Anyone that knows me will know that that I am a keen golfer. I have always found it a great way of escaping from a busy life as it is a sport that requires a huge amount of concentration, focus, patience, and skill, which means you have little room to think about much else. To me, it is a modern-day "mindfulness" activity. It is also one of the few sports you can play into your later years (as a middle-aged man this is good to know!!).
A. Conor Purcell
Malahide Community School
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Q.Golf Club Growing Up
My dad was the head pro of Portmarnock Golf Club from the early 90’s. An injury at the age of 13 took me away from tennis which I played competitively in Ireland so I turned to golf and never looked back since.
Tennis was big in my family with my two brothers being coaches in Malahide so that and golf were my main two growing up.
First club handicap was 22. I then represented Portmarnock GC at junior and senior level and won the all Ireland senior cup with them in 2018. I also represented Ireland from the age of 15 all the way up to Senior level before representing GB&I in the Walker Cup in 2019. Following that, I became 2016 South of Ireland Champion, and 2019 Australian Amateur Champion.
In November 2019.
Life on tour as I know it is a bit different than normal. Having turned pro very close to a pandemic, things are a lot more difficult than in years past. Trips away become longer with quarantines in place in certain countries. Weeks on the road are very busy. Things are definitely not as glamorous as some people think. It’s a lot of early morning flights, hotels and golf courses. The only time you get to explore places Is when you miss a cut which you like to keep to a minimum!
Usually, we fly to the event on a Monday. Practice round on Tuesday followed by some practice on the range and putting green. Wednesday is usually 9 holes if you’re not in the Pro Am followed by some more range and short game work. Once Thursday hits, it’s all systems go and you do your best to manage your energy for the whole week. A couple of weeks in a row can become very tiring so it’s about learning what works for you with regards to workouts/practice on tournament weeks.
I would say my swing has stayed relatively similar as the years have gone on. I’m a lot stronger now than I was when I first started so that plays a role but as a golfer, you tend to swing fairly similar throughout your career, just fine-tuning it as the years go on.
Thankfully I’ve been so fortunate to know Stephen Weinmann who owns a gym called PTI here in Kinsealy and I’ve been training under him and all the great coaches there since I was about 13/14. They’ve all really helped me get to know my body and almost be able to train myself mainly so that I can stay injury-free and also hold some strength. I played around this winter with some speed work in light of all this Dechambeau talk and it’s only helped my game so far this year.
Nutrition is massive and I’ve always placed a big emphasis on it since I started. Similar to the gym I was fortunate to work with Michelle Hone at the Fit Clinic for a while who’s based here in Malahide. The key for me especially with all my travel is having sufficient protein whilst on the road to hold onto as much muscle as I can if I don’t have access to gyms etc. I do my best to eat healthily. I would say 80% of the time but I also allow plenty of flexibility with things.
I do enjoy to cook but I’m no Gordon Ramsey! Since returning home from college, I've been getting too used to my mother’s home cooking so my culinary skills are a bit rusty!
I’d have to go plain and simple. I’m a fan of Kerrigans Turkey Burgers with some pan-fried potatoes and some veg along with that.
Kerrigan's Wagyu Rib Eye Steak and all the trimmings.
The Royal Melbourne.
I’m sponsored by Srixon so I use Cleveland Wedges and Srixon Irons and Driver. I have a Scotty Cameron putter and Titleist 3 wood.
What do you think are the biggest mistakes you see amateurs make?
I think club golfers get too caught up in playing stableford for their handicaps. At the end of the day no matter what handicap you are, getting the ball in the hole in the least amount of shots is the goal, so I would say focus on strokes rather than points.
What would the Conor of today say to 16-year-old Conor?
Keep the head down, don’t sweat any of the small things. Have a good perspective of things and realise that things will always be ok no matter if you fulfill your dreams or not.