Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston is used to drawing attention ...
It’s hard to miss the beer-loving, meat-pie eating Englishman, whose bearded face has been plastered all over the Gold Coast to promote this week’s Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines.
Johnston is a promoter's dream.
He gets people through the gates – and his infectious personality and approachability always leaves plenty of fans with life-long memories, autographs and selfies.
But spectators should also expect to see an improved on-course performance from the trimmed-down Londoner as he makes his first appearance at the Australian PGA.
The 29-year-old recently appointed Hugh Marr (who also coaches Danish duo Thorbjorn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard) to work on his takeaway – which is one of the most unique aspects of his swing – and feels his game is heading in the right direction.
“I feel like I’ve swung the club quite well the last couple of years,” said Johnston, who won the Valderrama Open on the European Tour in 2016.
“I might just need another fine adjustment to get back to where I’m really happy … I don’t think that’s too far away,”
“I've had days where I hit the ball really well and play well, and other days where it's been sort of a bit average, to be honest.
“I'm not putting any pressure on myself, just going to go out and play and enjoy it … Hopefully I get a good feeling this week on the range and then go with that.”
RIGHT: Johnston enjoyed a beer and a meat pie prior to the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort. PHOTO: Chris Hyde/Getty Images.
The World No.200 has also been training with heavyweight British boxer Dillian Whyte as part of his new fitness regime.
“He was like, ‘Yeah, come train’. We did two sessions that day and I nearly fell asleep on the way home in the car,” Johnston said.
“I still keep in touch with him … I just love it, I love the boxing, I love what they do. They're crazy.”
Johnston completed the Pro-Am at Royal Pines on Wednesday morning – and he was full of praise for the innovative Oakley Gold Coast Beach Club at the par-3 16th hole.
“The more holes we have like (the beach hole) the more fun it is and we get a good buzz out of it, too,” Johnston said.
“I think it's a brilliant idea, adds something different to the hole, different to the event.
“I hear there's a DJ on this hole as well, which is going to be interesting … It gets more people involved and gives them a day out.”
Beef tees off from the 10th tee at 6am tomorrow morning and will play alongside defending PGA champion Cameron Smith and West Australian Curtis Luck.