Player Blog: Adam Scott – Articles – Rolex Series
In this week’s Players Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Adam Scott talks about the start of his year in the Middle East, his turning point last year and why the majors keep him motivated.
It’s kinda hard to believe it’s been 20 years since I played here. Surprisingly, it just didn’t come at the right time because in that time I’ve played the area several times, but not the Desert Classic. So it’s fun to come back here to this event and more generally to come back to the Middle East.
Obviously I don’t know it very well because it’s been so long, but oddly this course must have impressed me because I remember the shapes and directions of all the holes quite well. Maybe not so much the intricacies of each hole, but I think it’s such a well-known event around the world and I’ve watched it over the years too that it’s fresh in mind, and I feel good about it.
It’s a bit of a new start for the new year, and it’s a new calendar for me. I enjoy it a lot because I’ve unfortunately reached that point where things get the same every year and it’s a bit monotonous to play the same events for 20 years. So having something new is very nice.
It also seemed to have a purely geographical meaning. I have been back to Europe for the last two years during this Covid period and have settled in Crans with my family and children so it is a much shorter trip to start the year and they can also join me . I have to do things now to make things as easy as possible, but when you have two Rolex Series events to start the year in this kind of climate, why don’t you come? It’s an exciting change and I hope it starts my year off on the right foot.
I think for this year the main thing for me is balance. Because I live in Europe – once the FedEx Cup season is over – it might be very convenient for me to play other events on the DP World Tour. I loved playing at Wentworth last year, and I plan to play in Scotland this summer, so if there is an opportunity later in the year to go and play in Europe, I hope the family can join me, and everything is very easy because it’s a little closer.
A top ten last week was a great way to start the year. I played quite well in general. It was pretty tough for a few windy days and a top ten is good, but I felt like I had a chance on the back nine on Sunday to win. There are ifs and buts of course, but I was right there and would love to be somewhere similar this week, and I think my game is in pretty good shape to put me in the hunt.
It’s great to be in this position with my game now, because at one point in the middle of last year, through the Open Championship, it was quite a frustrating run. I was playing well but not getting results, and it’s a results-oriented industry. So some things have to be sorted out. There were a few things I identified but it was also just the Covid drag and definitely trying to play the PGA TOUR but not being based in the US which was very difficult. As with everyone at some point, the frustrations with all the difficulty of getting around caught up with me.
I really had to change everything because I had a very global team, and we had become used to being able to operate to live wherever we wanted. My coach lived in Hawaii, my coach lived in London and I lived in Switzerland and nobody could meet to see each other. I spent very little time with my coach, and I don’t even work with that coach anymore because it just wasn’t possible. So there’s been a lot of changes, and until last summer I felt like a lot of balls were in the air and nothing was very calm or consistent and it was always going juggle with something.
But you’re constantly learning in this game. And for me, it’s been a good time – if there’s a good time – to reset things. I feel like I struggled through that and faced a few things that were harder to deal with, and at least I feel like I got out of it.
I probably set my expectations wrong at the start of last year, but when you’re competitive it’s very hard to lower them. I expect to play at a very high level and if I don’t I won’t even really have a job. You can make a lot of excuses, but I don’t think apologies will get you very far on a competitive Tour like this, so you just have to find a way to deal with the situation you find yourself in. here for 20 years, I know things don’t always go to plan, especially in golf because it’s a tough game. So even though I got frustrated when I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, I never let that bring me to the breaking point.
There was definitely a turning point with all of this last year where it became a little more manageable. It was more of a gradual thing, and I think it was probably more related to getting some of my golf-specific stuff online first. It was even down to the guy from Titleist who matched me. I hadn’t seen him for 18 months and was using a driver he didn’t particularly like for me. I saw it last summer, and just changing that had a ripple effect on everything improved in the bag. I was hitting the pilot better, and because of that, the confidence improved a bit, and it’s so crazy that a little thing like that helped me. But the pilot is an important club for me. When I look at last year, from February to July, I felt like I was pushing him in the rough all the time, but when I swing well I drive the ball very well and that confidence filters through the bag.
And as I got into the end of last year and adjusted some aspects of golf like my driver, I was able to start seeing the positives again. This was obviously very helpful and made it easier for me to adapt my attitude from ‘I’m done with this’ to ‘I can’t wait to play and embark on a new season’.
My game is in a really good place right now, and it’s in a place where I feel like I can get results. Obviously, I hope to be able to be in contention this week, but the trick is to manage all this well over the next few months. I’m already thinking about the Masters, and there are a lot of big events in between, but all I’m doing until then is preparing for the Masters. My stats last week were definitely better than last year and I’d like to continue like that, so if I hit him like that, it gives me some leeway. Hopefully I now have a week or two where the short game intensifies and a few more come in.
I think it’s pretty easy for me to stay motivated because I haven’t really achieved everything I want to achieve. When you take it all away, that’s it. There are a few more checkboxes on that list of things, and that’s my goal now as long as I’m here. Watching Mickelson win a major championship at the age of 51 certainly gives me hope that I can still play at a high level for another ten years and more. I know he put in an incredible amount of work to be able to do that and I don’t take that for granted, but I feel like I could do it and play well in the years to come and hopefully , remain a leading player.
It’s a big year. I’m in good physical and mental condition, and I’m still in what I would still call the prime of my career. I have a lot of experience behind me so it’s time to take advantage of everything I’ve put into my career at this point and hopefully find myself in situations where I can be successful on Sunday and win big events and maybe tick a few of the boxes I have left.
The Majors really are what define careers, more than ever. I would like to win more and be a multiple winner. At this point, I must be greedy because I don’t have much time. Granted, the Open Championship is unfinished business for me, but I’m not going to be picky – I’ll take any!