Graeme McDowell confessed that a trip to Dublin children’s hospital this week has helped him put his golfing horrors in perspective.
So far this term the Ulsterman was failed to match massive highs of 2010 when he won four times including the US Open and claimed the winning point for Europe in the Ryder Cup.
He was devastated to miss the cut in the Open at Sandwich and joked that he used alcohol as a pain-killer.
But a visit to Crumlin Children’s Hospital on Monday as part of a link with his charitable foundation made him realise what real pain is all about and that golf is million miles from being a “life or death” struggle.
McDowell said: “When you go to a place like Crumlin Hospital and just talk to the people there and the work that they are doing over there, and you see the families in the positions they are in sometimes, it puts life in perspective for you.
“We are extremely fortunate to be doing the job we are doing and have our health and have the opportunity to travel the world making a lot of money playing a great game.
“The link with Crumlin Hospital is going to be very exciting to be able to see something real happening with the money that I’m going to help hopefully raise.
“My foundation is going to be something interesting for me to give me a little perspective in life.
“When I’m having a rough day on the golf course, to be able to think about the families of people that I’ve met, and realise that it’s not all bad.
“It’s a sport and it’s not life or death. You have to relax and enjoy it sometimes.”
McDowell raised €5,000 for the hospital recently when six autographed entrance tickets for last year’s US Open were sold to the highest bidder.
With his head firmly screwed back on he has set his sights on a stellar finish to the season and adding to his lone “victory” over Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy in a pint-drinking contest during last week’s Claret Jug celebrations.
After celebrating Clarke’s Open win at Portrush, he spent the rest of last week reflecting on what went wrong at Sandwich.
And he concluded that not for the first time in his career, he fell in the trap of putting too much pressure on himself.
He said: “Everything last year was pretty easy, and this year, it’s a little tougher, and I’m getting a few kickings from the game
“There’s no doubt I suffered this year with maybe heightened expectations and wanting it a little bit too badly.
“I need to realise I’m not trying to prove anything to myself or anyone else and I just have to get back to enjoying this game and putting myself in contention.”