A session with renowned performance coach Dave Alred has given Travis Smyth the tools he believes will allow him to maximise his enormous potential and move towards a place on the PGA TOUR.
One of 13 Australians teeing it up at the Sarawak Championship in Malaysia as the Asian Tour resumes its 2019 schedule this week, Smyth has been reinvigorated by Alred’s approach to performance and how he has incorporated those teachings into his practice.
The man who engineered the deadly left boot of former England fly half Jonny Wilkinson, Alred has shot to prominence in golf circles recently through his work with Francesco Molinari and in Australia has worked with both the Queensland Reds rugby and Brisbane Lions AFL teams.
Frustrated that he wasn’t putting four rounds together on a more consistent basis, Smyth sought out Alred’s input and is confident the day they spent together at St Michael’s Golf Club will soon deliver better results.
“Most people get confidence from their results but to actually get better lies in the long days of practice,” said Smyth, who funded the session using scholarship funds from Golf Australia.
“I feel like if you can get that better it’s the missing link that a lot of people don’t get right.
“Since seeing Dave I feel like I’m going to be on track.
“It was definitely worth the money and I’ll be doing it again for sure. I just wish I’d done it sooner.”
Coached by John Serhan at St Michael’s in Sydney’s south, Smyth’s best result this year was a tie for 13th at the New Zealand Open, recently finishing third at the Mercedes-Benz Gold Coast Sanctuary Cove Professional Shootout.
His sole top 10 in Asia came last September at The 34th Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea and he admitted that it was a lack of consistency that drove him into the arms of Alred.
“I just felt as though I wasn’t really playing to my potential enough,” said Smyth, 24.
“I haven’t put together four good rounds in quite some time. There have been times where I’ve played well for two rounds and then dropped off. There’s just been something getting in the way.
“The basis of what Dave works on centres around practice in a performance mindset.
“What I really liked about it was that when I used to practise I never felt like I do on the golf course unless I was playing for money, and even then it was only $10 or $20 so it didn’t matter that much if you lost.
“Dave brings that intensity with his scoring system and because you have to record your scores you don’t want to write down a crap score.
“Since seeing him, when I get home at night and think about the day I feel as though I’ve achieved something. I’ve practised at a really good intensity and I go to bed feeling good about the day.”
The 2017 champion will return to Darwin for the Northern Territory PGA Championship next week before a run of tournaments in Asia that will take him up to First Stage of Qualifying School for the Korn Ferry Tour that he hopes will serve as a springboard to the PGA TOUR.
“I’d love to play really well and lock up my card in Asia over this stretch of events and go to Q School with a bit less pressure and hopefully get my card,” said Smyth.
“I’d love to play a full season on that tour and then the PGA TOUR is within reach.
“I’ve never felt that my game was not up to any level at all, the reason why I saw Dave was that I felt like I wasn’t playing well enough for my capability.
“Once I start playing how I feel like I can, I’m not going to feel uncomfortable on any tour.”
The other Aussies joining Smyth at Damai Golf and Country Club this week are Adam Blyth, Andrew Dodt, Daniel Fox, Daniel Gale, Daniel Nisbet, David Gleeson, Jarryd Felton, Josh Younger, Scott Hend, Simon Hawkes, Steven Jeffress and Terry Pilkadaris.
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