So this is my final column of the year and I’ve just finished my final event of 2017. I’ve played in Hong Kong and Australia the past two weeks, which were the first two events of the 2018 season. I had an encouraging start in Hong Kong, finishing 23rd but unfortunately missed the cut in Australia. Funnily enough, I played about the same in both events. I just wasn’t a fan of the course or greens in Australia – neither of which suited my eye. Judging by the amount of Aussie lads doing well that week local knowledge was important!
Last month I talked about tweaking the nature of my practice sessions. I wanted to create and simulate more pressure situations to better prepare myself for tournament golf, rather than focus on getting my game to ‘look’ good. I only had a few weeks of implementing this before Hong Kong but the benefits were clear. I felt much more prepared going into the event. I didn’t feel rusty like I normally do after a break. It was satisfying to see even a small improvement in such a short space of time. My driving over the two tournaments was encouraging too. I am no longer worried about a big miss and it is getting better all the time.
I am also much more organised than this time last year. I already know my schedule, including which events my swing coach Andrew Nicholson and putting coach Andy Paisley are coming to. I also know when I will be seeing my trainer Kenny McKenzie and physiotherapist Karen Young. I know the periods where I can hit the gym and practice hard, and the periods where I need to take it easy. I feel a lot of clarity going into 2018 and I’m excited.
A marathon journey from Brisbane to Orlando awaits. When I get there I get to spend some time with my wife, enjoy a couple of nice bottles of wine, and get to grips with my big green egg barbeque. Chef Paisley will be back with a bang!