Two-time Asian Tour winner, David Lipsky, was at Garden City Golf Club in Phnom Penh to practice and prepare himself for the upcoming True Thailand Classic 2016 in Hua Hin.
Welcome back to Cambodia, we believe you have some good memories with your first professional victory in 2012 at the Handa Faldo Cambodian Classic in Siem Reap . Can you tell us what you remember from that day? How special was it for you?
It was early on in 2012 and it was my first time in Cambodia. I just got my Asian Tour card and I’d just come off of two missed-cuts from my first two events on the Asian Tour. I was just looking at getting some momentum started for the year. I played well, made the cut and eventually put myself in the play-off with Elmer Salvador. I wasn’t really expecting it to be honest. I remember the two of us was pretty much at the same spot in the play-off, just off the green on the 18th and I saw his chip ran past the hole about 4-5 feet. It was a pretty simple chip, pretty routine to be honest and I was fortunate enough to make it. I remembered seeing Sir Nick Faldo there and a bunch of my friends were there as well. It was a pretty special moment to get your first professional win.
What do you think of the facilities here at Garden City?
I’ve been to a couple courses down here in Cambodia and this is by far, the best, in terms of facilities. Its tour standard facilities here, nice grass, lots of targets on the range, really open, very good short game area and putting green. It has everything I could ask for, in terms of facilities to practice and work on my game.
You’ve been to different courses in Cambodia. Overall, what do you think of the quality of golf facilities in Cambodia?
I’ve been here on and off for the last four years and each time I come back, I can see the golf in Cambodia developing and maturing. Obviously, being so close to Thailand, which has so many golf course, it’s a little bit different. But each time I come here, I see facilities like this, you can really see golf coming along in Cambodia.
How is life on the Asian Tour?
All the players in the Asian Tour are so friendly, it’s like a family. When you get to the European Tour and PGA Tour, it’s highly competitive and you don’t get the same sort of atmosphere, where people are supportive of each other and willing to go out to dinner and do these sort of things. On the Asian Tour, everyone is excited to meet new people, so I think that is something that’s different and I definitely miss. That’s why I come back to Asia so much to play in events. I like coming to Cambodia to play golf here. People are nice and golf is good but underrated I believe
How does your training look like off-season and in-season?
In the off-season, I practice quite a bit. I’m more focused on techniques and mechanics. In-season, you’re sharpening the feel. You need a decent amount of rest. So that’s how they vary. Even for working out, I work out harder and do different type of stuffs in the off-season. Where as in-season, it’s more to maintain.
If you were to compare yourself now with yourself in your rookie year back in 2012, what has changed, besides having much more experience?
That’s the biggest thing I think. Everyone who makes it out to the Asian Tour, European Tour or PGA Tour, their games are technically good enough to win already. But mentally, that might not be the case. I think that is the biggest thing that is separating the players. It’s not so much the technical aspects like the swing or all these things because you see all these young players coming out who are already good enough to win now. It’s definitely having a head on your shoulders. It’s being able to deal with the pressure, deal with all the things surrounding golf and handle yourself on the golf course. So, that’s what I think I got better at. Technically I think I got a little bit better, but mentally I got a lot better.
So now you are preparing for the True Thailand Classic, after your top 10 finish in Perth, what are your expectations?
I try not to set many expectations. I’m out here in Garden City to practice and make use of the facilities, just really making sure that my game is in tune and not feel too rusty going in to Thailand and see what happens.
When we look at your results from the past years up to now, we see that there is some sort of a pattern. In 2012, you had a good year and in 2014, you had an even better year. Can we expect some fireworks from you this year?
Yea, that’s golf, it always work in cycles. You have good years and bad years. I’ve gotten off to a pretty decent start this year. I’ve only missed one cut so far this year and I only missed it by a stroke in my first event. I’ve just been getting better each and every week, in terms of results. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.
There are some days that you just play very bad, how do you deal with that?
It’s just golf. It’s just a game at the end of the day. You have bad days and you have good days. Just look at two weeks ago, the number one player in the world, Jordan Spieth, barely broke 80. Things just happens like that. Golf is a crazy game, you can’t live and die each and every round. You have to look at golf over the course of a four days tournament or weeks or months at a time and look at your game from that stand point.
If you were to give a reason for the people in Cambodia to pick up the game of golf, what would that be?
There’s not too many sports that you can play from the age of 5 to the age of 85. Golf is also a very social game and it teaches you a lot, especially for kids. There are a lot of things that I learn as a kid, in terms of golf. You learn respect, you learn patience, and you learn a lot of things as a kid from playing golf that will not only help you on the golf course, but help you in life. I think that is something that can benefit people from every country and every society. On the golf course, you just go out there and play golf, you can leave your work, leave all the other stuffs behind and really put yourself in the moment to hit those shots and have fun. That’s what it’s all about, having fun. Because you’re able to play for such a long time, because you’re able to see improvement incrementally and do all these things, that people enjoy it. People are hesitant at first, but once you get them going, it becomes addictive.
Read the complete interview with David Lipsky in our May – June issue of Cambodia Golf Today.