Chris Paisley on searching for form and finding light at the end of the tunnel
Things are not exactly going to plan on the golf course at the moment.
As I write, I have just missed my second cut in a row in South Africa. I did make the cut in Kenya, but had a poor weekend and finished towards the bottom of the leaderboard.
This has probably been the longest period of poor form of my career so far. In golf, confidence is everything and after an extended run of poor form, my confidence has taken a hit.
I have had some relatively low moments, where I have doubted myself, over the past 12 months. When you are putting everything into something and not seeing any real progress, it can be demoralising. Fortunately, I have the benefit of a lot of experience. It’s not just personal experience either, I have watched other golfers go through the highs and lows and I know it is all part of the journey.
You have to be proactive to get yourself out of the lows, but you also need a tremendous amount of perspective and patience – two things that this run of form has forced me to learn.
I do finally feel that I am on an upward trend. I have been doing some work with a new coach, Jamie Gough, and it is going even better than I hoped. I have improved my swing massively in a short space of time. Jamie works with a handful of other tour players and travels to every single event. Having him keeping a constant eye on me at events seems to be working really well. I’m hitting it better on the range, in practice rounds, and in most of my tournament rounds.
I’m happy with where I am physically and mentally, and I’m just patiently waiting for the low scores to come in. For the first time in a long time, I am certain they are coming.
I have one more event left in this four-week run, the Qatar Masters. I have some fond memories of the event, including a hole-in-one on the 17th in 2016. If it is the week that things click, fantastic, if not, I’ll keep plugging away to dig myself out of this slump.
I am sure I have said this a few times in my column, but you are never as good, or bad, as you think. One thing I do know is that I am on my way back to better form and I believe this period will have made me stronger as a person and golfer.