Golf is like having sand in your palm

As I write, I’m heading toward the last leg of a three-week stretch of events. At the first, the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily, I finished 31st – which is always a decent result. Other than a poor first 12 holes in the second round, I played really well.

I had never been to Sicily before and my word, what a place! If you like great wine, seafood, pizza and tranquility, then Sicily is the place for you! The golf course (Verdura) was gorgeous too. I hope the event stays on the schedule because it is an amazing venue. Weeks like that more than make up for those trips to China!

We then headed back to the UK for the first event of the new Rolex Series at Wentworth. I played poorly and missed the cut by a country mile. I have not played well at Wentworth in the past and it is an event I have always desperately wanted to do well in. Unfortunately, I think my determination to do well had the opposite effect.

I felt more under pressure than usual, not from any external sources, but from myself. My coach Andrew Nicholson once told me a great metaphor for golf. He said it’s like having sand in your palm, the tighter you grip, the more the sand slips through your fingers. That’s what happened at Wentworth. I was so desperate to play well I got in my own way. Another lesson learned!

No matter the result, it was an honour to play the tournament. I think my younger self would be very proud that I am even playing in events like that. The next step is to win one!

The Monday following Wentworth I played in US Open Qualifying at Walton Heath. I shot seven under-par for two rounds and missed out by two shots. My game tee to green was really solid, which felt good after playing poorly at Wentworth. Unfortunately I didn’t putt particularly well, which you have to do in that type of event.

I’m now in Sweden getting ready for the Nordea Masters in Malmo. The course looks great and my game is in good shape. I just need to make sure to not grip the sand too tight.