“Anxiety tore my golf apart,” says Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston

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The Englishman revealed he was forced to pull out of several tournaments as he battled his anxiety.

Johnston shared details of his struggles with mental health in the European Tour players’ blog in July.

Beef, 30, became a cult figure amongst golf fans around the time of the 2016 Open on account of his distinctive look and his friendly demeanour.

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The 2016 Spanish Open champion’s open and honest discussion surrounding his problems will no doubt have had a profound effect on others dealing with anxiety.

In an interview with Soccer AM’s ‘Tubes’, the European Tour player spoke about the torment his mental health was causing him, with his golf game suffering as a result.

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“Definitely speaking about it has really helped,” he said.

“I’ve always said it how it is anyway, so the reason I took time off earlier in the season was because I wasn’t myself. It wasn’t affecting me when I was away from the golf course, I was fine, but as soon as I stepped back on to the golf course or thought about tournaments, the anxiety and the worry about golf tournaments, I couldn’t play.

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“So I pulled out of a load of golf tournaments last minute, I don’t know why but I just couldn’t be there. I think not knowing why, was frustrating me the most about it.

“My fiancée Jodie and helped me, and she found a psychologist and once I started to work with him, things just began to make sense after a while.

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“I didn’t realise after 2016, going to America in 2017 with the build-up and the amount of pressure that I put on myself was just crazy. I was expecting to go there and just win tournaments and you’re thinking ‘if you don’t, people aren’t gonna like you’. So much pressure.”

“I wasn’t myself on the golf course, I was miserable, I was angry, I didn’t want to be involved with the crowd, I just wanted to get away from it. 

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“Away from the course I was fine, we could go out and have fun, go for dinner, whatever – fine. As soon as I started thinking about golf and even building up to a tournament, I just wanted to smash something and I was angry already before I even went to the tournament.”

You can watch the full interview below:

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