Challenge Tour player Chris Paisley on falling back in love with the grind of professional golf
Like many of you back in the North East coming out of a wet start to the year, my season feels like it is just beginning.
I would usually have played 12 or so events by this time of year, but so far I have only played six.
This is partly because of the Challenge Tour schedule, partly because of illness, and partly because I have needed time at home to continue building the foundation of my game. I recently played two events in the Middle East – with one missed cut and a T37. Not my best, but there was some really good golf in there.
The process from the end of last season until now has been focussed on rebuilding the foundation of my game. My swing was in an unplayable place, and it has taken a lot of work to get it back into shape. Around 10 months, in fact.
Technically, I am swinging it the best I ever have. This doesn’t necessarily translate into immediate results, but it does give me a solid foundation to work from. With a sound and reliable swing once again, I can focus more on the finer details. Distance control, shot shaping, visualization, routine, short game… the list goes on.
I am finding that the ball now goes relatively straight! I’m not hitting it as close as I’d like, but I am not hitting the really poor shots that I was last season. Over time this is allowing me to swing with more freedom and confidence. I feel certain that I am on the right track, I just have to keep working hard and being patient, knowing that the results will come.
The most exciting thing for me is that I have my love for the grind back. With how hard I worked last year, and how poorly I played, I lost a lot of motivation because I was heading backwards all the time. I am now seeing the fruits of my work and that is fuelling a desire to keep going. In my situation it is easy to want immediate results, but I have always been at my best when I have been in love with my game and the process of getting better.
I hope you are all enjoying being out on the golf course in some nice weather. I am looking forward to getting back to the North East this summer, it has been a while!