In this week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Matthew Jordan talks about how he’s supporting NHS charity HEROES this season, and why he’s never had a coach
I’m looking forward to tournaments starting up again, and I’ll be showing my support for front line workers with a new badge on my left sleeve to raise awareness for HEROES, a charity close to my heart.
My aunt Victoria works on the front line and has done for the last 16 years, and in the current situation we’re in, it made me think a lot more about how I could support workers in the NHS. I’m doing that by raising awareness for HEROES, which is a charity founded by NHS workers to support the welfare and wellbeing of NHS workers, something that has become vital for them during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She told me a few stories about how stressful it has been due to longer working hours, a higher workload, anxiety about potential Covid-19 exposure, experiencing death and all while trying to provide stability to her three children at home, and it made me realise how crucial supporting front line workers is.
I got the chance to donate to HEROES after winning the BMW Indoor Invitational supported by TrackMan at Valderrama, and decided I wanted to do more as a gesture to say thank you. I also want to make sure everyone still remembers what the NHS workers have done and continue to do, that it’s still relevant even as lockdown measures have started to ease up. I’ll be wearing the badge on my sleeve for the foreseeable future.
“This charity has been set up to support us all with much needed practical and emotional support throughout the pandemic and in its aftermath,” said Jordan’s aunt. “I expect the effects will be long-lasting for many. Despite all the difficulties, I am proud to have worked hard through this, saved some lives along the way and supported patients in the community during this exceptional time. I’m proud of all my NHS colleagues across the UK who have given so much of themselves for others. It means a huge amount to me that Matthew is playing a part in supporting me and many others in this way.”
It’s great that we’re able to get back competing again soon in the UK events, but it’s definitely not been what I thought my rookie year would be like! I was really looking forward to the season, playing all the types of courses I’ve seen on TV and grown up watching. I thought it would go by really fast with loads of experiences and a lot to learn but now you just don’t know what to expect. Hopefully this will happen once in our lifetime.
I didn’t do a lot in lockdown. I’d go and hit balls into the net every day or two just to keep myself ticking over and keep some workload up, and then once restrictions started easing it was nice to get back out there and play again at Hoylake. I’ve always been the type of person to look forward, so once I played I just wanted to practice, and now that practice facilities are open I just want a tournament to test myself in. I’m excited to start competing again.
Nice to catch up with @EuropeanTour players this week socially distancing. Great afternoon with @matthew_jordan7 yesterday. What a player he is 🔥 #120CHS @TrackManGolf #BMWTrackManInvitational #Volumeup!! pic.twitter.com/4ka7MYbQ3M— Matt Wylie TrackMan (@TrackmanMatt) May 20, 2020
A few people are surprised because I don’t talk about it that much, but I don’t have a coach. I’ve never really had one. My dad started me out when I was young with the fundamentals and he likes to think of himself as a bit of coach., I had advice from coaches when I got in to the county and national squads, but over the last two years it’s just been me.
I think everyone just expects you to have one, but I’ve always been picky that way. I want to get the best out of my own swing rather than copy someone, and because I’ve never really had a coach I know my individual tendencies. I’ve taught myself what works and what doesn’t, and when things haven’t gone that well I can fix them quickly. I’ve never committed to one person for any type of coaching. I’ve seen the odd personal trainer from time to time, and Mike Kanski once for a putting lesson, but it’s very few and far between.
I think it stems from my grandad. He had over 100 caps for England in badminton and won a silver medal at the Commonwealth games and he always said that your game is all you, you control it, and you’ve got to know everything about yourself to know what works for you. He always told me to listen to advice but take from it what you want, and don’t feel like you’ve got to incorporate everything.
I actually didn’t even think about turning professional until I did well as an amateur in 2017. I had several good finishes which got me in to the Walker Cup, and that was the moment I thought about it, about what the next step was. But the Walker Cup was quite unexpected for me, so I didn’t turn professional until the next year because I wanted to prove to myself that one good year wasn’t a fluke, and then I could also prepare so that once the day came I knew what I was doing.**
I then ended up with a lot of invites for the Challenge Tour and European Tour, but I didn’t expect to do so well so early.** I started off last year with no status, and then I set the course record at the British Masters at Hillside. I can still pretty much remember every shot that day. There were a few friends and family around when I made it out in five under, and as I birdied a few more holes more people turned up, and it all built into something I’ll remember for a long time.
I kept playing well, and then I won in Italy on my seventh start on the Challenge Tour. I was just trying to play as well as I could and then I got into a position to win, and then into the play-off. It wasn’t expected, but what it did for me was huge. It took me from having no status to second in the Road to Mallorca standings and secured my status on the Challenge Tour. From there I just kept trying to stay near the top of the rankings. It was a mixture of relief and excitement when I secured my European Tour card, I hadn’t even thought much about it until I knew I was going to do it.
I don’t let much bother me, and I think the attitude I have to the game is one of my strengths. When I’ve got something to play for or been worried about making a cut, I’ll think about it before I get out there, but when I’m playing I don’t think about those things at all. I’m just so obsessed with each shot and doing the best I can that all of the background noise goes out of the window, and I just get this extra focus and into a zone where nothing else matters but the shot. It’s probably why I’ve played well when I’ve been around a cut mark or close to a lead.
I’ve never really set goals either. I feel like goals can sometimes limit your mind and expectations of what you can do. What if I’d only had a goal of getting my Challenge Tour status last year, but then all of a sudden I had to change that because I have a chance of a European Tour card? There are obviously things I’d like to achieve at some point. I’d love to play and compete in Majors, play in the top European Tour events and against the best in the world so I can compare myself. I don’t know how I’d react if I ever got to play with Tiger, I’d probably fist pump his putts more than mine! Right now though, I’d rather just try to focus on doing as well as I can every day that I play.