THE VIKTOR HOVLAND PHENOMENON: THE INVISIBLE SIDE
The vast majority of people are well aware of Viktor’s qualities as a golfer. In record time, he has stabilized himself up there among the top elite in the world, but there is one side of Viktor that is not so easy to get along with from the sofa at home in Norway.
This site really came to life here at Bay Hill on Tuesday night.
Because after a 16-hole practice round that started at 2 p.m. local time, it was straight to the driving range after the end of play. And it wasn’t because he needed it.
Because the input round itself looked good, very good. The drives were where they should be, there was good control of the iron game and the close game looked safer. He made five nice birdies and was not really close to trouble on a course with high rough and already quite hard greens. So there was nothing to indicate that he needed a trip to the rank.
But Viktor wanted to train.
His focus on detail, his desire to constantly improve and his dedication to golf are as unique as his talent. We had a conversation on the second green yesterday which really showed why he is among the very best. Because after playing for a while with his PING wedges, there was now a 60 degree wedge from Callaway in the bag.
The reason was simply that it had a different finish under the club, which visually makes it easier for Viktor to be able to hit the shots he wanted around the green and in bunkers. The wedge lay flatter on the ground and gave him the feeling of being able to be more aggressive and create more spin on the shots. It was very easy to see why.
And this focus on detail continued after the round.
Because there is no doubt that when he lined up after the round, as the only player left at the facility, to train and practice with a driver who is already among the best on the Tour, it is easy to understand why he is among the world’s best players. He had only missed two fairways in the 16 holes he played earlier in the day, but was still not completely satisfied.
It will be very important to hit the fairway at Bay Hill this week, very important to be able to use good drivers and that is exactly why our man spent an hour and a half in the twilight alone at Bay Hill.
Viktor is not only a unique talent. He has an equally unique focus on details, a desire to get a little better all the time and he does the work that is not always visible to the general public. He does not give up until he himself knows that he is completely satisfied, regardless of whether it means that he has to stand on the rank until darkness descends.
It’s a side you don’t always see. The slightly invisible side.