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off season

How would you spend the off season if you were a tour star?

You’re a top-60 member of the European Tour. Do you shut things down for Christmas after Dubai or extend your season by hopping around the world?
 

What would you be getting up to in the golf off season if you were a leading light on the European Tour? Dan Murphy, Steve Carroll and Joe Hughes join me to let their minds run free…

Dan: It never fails to amaze me how many tour pros miss big events during what I still, rather quaintly, like to think of as ‘the season’. You know, the bit when there are majors and it’s summer in Europe and the USA. Then, at this time of the year, they are like party guests overstaying their welcome. They just keep popping up in weird places.

You would think they had had enough by now, and would be thinking about what it was they needed to improve on before it all starts again next year. Or just taking a month away from the spotlight. But no, they just keep churning it out. Personally, as a fan, the events just lack any kind of context at this time of year.

Steve: I love golf and I don’t have any enthusiasm to even watch the South African Open or the Alfred Dunhill Championship. If I was an established European Tour star, you wouldn’t see me again until Abu Dhabi. Let the peasants fight for the crumbs…

Joe: I’d definitely be chucking the clubs in the garage and taking some time off.  If I’ve finished inside the top 50 on the Race to Dubai then chances are I’ve picked up at least €750,000 this year so it’s about time I spent some of that.

The Hong Kong Open, Alfred Dunhill, Mauritius and Australian PGA don’t really float my boat to any magical extent so some time off away from the stresses of the game sounds like the best idea. I’d be travelling the world for 11 months of the year so a month spent at home would be more than welcome.

My verdict: This is my holiday time so this would be my version of some backpacking though with my clubs in tow.

I actually think the cramped nature of Hong Kong (above) would suit my game, so that would always be on my schedule, and then I would head straight to my favourite part of the world, Australia. If there were the chance to do the Neighbours Tour again in Melbourne then so much the better.  

Then I’d be bobbing back to South Africa to celebrate their recent World Cup triumph. 

Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

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