There has been a lot of hype around Andrew 'Beef Johnston's great performances since 2016. His popularity among golf fans grew quickly, and expectations from him were high. Four years ago, this great golfer spoke openly about his mental health struggles.
However, Johnston decided to speak to Robbie Savage now and talk openly about his problems again. It was primarily due to his self-imposed pressure that he had such difficult times.
“All of a sudden, I would stand on a range next to your Rory’s or Ricky Fowler’s, whoever it was, and I'd be like, ‘this is ridiculous, I'm not supposed to be here’.
The pressure I put on myself after that and I had to try and win every week, which is just so unrealistic. But I didn't know that was happening. So, the more pressure I've put on myself, the worse I played, the more wound up I got, the more pressure I felt because I wasn't performing.
It was like a big sort of rabbit hole or spiral, you could have called it, to the point where you couldn't get me on a golf course”. - he said, as quoted by golfmonthly.com! After the injury he had, Johnstone had to go to surgery.
Those were difficult moments for him. He asked himself a question; Will I end my career? "There have been periods of time, especially after I had surgery in Singapore where you question, are you going to play again? While being in Singapore in a hotel room, Johnston had dark thoughts that he was struggling with.
“I remember we were on the 19th floor, and something had rattled me, and I was in a really dark place and the thoughts start popping into your head and it's like, 'what would happen if I just jumped off? What would happen?'” Jodie, his wife, was the biggest support for him during that period.
“She has been amazing, so so understanding. Without her, I don’t know where I’d be."
Johnstone and his conversation with the psychologist
Sports psychologist Steve Peters was a key figure in his recovery.
He will never forget the conversation he had with Peters. Namely, Steve set him on the right path and showed him that there are much more important things than golf. Every person should understand that he is the most important to himself!
“We had a few chats, and it was a case of breaking down and sort of rewiring my brain and understanding what actually happens. I felt like a big weight had been lifted and they told me something really, really interesting.
I'll never forget it. Quite morbidly, they said, you're lying on your death bed, what do you want to be remembered by? I just said, 'I just want to be Beef or Andrew, whatever, hang out with my mates, be that silly funny character.
Have a laugh, have a good time, be remembered as a nice person'. He went, 'you didn't mention a golf tournament' And I was like, no I didn't. He was like, 'it's not that important, is it?' It gave me a big slap of reality and that's stayed with me forever”.