The journey from Challenge Tour Number One to winning Ryder Cup Captain involves an intense range of deeply personal experiences along the way, and now, Thomas Bjørn is shining a light on the turmoil, self-doubt and obsessiveness that can often-time underpin a career in professional golf.
In Mind Game: The Secrets of Golf’s Winners, Bjørn, along with award-winning journalist and writer Michael Calvin, delve deep into the distinctive and remorseless nature of a life in competitive golf.
“Living with pressure and living with the performance pressure that sports people do can sometimes lead you into some pretty bad places if you go through a bad spell,” the 15-time European Tour winner said.
“What happens in the book is it leads to a greater conversation about what sports people go through. It touches a lot on your weaknesses as a human being through sports.”
Through unprecedented access to European Tour players, and in-depth interviews with the European Ryder Cup team, Bjørn and Calvin reveal how the best players in the world navigate the pressures of an intricately demanding sport.
“There's a big tussle in the world of sport about if you're a sportsman and you're a successful one, you're not really allowed to have an opinion on anything,” said Bjørn. “It's a bit like, you do your sport.
“I think that then drives you away from the human aspect of dealing with it, and especially for young players who I think have that kind of feeling."
Very exciting day today as @CalvinBook and I do a promotional tour of our new book ‘Mind Game’. It’s a project I’m really proud of - delving into the personal and mental struggles of professional golf. I hope you all enjoy! It’s out tomorrow 🖊📖 https://t.co/9oqg2HLVRS pic.twitter.com/QyoQGQ9E8I— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) May 29, 2019
From Denmark, Bjørn is his country’s greatest golfer, which makes the man—who has never been part of a losing Ryder Cup side in three appearances as a player and one as Captain—uniquely positioned to lay out the internal battles that rage beneath the surface.
“Hopefully it will help a few players and hopefully it will make people understand—more people understand—what sports people go through and hopefully help a few sports people knowing that they don't deal with these things on their own.
“They are common in everyone that performs at a high level in sport, so there is a way to deal with it, which gives a bit of hope that sometimes there is an end to a very dark tunnel.”
Mind Game offers a first-person account of Ryder Cup glory, but also stands as an exposé into the subject matter for which it is named. Through candid chapters, European Tour players Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Robert Karlsson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Eddie Pepperell, Matt Wallace, Bryson DeChambeau and others are examined, generating a fascinating insight into how the finest margins between success and failure can often consume an elite athlete.
Visit Amazon to purchase your copy of Mind Game: The Secrets of Golf’s Winners.