Josh shouldn’t doesn’t need an introduction but just in case we will list some career highlights which will take a while as he has been a prolific winner, 2008 Saskatchewan Open, 2013 WA Open, four wins on the China Tour between 2015 & 2017 and I am trying to work out how many Charles Tour events you have won mate I remember you winning the Carrus Open 3 years on the bounce and have you won Akarana twice? You have also played on both the European Tour and Korn Ferry tours… what are the moments that really stand out for you?
Yeah 3 Tauranga opens and 2 Akarana opens
One of the moments that stood out was playing with Martin Kaymer in the KLM Open 2018, obviously this was a few years after being the number 1 player in the world and he wasn’t on top of his game and I guess I was trying to compare mine to his in a way.
Off the tee, he had plenty of speed but wasn’t really getting it past me as his flight was quite spinney probably going more for control rather than distance. Overall, his game was solid and not overly impressive until he hit 2-3 of the best long iron shots, I’ve ever seen. High, towering and with complete control with what way the ball was shaped into tight flags tucked beside water. I guess this stood out for a couple of reasons 1. everything from the outside looking in seemed to look like the number 1 player in the world he once was and it just goes to show how fine the line is between a good consistent tour player to the number 1 in the world provided you have the skill set or attributes to get to that next level.
Even though we shot similar scores I could see the difference in our games, and I guess I got a good insight on the type of golf shots I needed in my game to get to that top level and to be honest some of them are unrealistic as I don’t have the strength or speed to hit some of those shots. In saying that there are other areas of my game I felt I could make up ground on someone like him but from experience, there are certain types of courses (more and more these days) where his ball-striking was going to be far more advantageous than a tidy short game i.e. major course setups and most PGA tour setups.
How has the professional game in evolved in the time you have been playing, certainly deeper fields but what else stands out?
Yes, deeper fields for sure, seems like every year that goes by it gets more and more competitive out there as now the first wave of kids that grew up watching Tiger do his thing and now almost 30 years old so you have every year after that of hundreds of good players that have had access to sports science equipment and proper coaching both physically and mentally from a young age and also practising like tour pros as teenagers possibly younger. Physically golfers are bigger and stronger now too with more speed because of it and as stats have proven driving distance is almost everything in the modern game.
You currently priorities lie on the European Challenge Tour have you had much communication from them in regards to a schedule for the remainder of 2020?
Yeah, the tours have been great in communicating with the players, but they are still obviously still very uncertain what lies ahead. There have been no events officially rescheduled but as far as I know, they will be trying to play as much as they can from mid-late in the year. Obviously, with the European and Challenge tours playing in so many different countries it makes it much harder than say the PGA tour to reschedule as they need permission from every individual countries’ government and to make sure the players can travel without things like isolation getting in the way. Hopefully, they can put together a schedule soon enough and be back up and running before the years out
Is the European Tour the current goal having held playing rights there in 2018 or is America more where you would ideally like to end up?
PGA tour was always the goal but for now, I think the European Tour is more suited to my game and I do like it over there. Like I mentioned earlier power and driving distance is such a big part in the game and especially in America so I’m probably more suited to Europe for now especially when I still hold playing status there
Not many players out of NZ would have clocked up more air miles than you over the last 15 years have you enjoyed finally getting a decent break albeit an enforced one?
Yeah, to be honest, this forced break has been a blessing in disguise for me, a great chance to refresh and put some work into my body and a proper break from constant travel which I haven’t had in the last 15 years.
What are the things you are needing to improve most going forward into hopefully the Challenge Tour for the remainder of the season?
Getting my body stronger and more consistent day in day out is the key for me and I’ve already made some great progress with that over the break.
A lot of support goes into playing the game these days, coaches, physios, sponsors, managers etc… what sort of team do you have working with you currently?
Absolutely, Ian Godleman has been coaching me the past 2 years and we have made some great progress, it’s been great having him out on the road over this time keeping me on track. He’s taught me a lot.
Trevor Montgomery and Emma Ferris in the Physio department have been a huge help especially over the past 12 months
Autex, Club Car, Carrus and NZ Strong have been amazing sponsors and instrumental in supporting me getting to where I want to be.
Cheers Josh great to chat and much appreciated, all looks to be in great shape once you get back out there.
Article courtesy of the NZ PGA: https://www.pga.org.nz/