The Londoner wrote in a European Tour blog that he pulled out of tournaments due to mental health struggles
Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston Reveals Mental Health Struggles
It has been an incredible few years for Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston who won his first European Tour title along with plenty of cash and plenty of fans across the globe too.
Beef seemingly became a star overnight, going from a young, up-and-coming Tour Pro to one of the biggest names both on these shores and across the pond too.
The Americans took to him like he was one of their own after he finished 8th in the 2016 Open at Troon and then won his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour.
Just like the UK fans, the Americans loved his outgoing demeanour, his huge beard and his love for steak and burgers.
The fanfare in the States also earned him a big sponsorship deal with fast food outlet Arby’s.
Looking in from the outside, it looked like he was living his best life on cloud nine, although the Englishman revealed his painful mental health struggles in a recent blog with the European Tour.
For a one-time European Tour winner with a career-best world ranking of 74th, his story and rise to fame is certainly a unique one.
“You’ve got to remember, I’m a normal geezer from Finchley,” he wrote in his European Tour blog.
“Next thing, I see a poll over in America asking fans, ‘who are you looking forward to seeing more?’. I was above Tiger Woods.”
Beef revealed that he pulled out of numerous tournaments due to his mental health struggles, seemingly completely losing his appetite for golf.
“I came off the course on Sunday at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November and couldn’t even bring myself to go get my clubs from the locker. I just left them. I went straight back to the hotel and just cried,” he wrote.
“I nearly walked off the course at the Australian PGA Championship a few weeks later. It was the end of last year on the Gold Coast, I hit two bad shots, and I couldn’t mentally handle it at all. I had no idea what was going on. I was so angry, so wound up, which is really unlike me. I came off there and cried. I knew then that something wasn’t right.
“I flew to Perth, then went to go to the course and I just said, ‘I can’t do it’. I went back to the hotel room and just thought ‘I’m not going to play’. So I pulled out.”
It’s a sombre read throughout but the blog does end on a high note fortunately, with Beef praising the work he has been doing with psychologist Ben Davies who is getting the Londoner back to a better state of mind.
Davies explained to him that it all started going wrong when he went over to America and shot to stardom.
“Ben telling me what was happening came as quite a nice relief. I was thinking, my god you’re right. It makes sense now, made me feel better and as I said, having that break has been good to help me reflect.”
Perhaps his blog once again highlights that whilst sports stars and celebrities do live privileged lifestyles, living in the public eye can be a very difficult job.
His advice to fellow sports stars and those living in the public eye? Speak to a mental coach or psychologist.
“I’ve been called a “fat f**k” a few times in the States. But you’ve still got to have that bulletproof skin. You’re in the public eye. You can’t say anything. So I think for all sports people, it’s good to have someone they can speak to, a mental coach or a psychologist.”
Beef is now engaged to his fiance Jodie and the pair are expecting a child, and the 30-year-old seems to be in a much better place now despite acknowledging that he still has a long way to go.
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