Shane Lowry is viewing the resumption of the PGA Tour season as "light at the end of the tunnel" after the game's shutdown during the pandemic.
The Open champion has been living in Florida for the last two months ahead of the campaign getting back underway behind closed doors in June.
"Having a break from golf was good, but I just missed hitting a bucket of balls," the Offaly man wrote in his latest blog on Paddy Power News. Going and having a couple of hours to myself doing a bit of practice.
"I didn’t play any golf for six weeks, so I’m itching to get back. It’s the longest I’ve ever gone without having a club in my hand.
"A few days into lockdown, I realised everything was going to shut down, and I bought a bit of gym equipment and set up a little gym in my garage.
"I’d go in there every day, have a FaceTime session with my trainer three times a week, and that was my little escape. Mentally it was good for me. I never thought I’d say it, but a gym was my getaway for a few weeks!"
Lowry admits it'll take some adjustment to playing tournaments without fans in attendance in the coming months:
"It’s going to be very different, though, there’s no doubt about it. There’s a lot of procedures – I’ve got a load of documentation about the protocols in place and what we have to do.
"The first thing I’ll have to do is take a Covid-19 test and it has to come back negative before I’m allowed to go to the tournament.
"When we’re there, we’ll all be cocooned in the same hotels and just follow all the protocols. I’ll be getting my temperature taken and tested quite a lot, so it’s going to take some getting used to.
"There’ll be constant testing and the PGA Tour has charter planes flying the players to the tournaments, from event to event.
"I was sort of struggling with staying motivated in the first few weeks of lockdown as nobody really knew when we’d be back.
"It’s hard as a sports person when you don’t have a date to aim at. It’s hard to get motivated and stay focussed because you don’t know when you’re going to be back.
"Even at the build-up to the Players’ Championship in Florida in March we were saying it should be alright, there’s no way they’ll cancel sport.
"Then it gets cancelled after the first round and, before we know it, we’re sitting in the house doing nothing.
"Then the US Masters got cancelled, the US Open, and it was all looking pretty gloomy. Now, at least, there’s light at the end of the tunnel."