Golf ace reveals challenges of being a pro

He's one of Australia's hottest young golf talents but burnt out Lucas Herbert has opened up on the challenges of life as a touring professional.

12-Nov-2019 By Darren Walton, Australian Associated Press
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He travels the world playing for millions every week but a burnt-out Lucas Herbert says being a professional golfer isn't all it's cracked up to be.

A year after finishing runner-up at the Portugal Masters and qualifying for the British Open, Herbert has revealed why he's taken time out after suffering from second-season syndrome on the European Tour.

One of Australia's hottest young talents, Herbert said falling out of love with the game almost led to him to walk away at just 23.

"Halfway through the year, when I came home from the Irish and Scottish Opens, I didn't even know if I wanted to play golf anymore because I just didn't enjoy the game," the Victorian said on the PGA Golf Club podcast.

"I was playing great (but I) didn't enjoy the game, didn't enjoy the grind, didn't enjoy the many sacrifices that you have to make to play well.

"I just was not in a place where I wanted to make them.

"I was like 'if I lose my tour card this year, I'll happily go home and get a job as a chippy or a carpenter or something like that."

Fortunately for Herbert he secured his full 2020 playing rights in Europe with a brilliant back-nine 30 in the final round of last month's France Open.

That allowed him to finish his season early, even though another decent showing in Portugal the following week could have earned him a place in the year-end playoffs.

"The thought of me still being out there playing, it almost makes me cringe about what sort of state I would have been in," Herbert said.

"It feels like it's been about an 18-month grind out in Europe and it's very nice to get a break away from it and going back to being a 23-year-old back at home and doing what 23-year-olds and hanging out with my mates."

Herbert, who famously slept in the car park at Carnarvon Golf Club before successfully qualifying for the 2016 Australian Open in Sydney, knows many people think he has the dream job.

"But I flip that and say you guys have my dream job because you get to go home every night and see your family and kids and wife and sleep in your own bed every night," the homesick Victorian said.

"Once you leave work, you never have to take work home with you. You get up the next morning and work again.

"And it's pretty fixed as to what you get paid every year. You're not worried about where your next pay cheque is coming from."

Herbert said finding a work-life balance helped him fall back in love with golf and he is excited about returning for the Australian Open in Sydney from December 5-8.


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