“Pull like a dog” might not be part of Leona Maguire’s golfing lexicon but Ireland’s latest LPGA Tour star will have more than determination in common with Ireland’s rowing heroes next season.
The Co Cavan talent has signed an exclusive bag deal with Drogheda-based Kinetica Sports Nutrition who are the official headline partner for Rowing Ireland’s 2020 Olympic bid.
Maguire, who earned her LPGA Tour card by finishing seventh in the race for 10 cards thanks to two wins on the second-tier Symetra Tour this year, will likely make her second Olympic Games appearance in Tokyo next year.
But her goal, for now, is to be 100% ready to “hit the ground running” when the LPGA season begins in Florida in January and then moves to Australia for two weeks.
While some golfers rely on sports psychologists when it comes to confidence, the former world amateur number one has always relied on meticulous preparation to ensure she feels ready to tackle all challenges.
“I don’t have a mental coach or work with a psychologist,” she said.
“I studied it in college, so I have some background. But I get confidence from knowing that I am prepared, knowing I have done it in practice and all the way through the ranks.
"That’s where I get my confidence.
“For me, knowing that I have the work done is the best psychology for me.”
While she has one more event to play this year — the Ladies European Tour’s Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de España from November 28 to December 1 — she’s already started work on her off-season preparations for 2020.
She’s just changed putters having seen improvements she made this season taper off in the second half of the campaign.
Better putting allowed her to win twice on the Symetra Tour in May, easing her promotion to the LPGA Tour, where she will join Stephanie Meadow next year.
But she’s not planning any “major surgery” on her swing with coach Shane O’Grady, which means that her off-season plans revolve around fitness, gym work and diet so she can pick up distance off the tee.
"I’ve already started working on my preparations for next year with Shane, but the Kinetica input will be important,” she said.
“They have a partnership with the Irish Institute of Sport, so I will be in and out of there with their nutritionist and going there for physio too.
“I have some good protein options for the gym and on-course snacks as well. Then I will look at electrolytes for warmer weather.
“So it’s an all-round thing and will it will great for all the gym work I will be doing in the off-season but also for going from country to country, supplementing what I need to deal with different cuisines and making sure I get all the nutrients I need.
“That means I will be alert and focused and fuelled for playing my best golf for weeks on end.”
It’s been a busy season for the Slieve Russell golfer, whose twin sister Lisa caddied for her in her final events of the Symetra Tour campaign.
“This is the first major break I have had since I left for Dubai in late January,” added Leona, who has yet to decide on her caddie arrangements for next season.
“The goal for next year is just to do as well as I can.
“I am sure there will be a little period of adjustment, but I am confident that if I am well-prepared and just keep doing what I have been doing all these years, and I am well-prepared, I will be in a good spot.”