UAE definitely the best place for top golfers now

Nick Tarratt/Dubai
Filed on December 22, 2020
Peter Cowen during the Golf in Dubai Championship. (Supplied photo)

The ROLEX Series week in Abu Dhabi with an $8 million purse is just too big to not take 100% seriously

Fairway Views caught up with one of the world’s leading golf coaches and Dubai ‘Ambassador’, Peter Cowen, on the phone from Rotherham yesterday.

During the conversation, I asked him what his stable of Tour Pros are doing over the Christmas break.

I have always been a huge fan of the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff of top sportsmen and women.

Do they just put their golf clubs in the loft for a couple of weeks and put their feet up and, perhaps, overindulge like some of the readers? Or do they focus on the gym and still hit thousands of balls every day?

For Peter, he will have some time to reflect on the year, having returned to Rotherham after the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, on December 15.

Year-end accounts for ‘P. Cowen Global Enterprises’ will be tidied up for the annual audit and some time will be spent on catch-up administration. Also, Peter receives random calls from managers and players off season on potential new players to coach and look after them for the new year. The Peter Cowen Academy in Rotherham is currently under Tier 3 lockdown, so the 30 driving bays are open for hitting balls only.

The weather is wet and miserable in Rotherham with a seasonal high of just 6 degrees, so the entire Academy staff were all hands-on deck yesterday, manually picking up balls on the range as it was too wet and muddy to use the ball pick-up machine.

Wow! How the other half live!

No Christmas shopping for Peter Cowen, not his favorite seasonal pastime. Peter’s players will all have a modest ‘tailored rest’ over the Christmas break. The 2020 Champion of the recent DP World Tour Championship, Matt Fitzpatrick, and still counting his $3 million first prize in Yorkshire, attended the Rotherham Range earlier in the week and will be there practising again today, but will not be called upon by the management to hand pick-up balls unless there is an emergency! Former Masters Champion Danny Willett will also be visiting the Rotherham Range between Xmas and New Year.

Video feedback is still important for Peter and his players and over the last few days he has received numerous video clips from Brooks Koepka in the US to check him out and keep him on the straight and narrow.

Most players will also now have their own designed gyms and golf studios at their homes. These days are so different for the modern Tour Pro, moving on, even compared to just the previous generation.

Hard luck stories are also abound over the ‘off-season,’ Thomas Pieters fell over and broke his little finger on his right hand and is probably requiring a one month recovery.

Never ideal in such a big year ahead for the World Number 85 with further Ryder Cup and Olympic Team targets, plus other career ambitions!

Ian Poulter is in Florida with his family and will play golf and hit balls.

Jazz Janewattananond is staying in Dubai over the festive period, fine tuning his game, being hosted and looked after by Dubai Golf’s Stephen Deane. Romain Wattel is in France in probable lockdown. Henrik Stenson is in Sweden, currently out of lockdown, and will be playing golf with his son.

Peter’s booked flight to Dubai on January 14 to start the 2021 season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

With much of the world in Covid-19 lockdown and the usual winter weather challenges for a lot of players, the best place in the world to be at present, according to Peter, has to be Dubai and the UAE. Many of his stable of players will come a week early to meet up with Peter for some intensive work on the range, all aiming for a fast start for the new year.

The ROLEX Series week in Abu Dhabi with an $8 million purse is just too big to not take 100% seriously.

Peter will be 70 years old in the first week of 2021. We wish Peter well, but we are all not sure he can ever properly retire!

What would he do if he retired, he would probably still coach golf?

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