Maha Haddioui made a strong start to the 2020 season making all three cuts including finishing T12 at the Women’s NSW Open at Dubbo Golf Club and T7 at the Investec SA Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club.
The 32-year-old from Agadir turned professional in 2010, is currently 17th on the 2020 Race To Costa Del Sol, competed at the 2016 Olympic Games and recorded a tournament best finish third position at the 2018 Investec SA Women’s Open.
We caught up with the Morocco star to find out how she has been keeping busy throughout the break from Tour due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the areas of her game that she has been focusing on improving and what she has been missing about life on Tour.
What have you been doing to keep entertained throughout lockdown and have you taken up any new hobbies?
We were in quarantine for approximately 3 months in Morocco and to be honest even though the first few weeks were mentally tough I was able to get my days organised and ended up being quite busy.
I tried taking up a few new hobbies which included dancing, Kung Fu and I even started an online class at Harvard but nothing really stuck. I’m still finishing the class, but I spent a lot of my time working out and keeping healthy, cooking, cleaning, playing my PlayStation, scrabble, and I also enjoy watching TV shows. Maybe working out and playing scrabble are my new hobbies after all!
How have you been working on your game whilst at home?
The first month of quarantine I was hitting a lot of balls in a net at home but not seeing the ball fly got very frustrating so I preferred to just focus on my mental routines and getting my body ready for playing a lot of golf.
You have increased your average carry distance by 12 metres with your Driver. How have you done this? Did you make any big changes to your gym routine and if so, what were they?
It is not often that we can get such a long break from golf, so I thought it was a great opportunity to work on increasing my club head speed. I lifted heavier weights, worked on getting my core stronger and followed a detailed workout routine followed by swinging the club as hard as I can.
My goal was to increase my distance while also being mindful of not hurting myself, as I see this a long-term improvement that I want to continue with. I only worked on Trackman once since the end of lockdown to check my changes 3 weeks ago and I will keep working towards improving distance gain while practicing but without excessively obsessing about it.
How far do you hit your driver off the tee now and what increase has it given you through the bag?
I think I will be able to have a clearer vision of that in the longer run. I have chosen not to monitor it too much for now and trust the process.
How do you think the distance gains will improve your game?
Being able to hit the ball a bit longer will definitely make things easier. You can fly past a few more on course hazards and reach more par-5s in two. The shorter your approach shots are the more likely you are to knock them close to the hole.
I do not believe in Drive for Show Putt for Dough!! I think they are both just as important. You can be a great putter but if you are hitting hybrids into greens the chances are you will not be as close to the hole as you want to be.
What other areas of your game have you been focusing on improving?
I’m working a lot on my chipping and wedge play now because it is an area where I can improve a lot. It is often underestimated but it makes a huge difference and will help to improve my overall game.
What have you missed most about life on Tour and how excited are you to get back to competing again?
I definitely miss a lot of things on tour. What I have missed the most is the pressure. The competition. The butterflies in the stomach as you go to bed the night before a tournament or before you tee off. The satisfaction of hitting a great shot when you know it matters. I also miss my friends on tour and the whole tournament atmosphere.