Nick O’Hern talks with D3 about his new book, HOW TO PLAY YOUR BEST GOLF
I’ve played golf for a very long time. 42 years to be exact, and what a fascinating journey it’s been so far. Every time I tee it up, I still learn about my game. Growing up in Australia I enjoyed other sports like baseball, soccer, basketball, and tennis. But with the team sports, a good performance sometimes still meant a loss. What drew me to golf was I controlled my destiny (well, for the most part) and the result was up to me. Invariably there was a little ‘something’ on the side for incentive too. It might have only been for 20 cents or a can of coke, but there was always something to play for. This taught me how to cope with pressure, plus I loved the competition. And whether playing with friends or people I didn’t know; the game always brought us closer together by the end of 18 holes.
Nick's new book is available at select Independent Bookstores or at Amazon.com
As an amateur and a pro, I’ve seen all sides to the game – the highs, lows, and everything in between. My professional career began as a teaching pro and in a way, I’ve come full circle, because after playing competitively all over the world for 20 years, I’m now back to helping golfers again, but in a different way. Several years ago, I wrote my first book, Tour Mentality – Inside the Mind of a Tour Pro, to offer an insight into how to think better on the course. My latest book, How to Play Your Best Golf, is about just that – how to play the game to the best of your ability. Most instructional books are about technique. But I don’t like telling golfers how to swing the club or what the correct putting stroke is. Everyone has their own style, signature in a way. Instead, my book is about all the things you don’t learn on the driving range. For example, how to play in the wind, off a downhill lie, what to do in a fairway bunker, how to control your wedges, read greens, and so on. It’s a bevy of information on what I’ve learned over the years that can help you in the years to come.
The book is divided into five sections – strategy, preparation, mental game, scoring clubs, and a final section on why golf is a game like no other. The last chapter is on how I’m a bit old school, playing by feel and using just a half set these days. However, don’t get me wrong, in tournaments I use everything accessible to me, and for all golfer’s, using available technology is like having a good caddie on the bag. For example, the GPS in the D3 app saves a lot of angst about yardages and the best areas to play to. Ultimately, the key to playing ‘your’ best golf is to figure out what works for you, and hopefully my book points you in the right direction.
Nick O'Hern is a Board Member of D3 Golf and better known as the guy who beat Tiger at Match Play, twice! O'Hern took up golf at the age of nine and plays left-handed. He turned professional in 1994. He was successful at the European Tour qualifying school at his first attempt in 1998 and played regularly on the European Tour from 1999 through 2007. He has not won on the European Tour, but had two second-place finishes in 2003, two more in 2004 and one each in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2005, O'Hern began to play quite regularly in the United States. He was not a member of the PGA Tour, but having reached the top twenty of the Official World Golf Rankings, he received a substantial number of invitations and sponsors exemptions for PGA Tour events. In 2006 he became a member of the PGA Tour on the basis of his membership of the International Team at the 2005 Presidents Cup, and has since played mostly on that tour.
Also in 2006, O'Hern won the Australian PGA Championship, after he holed out from the greenside bunker for birdie on the fourth hole of a two-man play-off with Peter Lonard. The win brought to an end a seven-year drought for O'Hern, and propelled him to the top of the PGA Tour of Australasia's Order of Merit for 2006. He has won five tournaments in Australia, and continues to play on the PGA Tour of Australasia during the northern hemisphere winter.
O'Hern has featured in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings, and he is the only player who has beaten Tiger Woods in matchplay more than once. He is coached by Neil Simpson of the Mount Lawley Golf Club in Perth, Western Australia.
Read more about Nick O'Hern on his website.