Adri Arnaus: Keeping my mind and spirit sharp during these unprecedented times

Adri Arnaus has risen through the ranks of tour golf at sensational speed. He won the Alps Tour Order of Merit in 2017, while still an amateur, after two victories including the tour’s season-ending grand final. He then repeated the feat by winning the Challenge Tour finale in Ras Al Khaimah in 2018 to take second place on the Rankings and gain promotion to the European Tour. His maiden campaign on the Race to Dubai was also a success after he secured a place at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship following three runner-up finishes throughout 2019.

It’s been a strange period for all of us on the European Tour, just as it has for people from all walks of life around the world. I’m currently stuck in Spain, about an hour north of Barcelona – that is where my family are from – unable to get back to my home in Dubai.

I decided to come here after the Qatar Masters to prepare for the Indian Open. I’d had a couple of tournaments where I didn’t play so well and was pushing myself to get better but then the tournament got postponed. We kept rearranging my schedule but almost every day I’d get another notification that another event had been cancelled or postponed and then they shut all the borders around the world so I had to stay in Spain and we had a complete lockdown. All the golf courses have been closed so I’ve just been working on some drills in my garden, working on my putting inside the house and trying to keep fit.


OBSESSED WITH BAKING

Other things have become more important than golf during this period. I’ve been reading a lot of books, spending lots of time with my girlfriend and doing lots of cooking! These are all things I don’t have so much time to do when I’m on Tour. The only downside is, despite only being an hour away from my parents, I’ve only been able to see them on two occasions due to all the restrictions in place. I met a few of my other family members since they run businesses related to food so it was possible to visit them. Just like many other people I’ve also become obsessed with baking and I’d be lying if I said we hadn’t baked a cake every few days! My girlfriend got me into it – I’ve never had so many carbs in my life but it’s not too bad for me as I’m working out every day.

So, I’ve improved my cooking skills a lot and golf has gone down in my daily priorities due to not having the facilities to practice properly but I’m looking forward to putting it back to the top. The golf courses are opening up again here in Spain and they are talking about restarting the European Tour in September so I’m looking forward to getting back out there and getting myself ready.


MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH

My Dad looks after one of the courses near here and he says it’s in such good condition because nobody has played it for nearly two months.

It’s going to be tricky to get up to speed when the European Tour starts up again after such a long break but none of us have had experience of this situation and it’s the same for everyone so we’ll all just have to figure it out in our own way. Hopefully I can play some tournaments in America or Asia before the European Tour starts back up – we’re looking to see where I can get a few tournaments under my belt but it’s all so uncertain you can’t say exactly how you will prepare.

The only thing I can say is that during the lockdown I’ve been reading a lot about mental and spiritual growth – I’ve also been doing yoga – so all these things are going to help me to stay in the present, to focus and be ready for whatever comes in my way.

I don’t know what the situation will be like with the tournaments when they do restart – if the prize money and facilities will be the same as before, who knows? I didn’t really have long enough to get used to the European Tour anyway as I’m only in my second season so it doesn’t really matter to me.

During my time on the Challenge Tour nothing was taken for granted. If you had a players’ lounge then great but if not then you would find somewhere to eat and do your own thing. So, whatever comes is welcome and hopefully we won’t see a big downgrade, but I assume that there will be a set of rules and health guidelines everywhere around the world and we’ll all have to deal with that which I don’t think is a big issue. People might not be able to come and watch us and that is something that I will miss – having the crowd supporting us and keeping us going.

Regarding any potential change in prize funds – for me it’s never been about the money, it’s about having the opportunity to win and being there on those Sundays so if I take care of that and I’m in this position I will enjoy it anyway whether the prize money is more or less.

I look forward to getting back to Dubai once the travel restrictions are more relaxed. I know the weather is already getting hotter there but I studied in Texas so I can handle the heat!

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