By Chris Vogt
There’s a point in every pro golfer’s career when he decides to call time on the weekly tournament grind.
For seasoned Australian Nick O’Hern this came three years ago. After two decades as a successful touring professional, O’Hern stepped away, not just from the tour, but from the game itself. It was an opportunity to reset, to re-evaluate, and enjoy the life he’d built in Orlando, Florida.
“I missed plenty of my kids’ early years,” O’Hern said after completing his third round at the Australian Open in Sydney on the weekend.
“I want to be around more now they’re teenagers.” He also has a burgeoning career as a writer and mentor to focus on.
A social game with a friend led to O’Hern writing a book about the mental side of golf.
“My friend asked me a technical question during a round,” recalls O’Hern. “After I’d explained my view on the issue he was having, he suggested I get this stuff down on paper.”
The result is ‘Tour Mentality’, an enlightening and easily accessible take on the less practised element of the game.
Self-published last year, the book is rare in that it was written by a player rather than a sports psychologist. And one whom Gary Player picked for the President’s Cup when he wanted a mentally tough competitor. Player wrote the foreword to the book which has plenty to offer both the young pro and club golfer.
It also is providing O’Hern with a platform for other work. He has spruiked the book to colleges in the U.S., offering it as something their golf teams might benefit from. O’Hern has a run workshops for the teams, and this mentoring is something he’s keen to do more of.
“There is so much young talent about, and I think they’d gain from some tips on the mental approach to the game. Unfortunately, they don’t seem that interested at present. I wish I’d had someone to learn that side from when I was a young pro.”
O’Hern is a popular fixture on the corporate day and pro-am circuit, and his family is a priority. He created a website for the book and has been blogging, but admits he needs to do more to market the book.
“Self-publishing means self-promoting. It’s hard work.”
There is also the lure of the Champions Tour, which O’Hern will be eligible for in 2021.
I’ll probably have a crack. But there’s only 5 cards available. We’ll see.”
One of the key themes of the book is around “learning to play like a kid again.” Easier said than done, of course, in a game which requires the patience born of maturity. But Nick O’Hern may be onto something. You’re never too old to be young again.
Nick O’Hern’s book, Tour Mentality – Inside the Mind of a Tour Pro, is available through the recommended Booktopia Australian outlet linked below.
Ever wondered what tour pros are thinking? Every golfer out there wants to lower their scores and unlock the secret to the game. Now you can go inside the mind of a tour pro that lived, breathed, and played golf at the highest level. Learn from someone who couldn’t break 80 to become the 16th best player in the world, and the only man to beat World No. 1 Tiger Woods twice in match play. Nick O’Hern was a grinder on Tour extracting every ounce of ability from what he’d been given. Proving even if you aren’t the most physically gifted golfer, you can still compete with anyone if you’re mentally tough.
That’s the secret that allowed him to forge a successful career in a sport that’s one of the toughest to do so, and it’s the secret he offers in these pages. What’s your pre-shot routine? How do you prepare for your next round of golf? How should you practice and how do you beat first-tee nerves? These are just some of the questions he answers to bring you inside the mind of a tour pro and learn the Tour Mentality.
About Nick O’Hern
Nick O’Hern is a native of Perth, Australia. He spent two decades playing professional golf across the globe at the highest level. From his early days on the PGA Tour of Australasia, he went on to a successful career on the European Tour before heading to the United States to compete on the PGA Tour for nine years. O’Hern represented Australia at two World Cups and was a member of the International team at two Presidents Cups. He is the only man to have beaten Tiger Woods twice in the World Match Play Championship. O’Hern now lives in Orlando, Florida, with his wife, Alana, and daughters, Riley and Halle.