes out all the timing elements. There’s so much timing taken out of it so it’s easier to keep hitting good shots. It’s great. So the big thing is keeping my head and my butt in position. The smaller things are getting my club on-line a little more at the top and hitting the side of the ball. You say that you’re more relaxed than ever? It was the best off-season that I’ve had in years. I could totally just chill out, I didn’t have to worry about looking at my swing on video or look at other swings or talk to my coach and say “Oh, what do you think about this? What do you think about that?” I could just get away from the game and enjoy the family. It’s been great, even mentally being relaxed you get a mental break and not just physically being away from the game. Just trying to figure it. Now, I don’t need to. I wake up, hit it good most days. It’s great. Do you travel much in the holiday/ offseason? We were just at home in Scottsdale. We went to the snow in Flagstaff. We were just taking the kids to school, taking (son) Jeremiah to the golf course when he wanted to go, taking Jeremiah to soccer (practice and games). Stuff like that is just great. I could enjoy the family as opposed to being there but still thinking about golf because you’re still trying to figure it out. I can literally get away from it. How do you view expectations of Australian fans who’ve been following you since the late 1990s? You’ve had a bit of attention over the years to say the least. I think my own expectations are bigger than other people’s. I think a lot of people don’t really know where I’m at with my game at the moment. Just because I sort of haven’t played well for a couple years, I think people aren’t really sure where it’s at. So, big picture, I’d say the game is great. We can focus on areas of my game now where I can get better, so the big picture is instead of trying to figure it out I’m going to get better from this distance, because that distance is going to give me more birdie opportunities. Or, I can work on my putting so then I have more birdie opportunities in there. I can just see it where if you get a little momentum then all of a sudden it just snowballs and you’re going to be off and running, so I’m pretty excited. So do you feel differently about your game than you have in some time now? It’s just having that confidence now. People ask me “How are you playing?” and I used to respond “Yeah, it’s coming along”. Now I’m actually confident enough to say “Yeah, I’m playing good.” For me, that’s a big step because you don’t want to say you’re playing good, in case you don’t play good. You just sort of say, “Yeah, my game’s good and I’m just excited.” You got a new caddie in January, how has that gone so far with Chris Stroud’s former caddie John Limanti? Yeah, I’m pretty excited. I changed to John Limanti and he seems to get my game good and he’s quick and confident in his ability to pick clubs and read greens. And he’s a good player, he’s a plus-2 handicap so he understands the game. I’m excited, we get on well. He likes to be healthy and work out and stuff. We have a lot of similarities in that sense. You fought pretty hard late at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines to not only make the cut but finish in the top 10. What do you make of the performance? I’ve done a few things before that caused me to just miss a cut and now it was nice to suck it up, finish strong to make the cut. It was great, especially around Torrey because one good round, especially on the South Course, goes a long way. So you want to be there for the weekend because you know if you find that one good round then you’re right back in it. It was nice to finish in the top ten. You’re not wearing any sponsors on your hat or bag. The only visible one is the OGIO on your shirt. What’s your philosophy on sponsorship at the moment? Well I absolutely want to get a win. I’m not in a great position with my status to get the ideal (sponsor) that you want so I’d rather play the clubs that I want to play, and then from there you can get in a better position to negotiate. That’s sort of the mindset. But at the end of the day, I’m going to play clubs I want to play because they are the tools. If you haven’t got the proper tools, then it’s hard to play your best golf. I’m playing with Adams irons, I’ve played those same heads for five years. They’re good clubs for me. I did some good testing with the drivers over the offseason (Note: Aaron played a PING Driver at Farmers, and an Odyssey putter). I’ll just play what I want to play because the more important thing right now is playing well, getting back to playing full time on the Tour, trying to get back in that winner’s circle. That’s the most important thing—if you play well then everything will take care of itself. I want to get back to full- time status, play well, have some good finishes, and everything else will take care of itself. • Spectacular ViewS... Spectacular Value! • New licensed clubhouse facilities plus undercover BBQ and picnic areas • Better course conditions than ever before with rolling couch fairways and firm, fast greens • All players welcome to enter competition rounds! Elizabeth Drv, Rosebud Phone: (03) 5981 2833 www.bayviewsgolf.com.au More great quality GSM Golf courses: www.gsmgolf.com.au Be surprised by one of the Mornington Peninsula’s best kept secrets!
Inside Golf Feb 2016
Inside Golf, April 2016