Now On The Tee: Sophomore Axel Einarsson
Sophomore Axel Einarsson is eager to get back on the course after the pandemic shortened the 2019-20 season, hitting his stride at the Bandon Dunes Championship this spring. UtahUtes.com caught up with the Ludvika, Sweden, native about what he has improved on most, what he loves about Utah, and what he was up to this summer.
Q: What has been your favorite tournament to play in during your time at Utah and why?
A: Hawaii, by far, because it's just such a cool place and fun trip with the guys. Nothing beats playing 18 holes of golf in the morning and going to the beach or on a hike in the afternoon.
Q: What would you say you've improved on most from your first year to now?
A: The language! Other than that, I have made a transition from obsessing over practice into playing more on the course, which may sound silly but has required a lot of hard work since I come from a very mechanical background. There's a time and place for both, but we figured that my game would benefit more by focusing on getting the ball in the hole and less on feeling the need that my swing needs to be functioning perfectly in order to compete on the course. Trying to break that pattern has been of enormous discomfort, however it is a change that I have committed to and we deemed it necessary for my future.
Q: What is your favorite part about playing at Utah?
A: That we are all very close to each other in the team. We really are a group of very close friends who do everything together. It's nice to have that in an individual sport, and from visiting nine different schools before signing for Utah I know that our relationship is something that far from every team has.
Q: What kinds of things did you do this summer during your time off?
A: I really didn't take any time off. I flew home on March 20 and took the first month to finish my classes. After that I isolated myself on the golf course, practicing from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. with a 90-minute lunch break, then went to the gym after that. I did that every day for three months straight, following a very detailed schedule that I made of what to do every hour. Then I relaxed a little the last few weeks at home and spent time with the family and my newborn twin nieces. I only played in one tournament over the summer because the tours in Scandinavia were shut down for the most part of the summer.
Q: What are some of your goals for this upcoming season when you get back on the course?
A: I'm hoping that we can compete in the spring and continue where we left off as a team last spring. Personally, my game was trending right as spring season was canceled and after being in contention individually in the final round at Bandon Dunes last time we competed I want to get back out there and take an individual win.
Q: What do you like most about playing for Coaches Garrett Clegg and Chance Cain?
A: Their knowledge for the game and dedication to our program. Coach Clegg has played on a very high level himself and has a lot of experience that he shares with us, and they don't settle for us being just a "pretty good team." Neither do the players, and I believe that's the atmosphere needed to contend nationally.
Q: Why did you choose Utah?
A: There was much going into the decision to come here, but mostly it was my gut feeling. What mainly constituted that it just felt right was the relationship between teammates and I also liked the coaches. All the schools I visited had great facilities and great tournament schedules and all that, but I felt like I would enjoy my time here more than anywhere else.
Q: What is it about golf that you love?
A: That you never fully figure it out, and I love that just as much as I hate it. One day you have it and the next day you don't, and you have no clue what you're doing different. It is a constant grind and a rollercoaster of emotions, but the days and tournaments when you do have it are so rewarding that you keep fighting to become better.
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of golf?
A: I've become quite the American sports fan since I came here and love watching football and basketball. I'm also a big fan of music and being outdoors. In the summer I like going out on the lake or dirt biking, and in the winter I love skiing.
Q: Who is your favorite player professional golfer and why?
A: Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods. Tiger because he's the GOAT, and still winning, and Rickie because he always wanted to stand out and be unique and he has a very relaxed attitude to everything.
Q: If you could go pro in a different sport, what sport would it be and why?
A: Handball for sure, I was choosing between handball and golf in the eighth grade. Many of my old friends and teammates now play professionally in Europe. I would have loved to play football more than anything, however.
Q: What is your go-to club in your bag and why?
A: My 60-degree lobwedge. I still remember having my first one when I was eight and hitting every single shot around the greens with it, and that has stuck with me. Hitting spinny wedges is probably the most fun thing in the world.