England’s Annabel Dimmock has been playing golf for 17 of her 25 years so when injury kept her off the course late last year it hit her hard.
Shortly after one of her best weeks on the Ladies European Tour, when she shared in a tie for third with good friend Charley Hull at the Aramco Team Series New York in October, Dimmock was forced to take almost five months out with a wrist problem.
“It was the first time in my life that I’d had months and months when I couldn’t go to the gym and I couldn’t do a thing that I’d been doing since I was eight years old. And I completely lost myself,” she tells City A.M.
“It sounds very dramatic but I didn’t have an identity that I had had since I was so young.
“My wrist has been affecting me for about a year and a half now, but I had injections on it and tried to play through it.
“I didn’t do smart things for my body and I paid for it. I couldn’t swing a club for six months. I couldn’t even go and walk my dog because I can’t walk him with one arm.”
Dimmock, a former Junior Ryder Cup player who earned her first win on the LET in 2019, had been enjoying her highest-earning season to date when the injury struck.
She admits to finding it difficult on her return to the circuit, where the knock-on effects of injury and other burdens have contributed to 10 missed cuts in a row and made the itinerant life of a golfer harder to manage.
“To be completely transparent I was really struggling with my mental health. And that’s a huge factor,” she says.
“When you’re travelling and out there competing it can be quite lonely. If you’re struggling mentally it’s an extremely tough job to be doing. It’s very cut-throat; if you don’t play well you lose money every week.
“I had a few things going on in my personal life which was weighing me down a bit that I’ve sorted now. I am coming out the back of it and I am starting to play really well. If I can play like I am at home at the minute I’ll be completely fine.”
Dimmock credits a trip to stay with her old mentor “who knows me like no one else does” with helping her to fall back in love with the sport.
“I’m very close with him and his wife and just being around him and having him talking to me constantly changed my frame of mind,” she says.
“I’ve started to enjoy my golf a bit more and think about the bigger plan, not just results. Whether I make my card this year or lose it is not the be all and end all. It’s about my growth as a person and in my golf long-term.
“I remember my mum saying to me that when you get to rock bottom you get to the bottom of things that have been there for years. Without going into loads of detail, I’ve basically cleaned out my life.”
Dimmock eyeing more Aramco Team Series joy
Dimmock is nonetheless hopeful that her scoring will improve soon, with next week’s Aramco Team Series Sotogrande offering a much-needed boost to the coffers.
“It’s pretty huge for me because it’s good money,” she says of the $1m event, which sees players compete for individual and team prizes, the latter alongside amateurs.
“I really enjoy the format. I’m one of those people who doesn’t mind playing in pro-ams and things like that. I enjoy meeting new people.
“I’ve met people in the Aramco Team Series that I’m now good friends with, people I would never have met before – top businessmen and women and really inspirational people. It’s good fun. It feels slightly more relaxed than a normal tournament.”
The format provided her highlight of last year, when Dimmock played a part in Team Hull sharing third place in the team competition at the New York leg of the series – and then saw her friend and captain scoop the individual prize.
“We came from way behind. We had an unbelievable last round that shot us up the board, and it was so fun to be able to enjoy and share that with other people,” she says.
“It’s not just you – you create good memories with people, especially Charley, who is one of my close friends. It was really fun to do that and then watch her go and win the tournament.
“I’ve known her for a long time. She turned pro slightly younger than me but we’re good friends. When we’re at home we go out for dinners and have good fun.”
She and Hull could not repeat their success when they teamed up again at the Aramco Team Series London event at Centurion Club in June.
And although Hull will be absent from Spain next week, Dimmock believes an elite field that includes world No3 Nelly Korda, her sister Jessica and three-time major winner Anna Nordqvist will spur her on in other ways.
“Just being around and playing with world class players, that’s the best thing about the Aramco Team Series,” she says.
“They’re such good quality events. Because the money’s good and it’s so well run, it attracts the top players, which is a plus.
“I want to have a good week on the course, results wise. I’ve gone back to my old way of playing, when I used to have fun with it and see what kind of shot I can create, not get tied down into positions too much.
“My game is trending. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself but a food finish next week would do me the world of good in terms of my confidence.”