First tournaments of 2014

Hope your all having a great 2014 and are just as excited as I am about the Masters this week, arguably the greatest tournament in the year on one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world.

I think among golfers you always feel like the season is here when the Masters starts, as for me my season started a fair while ago in Spain as mentioned in my previous blog.

Spain for me was just about getting back to competitive golf and putting in to practice what I had worked on over the winter with Christian and making sure everything was in place for Europro qualifying at the end of March. I started at a golf course called Hacienda Riquelme, just an 18 hole tournament but a nice way to start.

I went and did my preparation the day before and marked out my target areas off the tee and a clear strategy of what my game plan was for the round, something we had worked on and identified as a very important part. The round itself was a tale of two nines for me, a little nervy on the front nine and not free wheeling the swing, understandable after a winter of no tournament golf, I turned in 4 over, a little disappointing as I felt that I had not done much wrong, I came back in two under with no bogeys and could of been really low but for some poor putting. The thing what I really noticed was how low the scoring was with -9 winning.

I think it’s difficult when you have been away from that environment for a while and you come back and play you expect to be shooting low scores and contending where in reality it’s not going to happen and the guys that have been playing all winter come out and are as sharp as you would be mid season after ten tournaments under your belt, so for me it was also very important to keep reminding myself about what the trip was about and realise that I was going in the right direction.

So we moved on to corvera golf club for a 54 hole tournament, the course itself was very new, bouncy and no real protection apart from the wind and a few tricky holes with internal out of bounds, something I believe should not be played in professional golf!!

The first day sure enough was 40 mph winds gusting to 55 mph, an example of how bouncy and windy it was, was the 3rd hole a 412 yard par 4 straight downwind, the biggest problem was whether to hit driver or 3 wood!! I felt like a played nicely the front 9 controlling my ball well but waived from my game plan a couple of times, I needed to be more disciplined and trust the way I wanted to do things, again I made two doubles on the front nine without really hitting poor shots which was very frustrating but played some really nice stuff coming in for a one under back nine with no bogeys.

The second day saw the wind drop and was a totally different golf course, I played lovely all day and was -3 on the 16th tee, a disappointing finish of 3 Putt bogeys on 16 and 18 left a bitter taste in my mouth but I had played 24 holes without a bogey which is always encouraging. A final round of three over in benign conditions was a little frustrating as I didn’t feel like I had played much different than the day before, just shows what fine lines it is and emphasises how important the scoring clubs and putter is in tournament golf, something which I am working incredibly hard on.

The trip to Spain really was invaluable and left me with clear things to work on before my next event and a few little things to tweak with the routine and preparation. Up next for me will be the Europro qualifying at Formby Hall.