TJ Ford is back in work and hoping to find the perfect work/life balance this season as he looks to banish memories of a disappointing 2022.
Ford is a player of pedigree and had his breakthrough year in 2021, winning the South of Ireland Amateur Championship and representing Ireland on the victorious Home Internationals side.
The Sligo native took the plunge on a career break to try his hand at full-time amateur golf, but quickly found the going tough as he saw his enjoyment seep out of the game while solely focusing on results.
The former Connacht rugby hopeful is looking to get back to enjoying his golf in 2023 and not let results or rankings weigh him down. Already feeling positive about the year since becoming Operations Manager in Lahinch Golf Club, Ford is hoping to rekindle the work/golf marriage of 2021.
“Definitely had a disappointing year last year, I think. I’m back working full time now so I’m not a full-time golfer anymore,” said Ford who has begun his preparations for next month’s West of Ireland Championship at his home club, Rosses Point.
“I’m hoping with that comes lower expectations and just a bit more of a fun aspect of it rather than trying to make it onto panels and trying to make teams.
“As much as I’d love to represent Ireland again, it’s not the end of season goal or anything like that. The goal is to play as many events as possible and enjoy them when I do and hopefully the result of that is that I play well.
“As much as I tried to not get in my own way and get into that mindset, you do find yourself looking at the WAGR a lot and order of merits and dates on the calendar for team selections and it’s just not fun when you’re going abroad and missing cuts, as privileged as I was to have that opportunity it just isn’t fun.
“Back to the 2021 frame of mind where it was work and golf is a hobby again. As much as I want o play well and I want to win championships, it’s not the end of the world. Play your game and go in and have a beer with the lads and enjoy the craic that goes with it.
“I don’t know where my game is at right now in terms of competing in the West, the facilities at Lahinch are world class but hitting into a screen is different to when you get a bit of wind and the weather that comes around Easter, so we’ll see,” added Ford who would dearly love to etch his name onto the famous winners board in Co. Sligo GC.
Life is good for the 25-year-old at present having been offered the role of Operations Manager in Lahinch in January after working in his home club in Sligo.
Ford is enjoying his work which he hopes will transfer onto the golf course. He is helped to remember the good times every day, after all, Lahinch is the site of his South of Ireland victory and the picture is there to match. Jon Rahm who?
“I really enjoyed the work but just found that I wanted to spread my wings and learn the ropes away from home, the job in Lahinch came up and I got it.”
“I’m here two months and it has been brilliant. It’s a really cool spot and there’s great mentorship in Paddy Keane the GM.
“My picture is on the wall, it’s kind of hidden away so I’m working on getting it a bit more front and centre but no it’s cool, it’s deadly.”
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