Firstly, thank you to everyone who made my Golf Day at Woodsome on 4 July possible!!
I really hope you enjoyed the day, and congratulations to everyone who picked up a prize!
The day concluded around 7pm and myself, Laura and the kids were on the road by 8.05pm starting the long drive up to Inverness for the Scottish Open.
After an hour both the girls were asleep and after two short stops en route we made it to our accommodation for the week at 3.10am!
Straight to bed and 5 hours’ sleep later, the next day had started!
I had some extra amazing support with me!! My mum, Laura’s Mum and Dad, her brother Chris, Steve’s wife Tracey, two other good friends Bob Whiteley and Arthur Batty, all made the journey, and once again my coach Mark Pearson was up for two days.
And at one point during round 2, I did actually witness my own personal Mexican wave!
So Tuesday morning the girls headed off to Loch Ness for the Tour families’ day, which of course was a boat trip searching for the hidden monster!!
And I got up to the course for some light practice and played 18 around the fabulous Castle Stuart!
It’s very picturesque!! You play the first 3 along the shoreline of the Moray Firth, and then 10, 11, 12 along the shoreline in the opposite direction!!
I’ve probably not played links golf since the Open in 2014, and being honest I’m not the biggest fan of it! People will not like me for saying that as it’s the ‘true’ form of golf and a lot of history is tied to links golf…
But it can be so unfair! Every single shot you need some luck or a good bounce. Sometimes you can hit the ball great and shoot a worse score than if you had played bad!
But with links golf you have to be more patient than ever, and accept bad breaks; if the course beats you up walking down the first after you’ve climbed out of a pot bunker then you have no chance for the next 17!!
Pot bunkers and golf balls seem to act like homing missiles, sometimes off the face of the club you just can’t miss them!!
You have to have a great imagination of what you ‘think’ is going to happen too, as you never really know on this terrain, and some people really like that!
You might think I’m been a bit soft saying I would rather a ball land and stop with a 3 iron from 200 yards but personally I think that in itself is a hard enough skill!
In practice we played the course dodging a few showers but overall it wasn’t too bad, the wind was fine.
So to then play last out (2.30pm) in horrific wind and at times rain, was not what we had ordered for round 1.
I managed to hang in there, birdie the last two and shoot 75 (+3); it kind of felt repeatable! But then when you see the stats that the morning average was 74 and the afternoon average was 77 it gave me a great confidence boost!
I was feeling pretty rough that week, fully dosed up with medicine, and it was a tough early start to get up there in the morning and warm up for a 9.30am tee time.
I managed to play solid though throughout the day and felt in control! It was nice to shoot 70 (-2) – I knew I was safe to play another weekend in a big event!
But there wasn’t much to shout about over the weekend! The wind had totally changed direction which made the course play so differently!
I played with Pablo Larrazabal and we both shot 75 (+3). I knew it wasn’t a great score but then I had the opposite feeling from day 1, when I realised everyone was shooting under par…. it now felt a really poor score!
I dropped down the pack to nearly bottom, and that meant day 4 was to fight to get off the bottom, as no way did I want to finish bottom!! Even though technically you’re not, as another 90 players had already missed the cut…
Day 4 the wind returned to normal and I played steady enough; I drove the par 4 3rd, 10th and 16th which always helps when you’re two putting for birdies…. I shot level par and left plenty of chances out there!
What I learnt about this week… When you’re tired this game is so much harder, losing focus when the weather is beating you down leads to poor mistakes and ones which prove very costly!
Also I need to improve on slow greens, something I never thought I would say….my putting has improved so much in the last 7 months but on fast greens.
Saying that, it’s rare we play on slow greens so I could just write off last week…..
But my ‘old’ technique was suited to slow greens, I would hit putts all the time which works when there is no pace to them….
But after hours of lengthening my swing and not hitting putts, to go back to slow greens certainly threw me!!!!
Overall though, another week on the Tour, another weekend played, a fantastic event to be part of and another week where many lessons have been learnt!!
And of course more points on the OOM!
I am getting better, and I know all the things I’m doing are the right things!!
So patience and good preparation are still the key, good things will happen and I can’t wait to write about them soon!!