Matt Nicolle’s nickname is “The English Enforcer,” and for very good reason. The no.1 ranked LDET player and defending tour champion delivered an unbelievable performance in 2017, earning 4 wins and another 4 top-3 finishes in his first full season on the tour (playing 8 of 9 events).
So what’s better than perfect? LDET fans may soon find out.
“I’m looking to continue my run into 2018,” Nicolle says. “I’m feeling good about the season and have a lot of events over a short period, so [I] can get into a groove.”
The 27-year-old Brute Golf athlete didn’t spend the offseason basking in glory, instead he’s approaching his LDET career with a veteran mentality. “I’ve been preparing through specific training and practice for a while now,” Nicolle says. “Lots of dynamic work and building strength, and building speed through overspeed training.” He works on his swing and equipment indoors while coaching and club fitting in central London as a PGA pro. “Dialing in my numbers, equipment and swing is an ongoing process which continues throughout the season.”
Nicolle grew up on the 9-by-5-mile UK island of Jersey, population of under 100,000. After playing football and cricket, his attention turned to golf “quite quickly.”
“Growing up in Jersey I played a links style golf course and got to a good level fast, competing as an amateur and then turning professional at 20,” Nicolle says. He’s also competed in UK South, East Regional Tours, Euro Pro Tour and French PGA events, and excited to have an organizational roll with the American Golf Championships in his home country later this year.
Now, The English Enforcer is focusing on long drive, and has his eyes on a number of LDET events in particular this season including the tour’s debut in Russia and The Nations Cup. “[LDET] is building every year and will be spectacular this season … hopefully culminating in another trip to the World Championships which is always phenomenonal,” he says.
But he also knows topping last season’s performance won’t be easy.
“I had a few good battles with Vincent Palm, Bry Roberts, Timo Petrasch and Seb Forslov last season and expect these guys to show some quality hitting this season,” Nicolle says. “Maurice Allen will return to the tour as well. Being a two-time tour champion, he knows how to win!”
Nicolle’s title defense is just one of many aspects fans can look forward to heading into the 2018 season, but he takes time to note an even more exciting big picture. “Golf is getting back to a level of growing participation,” he says. “The game is getting younger and more attractive to people looking to take up the game. Long Drive can play a huge part in this; it’s growing rapidly already and new tours have been setup globally which is fantastic for the profile of the game as a whole.”
Follow Matt Nicolle on Instagram and Twitter @mattnicollegolf, online at mattnicollegolf.com, and his battle drive for drive against other LDET players starting April 7th at the France Championships at Hotel Golf Château de Chailly.