A fresh start

Chris Paisley on his off-season work and getting back out on the DP World Tour

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful festive season, I spent mine in Orlando with my family.

All in all, I had a two-month break from competitive golf. There were some events scheduled in South Africa in December, but a travel ban from South Africa to the UK put an end to those very quickly. There were some pretty rough stories from guys trying to make it home with quarantines, cancelled flights, five stop trips, and thousands of pounds spent. I’m glad I wasn’t caught up in the mess! 

As for my break, it was fantastic. I’m appreciating family time more and more as I get older. To be able to spend such a long stretch with my wife Keri and daughter Ella was a joy. Ella is three now and it is such a fun age. She made Christmas so special, and it still blows my mind that she is our daughter. Spending a day with her also gives me an even greater appreciation for what Keri does, looking after Ella when I’m away for long stretches must be exhausting. I’m done in after a morning with her! 

As for golf, it was a busy off-season. My form in the second half of last season was dreadful. I lost a lot of confidence in my long game and felt that I needed some hard work over the winter to begin repairing that. I had gotten into some bad habits which slowly chipped away at my confidence as the ball just wasn’t doing what I thought it should be doing. Identifying the issue was fairly straight forward and even fixing it is simple, on the driving range at least. The hard part is being able to make the new move in a tournament, under pressure, and have total trust in it. You can swing it perfect, but if the belief and trust are not there, I may as well be hitting it left-handed. 

I made the cut in my first tournament of 2022, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. There were some poor shots, but a lot of good ones. The run of holes I played at the end of my second round to make the cut were a shot of confidence. I hit every shot where I wanted while I was on the cut mark – not an easy thing to do. I had a poor weekend, mainly a result of a bad week on the greens, which is unusual for me. 

I am always extremely hard on myself, which has made this run of form tough. I’m in a position where I need to take as many positives as possible and look at the negatives objectively, which is something I have never done as well as I’d like. I am doing my best though. I’m on a plateau working as hard as I can, not seeing the results, but I know the scales will tip sooner or later and we’ll see some much better performances.