This week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car comes from Matthias Schwab, who showcased his hidden talents of juggling a golf ball while riding a unicycle during lockdown but is now back out on the golf course in Austria.
It is great to be back out on the golf course. We had been waiting for that day for a long time. We were in lockdown in Austria for six weeks and while I practised indoors, it is not a lot of fun so was great to get back outdoors. I play at GC Schladming and they allowed the pros to come out a little earlier, on April 20, so we were able to practice when we had the courses to ourselves for ten days. You could just take a cart and drive around anywhere as there was no-one else on the course. That was a new experience and little bonus after the long period of waiting.
We still have to take all the precautions, but I was there on my own. Had I had a coach with me they would have needed to stay two metres away but as they are back in the UK that was not an option and besides, I liked being out there on my own sometimes.
I work with Mike Kanski on my putting and Liam James on my swing, but I have not seen them since the Qatar Masters at the start of March. We keep in touch over video and texting so I can work on things on my own. That’s how I try and stay on top of my technical stuff. I have an indoor facility I can use so went there two or three times a week to keep the body moving. We have a yard at home in the mountains as well, so it was fun chipping around that and making videos, but really was just a case of keeping a bit of motion.
Starting tomorrow, the Austrian Golf Community is going to tee it up and hopefully “play well” again. Here’s a short message from myself, @BWiesberger and a few of our fellow @EuropeanTour pros. pic.twitter.com/YLGdYZGKhn— Matthias Schwab (@schwab_matth) April 30, 2020
We had a lot of fun creating videos like the one on the unicycle. My younger brother Johannes, who normally lives in Salzburg, was also back home and we were bit bored and looking for fun things to do. I was actually on a German TV show in 2006 – ‘Wetten Dass with Thomas Gottschalk’ - when I had just turned 11 doing the same trick then, riding the unicycle in a figure of eight shape and juggling the golf ball at the same time. I used the club in the right hand first to go round the eight shape and then changed hands and went back the other way. On the TV show I had two clubs in my hands and bounced the balls from left to right as I rode around. I haven’t done it for a long time, so we got the unicycle back and gave it a go.
In Austria the golf courses are now open and non-contact sports are back, so for me I am pretty much back to practising my golf and working out at home. I have always had minor problems on and off with my back so on the first day I was able to go to the course, I didn’t go straight out and hit 50 balls with the driver but took it easy and worked from wedges to irons and then built up to driver. I wanted to get the feel back around the greens and bunkers as it will take a while to get back to 100 percent. The swing I have is solid and repetitive so that is back, and the short game is just practise and touch.
After 5 weeks of lockdown in Austria it’s now go-time ✅ Focusing on the short game to regain the lost feel and touch around the greens in order to top the @europeantour scrambling stats again soon 💯 pic.twitter.com/m4H08PcZ5z— Matthias Schwab (@schwab_matth) April 22, 2020
Last year was a great season for me with ten top-ten finishes. In terms of tournaments, the Turkish Airlines Open, WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and the BMW International Open were among the highlights. The BMW International Open, being in Munich, is close to Austria and felt almost like a home tournament. Switzerland was also fun playing with Rory, as was the Porsche European Open with a great final round and only just being beaten by a shot by Paul Casey.
I was out running a few weeks ago for Wings for Life, a project trying to find a cure for spinal cord injuries. Once a year they have a run and all the entry fees and donations go direct to that foundation. I have been part of that run for a few years now and it is tracked on an app, so everyone is able to do the run at home and share details with friends. It is a great initiative to be involved in.
Over the next few weeks I’m sure I will be following the same daily routine; practise, play with a few friends at my home club and have a few matches to get a bit of competition. I’ll also work on my fitness on the treadmill, read some books or play on the play station and just stay patient until we are back playing tournaments.
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