Boxing helps Andrew 'Beef' Johnston end lockdown blues

‘It’s been good for my head’: Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston says boxing helped him come out swinging in the English Championship after withdrawing from British Masters as he struggled to adapt to life in golf’s COVID-19 bubble

  • Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston withdrew from the British Masters after nine holes
  • He headed home after saying the stringent Covid-19 protocols were not for him 
  • Johnston has made a good start to the English Championship at Hanbury Manor  
  • The 31-year-old has credited boxing for helping him cope with the golf bubble

Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston has come out swinging in the English Championship at Hanbury Manor after taking up boxing training to cope with life in the golf bubble.

The Londoner has spoken openly about his battles with depression and two years ago revealed that he broke down in tears in his hotel room after an event in South Africa. 

Last month Johnston withdrew after nine holes of the British Masters, the first event of the UK swing, and headed home, saying the stringent Covid-19 protocols were not for him. 

Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston followed a first round 66 with an impressive 65 on Friday and says boxing training has helped improve his state of mind 

Andy Sullivan leads halfway through the British Championship three shots above Johnston

But Johnston, 31, has had a change of heart after hitting the gym — and what a transformation as he followed a first-round 66 with a 65 on Friday to be just three shots behind the halfway leader, Midlander Andy Sullivan. ‘It’s fair to say I wasn’t prepared for it all a couple of weeks ago, it all got to me and I really struggled,’ he said.

‘But I had a week to reflect and what’s helped me is boxing. I’ve done a lot of bag work and it’s been good for my head.

‘There’s a lot of mental similarities between preparing to go into the ring and playing golf.

‘Now I’m just trying to take the same mentality on to the course.’ 

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