Andrew 'Beef' Johnston taking new approach ahead of Abu Dhabi return
By Keith Jackson and Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 15/01/20 7:36pm
Andrew 'Beef' Johnston is looking ahead to 2020 with a refreshed perspective having become a father for the first time towards the end of last year.
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In the first of a three-part interview with the charismatic Englishman, Johnston reflects on his first Christmas with his young family and reveals how becoming a responsible parent has given him a different outlook for the year ahead.
Johnston's fiancee, Jodie Valencia, gave birth to the couple's new daughter, Harley, in early December and he has not played competitive golf since as he gets to grips with changing nappies and the occasional sleepless night.
"It has been amazing," declared the proud new dad. "With Jodie being pregnant there's like a long build-up to it, but when it actually happens you can't really describe it. It's mad and, no matter what people have said, it has been better than what people have said.
"I think I've learnt to change a nappy a lot better in the last month I'd say and I've learnt to deal with a bit less sleep, but it has just been great.
"I was quite nervous anticipating it and bought a few books. I was thinking, 'ah, I've got to read these and there's like two weeks left', and then all of a sudden, when she came, you just learn and get on with it. It's one of those things I just thought, 'straight in, let's go!'. The last six weeks have just been amazing.
"To have Christmas at home together as a family was really cool. I kept saying and laughing that she's got no idea it's Christmas, but it was just great to spend some time with them and chill out."
The new addition to the Johnston family came at an unfortunate time in terms of Johnston's momentum on the course, the 30-year-old finishing tied for fourth at the Italian Open to record his third top-10 finish in five starts, but Beef had no issues with putting family first.
Beef, who has announced a partnership with PUMA Golf, added: "It puts everything into perspective and she's way more important than golf. Obviously I'm still going to be playing golf and it's always going to be a big part of my life.
"It was tough missing the end of the season, obviously. I did want to play through and I probably would have played Turkey and South Africa, but we'd had a few problems with the hospitals and they had been a bit of a nightmare.
"We had a lot to catch up on and a lot still to do, and it just wasn't worth the stress on Jodie really to do it, so I just decided to take it off. There's going to be a million more tournaments and that was only a couple of events to miss."
With his dad duties accomplished over the last six weeks, Johnston is now looking forward to getting back to business at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which he will start with a new outlook on life in general with golf no longer at the top of his priorities.
"I got caught up too much in a bubble for a couple of years in thinking that golf is the most important thing in the world," added Johnston, who ended 2019 ranked 152nd in the world having slipped to 337th following a missed cut at the Irish Open.
"Golf is obviously important to me and I want to become as good as I can potentially be and try and win more tournaments and try and get my world ranking higher, but family always comes first and that's always going to outweigh golf," he said.
"I think that's a nice thing to have in the back of your mind. If you're not having the best day it's alright, because I've got my family and I know that I can come back and have another crack at it tomorrow.
"There's always that thing of putting too much pressure on one event or one day. You might have a good day or a bad day or whatever, it just means you can go again and have another crack.
"The real important things that matter are your family and your friends."
Beef will wear PUMA Golf's SS'20 Collection on the course for the 2020 season. Visit PUMA.com to get your hands on the collection.