BEING Adam Scott takes time. A lot of time.
Husband, father, professional golfer, brand ambassador, charity founder and app developer (coming soon to a smartphone near you).
When you are stretched so thin, eventually something’s gotta give and in the case of Scott’s 2017 it was his results on the golf course, in the same manner that a belt might need to drop back a notch at the height of Christmas gluttony.
A tie for sixth at the Players Championship, a top-10 finish at the Masters, record-equalling eighth appearance in the Presidents Cup and $1,695,000 in earnings would be a career year for many professionals trawling the world’s circuits, but for Scott it represented just a second winless full calendar year since turning professional in 2000.
Yet with two-year-old daughter Bo Vera being joined by baby brother Byron in late August, Scott’s own summation of the 12 months just passed was simply “fantastic”.
Fatherhood will do that to you. It forces you to measure success in vastly different ways, but as he begins his 19th year as a professional Scott acknowledges he needs to reinvest more time on the range if he is to avoid another ‘average’ year by his own lofty standards.
The abbreviated schedule he has employed since 2011 in pursuit of peak performance around golf’s biggest tournaments was even more exaggerated in 2017, his 19 events that culminated with the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast in December the fewest of his professional career.
But it wasn’t less play that saw him bow out of the FedEx Cup Playoffs after just one week but rather being unable to find the time to practise at the intensity required to do more than just compete at the highest level, time he intends to find again in 2018.
“For me the challenge is just the demands on your time and that’s not external, that’s from myself,” Scott says. “I want to be with my family as much as I possibly can and spend time with the kids, but I also know what it takes for me to play really good golf. So it’s going to be finding the peace between that battle of where I put my priorities.
“Rather than me being switched on all the time, ‘golf, golf, golf’, thinking about golf, I’m going to have to learn to switch on and off and really kind of compartmentalise those two parts of my life. But physically and everything else, there’s nothing stopping me getting back to the top, it’s just about finding that nice balance in life. When you have that, everyone’s in that nice happy place.”
There will be times this year – occasions that will only grow exponentially until his children reach their independence-seeking teenage years – when the tug on the heartstrings from time-ignorant toddlers will test the strength of his commitment to excellence.
There will also be times when the sanctuary of a driving range and practice facility on the idyllic island of New Providence in the Bahamas that sits on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, mere minutes from his home, will provide sweet relief from the chaos that comes with having two kids under the age of three.
Yet for all the demands on his time in all aspects of his existence, Scott knows that the life he is afforded comes with all the minutes he needs to prepare properly to win golf tournaments.
“I put myself in an environment over there that makes me want to practise,” says Scott of his island paradise.
“You would want to stand out there on that range and hit balls off pure turf all day and not come in. The chipping greens and short-game areas have all the shots, 70 yards of any shot you can imagine. All these kinds of things make the ‘work’ so much fun that you could stand out there and do it all day. And it’s all very close proximity to home, so travel times aren’t too bad.
“I’m sure I can manage to do both, a lot of great players have; it’s just about making those small adjustments in your head and getting very organised. That’s the big thing. Seems like whether you’ve got kids or not, time for everyone seems to just go quickly these days. No one’s got enough time to do anything and you’ve just got to get very organised.”
For one of the most gifted golfers Australia has ever produced, at 37 years of age there is indeed no time quite like the present.