‘I lost my appetite for the game last year – but it’s back now’ – Tyrrell Hatton targets Abu Dhabi double

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Tyrrell Hatton went through a grueling two-week ‘training camp’ to try and regain the drive that saw him claim a memorable Abu Dhabi Championship triumph early last year after admitting that he had lost some of his ‘appetite’ for the game.

Hatton admits his season was mostly downhill after the win, and attributes the downfall to a lack of motivation and a growing sense of frustration that he wasn’t in top form.

The Englishman, 30, admits how he feels about his body shape has a big impact on his performance as a golfer.

It was the reason for the two weeks of intensive training in Florida before he flew to defend his title in Abu Dhabi, with hours of work in the gym interspersed with 90-minute tennis sessions and numerous sessions of jogging.

He said: “It wasn’t about me going up and down hills with a big backpack – it was boot camp, not hell camp! It was always a big thing for me. me, being aware of your body and weight, so getting back to the gym and working hard was very important, especially after three weeks around Christmas where I was doing very little and having a few drinks most nights.

“Luckily I feel better in the clothes I’m wearing and I’ve lost a few inches around my waist. But it wasn’t just about those few weeks at the end of last year. Winning at Abu Dhabi was obviously an amazing way to start 2021. Unfortunately, from then on it didn’t improve.

“Getting a win like that early on is good for confidence. And I was on a great run at that point in my career – it was my fourth win in about 20 months, and obviously that was great. But I seemed to let things slide, and I think that’s where I was mentally to be honest.

“In 2020, I worked pretty hard in the gym throughout the year. I was in much better physical shape, more comfortable with my own skin. And I think that helped me allowed to go and play the best golf.

“Certainly in the second half of last year I wasn’t training. I wasn’t very motivated to train either. I’m about to start my ninth year on the European tour and to be Honest, maybe I lost a bit of my appetite last year. And I need to get it back. So there’s a combination of things. It’s not always simple.

Tyrrell Hatton

Tyrrell Hatton after winning the championship in 2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hatton says he’s always been somewhat reluctant when it comes to practicing at the range – “I’d much rather play” – but he knew the time was right to put on the hard graft and try to rediscover the missing fire.

He added: “That’s why I flew to Orlando on New Year’s Eve and did this two-week training and training camp, to really get back to it. I needed to find the motivation to go and do it.. Practice went well, but I still struggle with practice hours, and when I get to the shooting range, I still have the impression of simply following the movements.

“I find it a chore sometimes, so it’s a work in progress, for sure. My dad would say I haven’t felt like training since I was about ten, so this is not new. But at the moment, it certainly seems more difficult for me to go to the range to go through this process. I do it however, because I know that I have to change my results.

“Fortunately, I’m a very competitive person. My results aren’t going so well, and that’s disappointing. When you’re up there in the mix and you know, you have that nervous energy, that’s what we want to live every week.

“It won’t happen every week, but I know if I put in hard miles it will happen more often. So that’s the path I’m on right now.”

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