It may not be considered typical golf training but running ultra-marathons has given Stackstown professional, Josh Adams, a new appreciation for the power of mind over matter, writes Paul Kelly.
The 27-year-old who recently qualified as a PGA professional, has a passion for coaching, one that was piqued by the images of Tiger Woods and Butch Harmon sweeping all before them in the early 90s.
In contrast, his taste for endurance events is a more recent development. In fact, he admits that while interested in most sports, athletics was never top of the list.
Yet, the experience of completing his first 100k ultra-marathon in June is already having an impact on how he coaches his students.
The initial plan was for Adams and two friends, Stephen Flynn and Ethan Doyle to compete in the (130km) Dun Laoghaire Iron-Man challenge in August but somewhere along the way, the 100km Portumna Forest Ultra-Marathon got slotted in as a bit of a warm-up.
“I always felt I was mentally strong, but during that run, I fell twice, broke down crying twice and spent 25 minutes in an ambulance but I still finished it in just over 14 hours,” said Josh who admitted that the trio may have been somewhat ill-prepared for the challenge.
“The first few hours were fine but I really struggled after 50km. My whole body was telling me to stop but I somehow managed to keep going although I’m not sure how I did it.
“I definitely didn’t want to let the other two lads down and that was a factor. It proved to me that with the right mindset you can battle through.
“Taking that to the golf environment I’ve tried to introduce more pressure into my sessions. It’s the Dave Aldred approach of practicing with consequences, challenging students to produce with something on the line for them.”
Far from putting the trio off, they stepped up their training after Portumna and breezed through the Ironman challenge. They have one more ultra-marathon to complete before the end of October and have already raised €2000 for charity.
“I actually think it’s helped my own golf as well,” added Josh. “When you’ve put yourself through that, a missed shot here or there doesn’t seem such a big deal.”