The curtain came down on Garrick’s 2020 season with three weeks in South Africa playing in Johannesburg, Leopard Creek and Sun City. It was not quite the finish he was looking for with only one cut made and a 47th place in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek. However, it was further experience gained playing on the European Tour.
Reflecting on the season Garrick was very excited at the outset. Back in November 2019, he successfully gained his European Tour card at qualifying school for the 2020 season. Five years as a pro and he had finally done it! He felt confident about the year ahead and what he had been working on with his coaches John Harrison (swing & short game coach), Nick Grantham (strength & conditioning), Darren Wigg (physiotherapist) and Andy Paisley (putting coach).
The first event of his 2020 season started in Leopard Creek GC in South Africa, one of his favourite places to go and play. He successfully finished 11th and it was a great start to the year. A series of missed cuts followed and then in March, Covid-19, lockdown and bubble became the key words. The 2020 schedule stopped for over three months.
The light at the end of the tunnel came in the form of the UK Swing, starting at Close House GC. It was amazing for Garrick to tee it up in a local event on the highest stage. The final day was not his best but after four months off he would have taken it.
The European Tour bubble is an excellent model for safety but it has been a strange existence for many and Garrick was no different. He commented:
“That's why I have had my wife, my dad or one of my mates carrying my bag so we can have a bit of banter and a laugh. It has been very noticeable that quite a lot of the players are doing this now because things are socially different on tour and you don't get the opportunity to interact with everyone”.
He went on to say:
“I think this is why it helped me so much at the Scottish Championship at Fairmont St Andrews. My relaxed attitude all week helped me to finish 4th, the best result I've ever had on the European Tour. I felt so comfortable that final day playing in the last group. It’s always something you work towards, but you can never replicate that experience unless you are in the heat of battle. There were so many positives to take from that week!”
Garrick is very fortunate to be in the position of keeping his card for the 2021 season. It’s almost been like having a taster year out on the European Tour before the real show begins in January. He has learnt so much about himself and his game that he can use moving forward. He believes the biggest thing for him is consistency.
Not everyone sees the amount of hard work that goes into performing at the highest stage. Garrick is very lucky to have the support network he has to push him forward. Additionally, to compete on the European Tour he could not do what he does without his sponsors Puma, Cobra, Titleist, Penny Petroleum, Brian Walker and MHA Tait Walker. Their support to him from the get go has been amazing and he cannot thank them enough.
Garrick finished 145th on the Road to Dubai and he knows next year it will be for real. He is fired up to learn the lessons from 2020, work hard and get ready to retain his European Tour card in 2021.