We can’t say we haven’t been warned.
One of the marquee signings for this year’s Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort intends to take in all the Gold Coast has to offer whilst mounting a serious challenge for the Joe Kirkwood Cup.
Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston has quickly become a crowd favourite on the European Tour and has twice played the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 tournament in Perth but will be making his maiden appearance on the east coast.
Dinner at Moo Moo in Broadbeach, cuddling a koala and surfing on one of the Gold Coast’s famously pristine beaches are all on the agenda… he might even enhance his status as a man of the people by putting a towel down at the Oakley Gold Coast Beach Club that will become a focal point for fans at the par-3 16th hole.
And it may not be pretty.
“A shocking one,” was a trimmed-down Johnston’s response when asked what kind of tan he would be bringing to Australia from November 29.
“Half brown arms and brown head and the rest is proper white.
“People are going to get a shock on that beach.
“I might get on a surfboard. I’ve never done it before but you might get me on one.
“Not for long probably by the sounds of it.
“I’ve only ever been to Perth so I’m looking forward to heading over to the other side of the country and seeing what the Gold Coast is like.”
In addition to hosting the Oakley Gold Coast Beach Club, the 16th is also home to the Soniq Million-Dollar-Hole. If Johnston can become the first player to record an ace on the revamped Graham Marsh design he promises to leave fans with a memory they are unlikely to forget.
“I’ll probably do something completely stupid, I can probably guarantee that,” said Johnston, who has four hole-in-ones in competition to date.
“I never know what’s going to happen, it’s never pre-planned or anything, what will be will be.
“But I’m pretty sure it will be something silly.”
Joining Australia’s ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf representatives Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith as the headline acts at Royal Pines, Johnston is hoping he will be able to put all the pieces of his puzzle together for four rounds.
With just one top-10 result to his name since the Spanish Open in April, Johnston admits that it has been a somewhat frustrating season but remains confident the work he is doing on the practice range will soon translate to better finishes.
“It’s just been quite inconsistent to be honest,” said the 29-year-old.
“When I’ve hit the ball well I haven’t made anything, when I’ve hit it everywhere I’ve chipped and putted well. I just haven’t put it all together over four rounds.
“It’s been quite frustrating. I’ve had tournaments where I’ve started well and finished poorly or started poorly and played well on the weekend but given how many good players there are it’s so hard to climb up that leaderboard.
“You’ve got to be consistent over the four days and I just haven’t done that.”