Adrian Meronck He’s gone where there hasn’t been any Polish yet and he’s constantly climbing the professional trail. And because he chose a major in which the athlete goes through the slowest, at the age of 28 his career can still take off. And then, thanks to him, golf in Poland will accelerate.
Mikhau Okzaryk: Adam Miserk fell in love with Poles for jumping, could you be someone like this at golf?
Adrian Meronck: It was always so that successes increase interest. Sure, my results on the European Tour caused more buzz around the game of golf and aroused media interest, but of course more of these successes are needed. This is my plan to have as many of them as possible. They gave an amazing amount, as was the case with Robert Kubica or Justina Kowalczyk. I hope to contribute to popularizing the game of golf.
In terms of popularity, golf in Poland is very different from foreign golf?
It all depends on which country you are in. In countries such as Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, and especially the USA, golf has a very strong position, and many people are interested in it. In this regard, there is nothing to compare. Interestingly, even in the Czech Republic, golf receives more attention than Poland.
Has something changed in Poland during your career?
Certainly more and more people are starting to play, and new play and training centers are being created. Moreover, we have a Polish language TV channel where you can watch golf live. I can see that my results are starting to appear outside of the golf community as well. Certainly, these successes will help spread discipline among the little ones, because there are more and more young followers. We may not be on the level like everyone dreams, but it does go right.
There was no golfer from Poland before you were high in the rankings, no one has played in the prestigious European League. Since when do you know you will be a professional golfer?
After graduating from high school, she left Poland to study and play golf at East Tennessee State University. This is where my gameplay has improved a lot. At the age of 20 or 21, I decided that I wanted to become a professional golfer and this is the direction I will take after college.
And there were no such plans before? After all, when someone gets a golf scholarship in the USA, there is more to it than just a golfer’s core.
It was indeed so. As soon as the plan to go to the States came out, I had high in my mind that I would link my life to golf. But I didn’t know what to expect after going to the United States. I set myself small goals and wanted to improve my game step by step and move forward. My trip to the USA was crucial for me to become a professional golfer.
Your parents are former athletes. Your physical condition allows you to succeed in many sports. Why did you decide to play golf, which is still an exotic sport in Poland?
When I was a kid, I played most sports. She played table tennis, volleyball, basketball and soccer. I was skiing too. I just love sports. Perhaps the best golf for me. In team sports, when I was a kid, I was often nervous because someone didn’t play with me, didn’t take a risk, or someone was angry with me. There have been smaller or larger struggles that someone did something different than expected. There was no such thing in golf. Here I was responsible for everything myself – only successes were my entitlement, but I also suffered the consequences of failure. I was created for an individual sport. And in golf, I also liked the game itself, the competition with my peers, the training – everything encouraged me to the sport.
And what made you, and not anyone else, the first pole on the European Tour?
Years of work, a lot of sacrifices and a lot of right people I met on my way. It all adds up. I think my personality was important, too. I have to admit that I work a lot and hard to be a better player. There is still a lot ahead of me, but what I’ve done so far has allowed me to find myself where I am. This is something we should be proud of. I like to train and I am motivated for it. During my trip to the USA, I compared myself to other players, looking at how well I trained and the results I had achieved. This is definitely the key to success.
In your career so far, whether at the university, then on the Challenge Round, and now also on the European Tour, you can see such a regularity that success comes over time.
In fact, I am moving forward with more confidence every year and this progress can be seen. From the start, we had a plan with my coaches to build a career in small steps, not to overheat some unknowns. I like this approach that I constantly follow and follow my training plan. I don’t like to rush anywhere, I value peace. This approach has worked so far, so I’m not going to change anything about it. Hope it will bear fruit in the future.
At 28, you will be at your peak in many sports. In golf, this upper limit is lagging behind. Does this also help to look to the future in peace?
I don’t even think about how old I am, where I am in my career, because golf can be played at a high level for a long time. There are many players who are over 40 and who win everything. So this is what I feel so calm about. As long as I am healthy and my body allows for it, which is what I care about now, I will play. It is wonderful in golf that there is no such limit.
I don’t even think how old I am, where I am in my career, because golf can be played at a high level for a long time.
For many people, golf is still associated with the sport of a father. But when we watch golf broadcasts, we see real athletes. What is the truth about professional golfers?
Currently, the golfer is an athlete. If you want to count in the world, you have to be totally involved both mentally and physically. Everyone spends a lot of time working on their body. If I don’t play a tournament, I go to the gym six times a week. Plus, I train five or six hours a day, and I also work with a psychologist, which is especially important in golf, because it’s a sport where everything really happens in the head. Golf lasts for up to four or five hours in a day, during which time we have a lot of time for different ideas to engage with and other things to do.
And how hard is mindfulness that after a couple of days you might find yourself gaining nothing? Do you feel any pressure about it?
Sure, no one wants to think about it, but after two days there is a cut, which takes half the portion. Upgrading to the top half is always the minimum full golfers’ share plan, and everyone knows it. The key is to play as best you can and the result will come.
And how you train during the season – After all, playing the European Tour means constant trips, four days of play, a training session, a change of venue, travel and so on for several weeks in a row. How do you find time to train during?
During the season it is difficult to work on style or improve some elements of the game. It’s time for this in the winter, off-season during your long breaks. When the season is full and we go from competition to competition, we can only refine the details, it depends on the situation. Because if you play every week, there won’t be much time for that, it takes time to prepare for the next event and we can’t really do much. During the season, we focus on the game itself and try our best on the field.
On the European Tour, the world’s best golfers competed. Do you feel how much you miss from the top?
It’s not really much. The best player in the world consists of about 150 players, and I’m in the third hundred, so I don’t have a shortage of points. But experience plays a big part, so from tournament to tournament I feel more confident in the higher level tournaments. Some aspects of the game are room for improvement and I think I will compete with them more and more to win.
What else should you improve?
A short game, that is, precise technical shots to save the score when things go wrong. If you have a good short game, you can save the score and that’s it. I work on it all the time, and I can see improvement, I have a well-planned plan, and I think it gets better every week.
What are the advantages of your golf?
These are definitely the tee shots, i.e. starting the hole with a long shot. Due to my height, I have a large arm range that helps me reach farther than shorter players, and in recent years, the end of the hole i.e. batting has also improved because I’ve been working on it a lot and working the whole time. Four or five years ago that was my weakness, and now I feel totally confident in this element of the game and I’m happy.
You have already tried the battle to win the European Tour. Is this a different level of emotion than in the lower-tier tournaments?
The higher the level, the stronger the feelings, because it is known that the game is for larger amounts, the stakes are higher, and the position is greater as well. However, I like it. After all, we practice experiencing such emotions and find ourselves in such a situation. The more the better. I hope to have more of these situations this year and gain a lot of experience, thus I will be able to cope better in moments like these.
Golf is back to Rio in the Olympics, you have a chance to play in Tokyo. Will it be an important tournament for you?
Many golfers say this is not the most important start. But I’m a big fan of sports and games, I’ve watched everyone cover what happened for as long as I can remember. It will be a very big event for me. One of my dreams is to represent Poland in the Olympic Games. If I have confirmed participation in the Olympics, I will give priority to playing in the Olympic tournament. I would like to fight for medals.
Is this the biggest dream in the near future?
Like every golfer, I not only dream about the game but also dream about winning Grand Slam tournaments. I dream of playing Masters and the legendary green jacket that the winner gets. The same goes for the British Open and the famous The Claret Jug.