Tuesday, January 12

Luke Donald: Hanging In Rather Than Hanging It Up

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO HANG up the sticks? Maybe often. Or maybe the difficulty of the game, the ups and downs, keep you coming back. Some would call it a challenge. Others might call it masochism.

Luke Donald is feeling confident again.
(Polo Ralph Lauren)
Perhaps you heard that Luke Donald seriously considered leaving professional golf. That's right, the Englishman and former world No. 1 player said his "confidence was shot." Giving up the game was a real possibility.

"My confidence had taken a big knock and I asked myself if I wanted to continue doing this," Donald said in an interview with The Telegraph.

"I wasn't enjoying it, finding it so very hard and could not see much light at the end of the tunnel. But then I told myself not to be a baby, to grow up and realize how lucky I was. I was still playing golf for a living."

When you're at the top -- and Donald was No.1 for many weeks -- there's only one way to go. Over the last few years, Luke watched his ranking fall and fall some more. There have been no wins on a big boys golf tour and he was overlooked by Paul McGinley for the 2014 European Ryder Cup team.

In total, a very tough blow for a mild-mannered, short-game wizard who had reached the pinnacle of his sport.

"There was a time where I kept looking at the world rankings and kept seeing myself slipping," Donald added. "And I think that's the wrong approach. I've always been most successful when I have a plan and stick to it. Every day try to get a little better, incremental improvement. Of course, the goal is to get back in the top 50, then get back in the top 25, start getting some top 10s again, start winning tournaments again and just get back into that feeling."

Currently ranked 78th, Donald has a good team around him and is slowly putting the pieces back together after his fall.

"I think I have a little bit of a way to go, but I'm feeling confident that I can get back to at least close to the level I was a few years ago. I felt like it was very close the last few months. It just didn’t quite click. I haven't had that one breakout win to kind of get the confidence going enough. But certainly I feel optimistic about my chances going forward."

1 comment:

Ashley said...

It's so interesting to me that the world's top players suffer from the same confidence problems that the rest of us struggle with. It just proves how golf is such a punishing game...I think you would be hard pressed to find professionals in any other sport that doubt themselves as much as golfers.