It’s no secret that I’m a massive “Beef” Johnston fan. Why? Because few players are as easy to relate to on a personal level.
He’s a hugely talented player who you’re never going to find in the gym. His passion for the sport compensates for his lack of professionalism. That’s just him. What you see is what you get, no need for a manicured public image, he’s just a man being himself. Can you imagine some of the PGA Tour big whigs watching Beef show-off his drunken tattoo on live TV!?
Happy Birthday @BeefGolf! ??
He gave us two of the best shots (and celebrations) last year.https://t.co/yKhaz7mDCp
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 18, 2016
He recently spoke with the Golf Channel and revealed his determination to stay true to himself with everything from his personality to his trademark beard.
“A few people messaged me, and one guy was like, ‘Your beard is bad for the game of golf,’” he said. “And I was like, well I’m just going to keep it now.”
Beef is a man of his word, something he reiterated when he kept his promise to “get hammered” after his Spanish Open win. His agent was worried footage of said hammering would find it’s way on to social media, which it did.
Like many professionals Beef has had his moment of doubt. At the age of 17 his father passed away very suddenly and he thought about giving up after spending a few years plying his trade on the lower European tours.
“I went to a job interview, I don’t even know what it was for, and the woman called me back that same day and said, ‘We want you to come in for a trial week,’” he said. “The job was in London, and I was sitting there and I had a cup of tea. And I thought, ‘What do I do? I’ve got to decide right now.’”
Have you ever heard of a more British reaction to a huge decision? Makes you wonder how many national policy initiatives revolve around tea leaves and milk. Luckily for us Beef kept it going and now plays in every major tournament. Having just crept into the world’s top 100 he is still a long way from where he wants to be.
When Rickie Fowler takes notice of a player it usually means they’re a cool cat. The two had hoped to play a practice round together at the U.S. Open, but Johnston bristled when Fowler told him he planned to tee off at 8:30 a.m.
“I’m like, what’s wrong with you, man? Playing at that time in the morning?” he said. “So we just keep missing each other, off and on. Maybe we can play together at The Open.”
Keep an eye on Beef, he made plenty of friends at his first U.S. Open and will be looking for more reasons to “get hammered” very soon.