In a step instigated by himself, the 23-year-old’s tour bag now includes a logo for ‘Martyn’s Monday Club’, which, as he prepared for this week’s WGC-Mexico Championship, MacIntyre revealed is close to his heart.
“It’s a mental health club in Oban and the surrounding area,” he told The Scotsman. “There’s a lot of folk in the town pushing it and I am trying to make people more aware of it. I’ve had some friends struggle with that and lost people I know through that. I had a space on the bag and I thought it would be good to put something on there that means something to me.
“I rarely get down on the golf course. I’m normally pretty upbeat. But, even on the golf tours, there are people struggling with that problem. It’s the same in football and every other sport. It’s on my bag as a message - ‘together we can do this’ is the slogan - that it is good to talk.”
For only the second time in his short professional career, MacIntyre felt he didn’t want to be on the golf course as he missed the cut in the Saudi International three weeks ago, admitting he was thinking about sitting out the first WGC of the new decade if he felt he might “make a fool of himself” alongside the game’s top players in Mexico City.
As was the case, though, when he came back feeling down in the dumps from the Hassan Trophy in Morocco just under a year ago, the 2019 European Tour Rookie of the Year has used some time at home to clear his head and is raring to go again.
“The body is feeling good and I am looking forward to hopefully competing again,” declared MacIntyre, who has spent the past couple of weeks working mainly on building up the strength in his left arm, having felt that was starting to inhibit him rather than pain in his left hand. “That’s what I am always striving for, whether it is in a bounce game with my pals or whatever.
“In Saudi, overall it was just frustration. I was getting fed up playing in pain, having had real pain in my hand since Sweden last year. You can’t play your best golf if you are worried about things and, in Saudi, it was so windy and the pain was being multiplied due to the fact I was having to play so many punch shots. My arm just wasn’t allowing it.
“Since Dubai, I’ve done more stretching and strength work on my arm than hitting balls. I’ve been doing a lot of band work trying to get it into lots of different positions to strengthen all parts of the hand and the arm.
“Now I’ve had time to strengthen it I feel I can go into tournaments and give it everything rather than defending against the sore arm. I’m starting to put everything in place for me to get better and better.”
MacIntyre, who is playing in just his second WGC as he bids to break into the world’s top 50 in time to secure a first Masters invitation in April, added: “I’m starting to realise that I need to do other things than just play golf. I need to start getting stronger and fitter so that my body can stand that.
“But I’m young. I’m only 23 so I’m glad that I am learning it now rather than 40, when your career might almost be done. It’s good to learn when you are young, so that you can sort things.
“It might not be on the golf course, but it can help me on the golf course and I am in the process of getting everything in line so that I can do it properly.”