Author Archives: Chris Hanson

Aussie adventure!

Australia is a bloody long way away!!!

Sunday night, after the UBS HK Open, I flew from Hong Kong down to Melbourne, past my intended destination of Brisbane, then after a quick pit stop flew back up to the Gold Coast and landed in Brisbane around lunch time Monday!

And by quick pit stop I mean sprinting through the airport to catch the connecting flight with ten minutes to spare!

Another few hours of time difference to contend with this week, along with what felt like a crazy humidity, more grainy greens and plenty of Aussie players in fine form, as they have just come off the back of their two biggest events which then concluded last week with their final event – the Australian PGA Championship!

I actually played this event two years ago in my first European Tour year, when the greens had just been re-laid and redesigned and with the seriously strong winds it was too crazy!

I shot something like 81-71 to miss the cut by one shot!

The greens have had two years to settle, bed in and are now a lot softer and much more playable.

But if you watched any of the coverage on TV then you would know what I mean when I say they look like a jigsaw puzzle!

Apparently the greens were laid at different times, hence the grain is all over the place and you actually could have a putt from 50ft and the grain would change direction 10 times!!

My last putt of the tournament I was determined to hole… I had a 7ft birdie putt on the 9th to finish.

Easy read left edge, but the grain was strong off the right, so to adjust for that I decided to hit the putt straight!

Everything felt good, I believe I hit a nice putt, the pace was good and it still missed left on a left to right putt!! Sometimes grain can be extremely frustrating to deal with!!

And that was a shame to not sign off 2017 with a birdie!!!!!!

Coach from Myerscough

Coach from Myerscough college days!

So after arriving Monday after not much sleep on a night flight, I still wanted to do some practice, just some short game and some putting!

But WOW it was hot!! Just so humid, you were sweating doing nothing, so as soon as you started to practise you were wet through! A pretty horrible feeling sometimes trying to peel your shirt off your arms before hitting shots etc – or having to wipe dripping sweat off your brow whilst you’re over a putt!

Throughout the week I slept pretty good on the new Aussie time zone, you end up forcing yourself to stay awake, going to bed really tired but then not wanting to wake up.

In Brisbane they don’t change the clocks like other states do, so it’s broad daylight around 4.30am and already super hot!!! Hence the 6am first tee times each day!

I was setting my alarm a few mornings for 4am, waking up and speaking to the family before they went to bed and then I headed off to the golf course! Quite surreal, really!

It makes the time away feel even longer, as you don’t get the quality opportunities to speak with them which you normally do in Europe!

I also played the pro-am this week, played with three nice guys, one of them being Sergio’s manager, so heard some fascinating stories from the golf world. He was in charge of Adidas/Marketing for a long time and signed Garcia, Rose, Poulter, Kaymer to the brand before leaving five years ago and setting up his own management group, taking Sergio on board!

The first two days I continued some good golf from Hong Kong and my stats into the greens for two days were fantastic! The new Callaway irons have certainly warranted their place in the bag so far.

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I ended up shooting 71, 71 for a -2 total and made the cut by a shot! The scoring was pretty good, and I watched a short game master class for two days from Adam Bland, who was leading the Tournament on 10 under!

In fact I’m pretty sure the top 20 was pretty much an Australian leader board bar possibly Garcia…which surely shows the home advantage!

It’s definitely a similar scenario to the events in South Africa when they tend to dominate.

Anyway, it’s the second event of the 2018 season and two cuts made with plenty of positive signs.

Again, though, the weekend wasn’t to be and it felt like a horrible Saturday with nothing feeling good and everything going wrong!

I shot 75 (+3) playing bad and the strange thing about golf is I played quite nicely Sunday and only beat my score by one, shooting 74 (+2).

Result = T62nd (+3) 71, 71, 75, 74 – 291

Here’s my tweet following round 4….

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So that’s it for the 2017 calendar year and it’s now time to take a break and feel fresh ready for the start of 2018!!
I’m really looking forward to some time off, but at the same time excited for what 2018 may hold!!

But first this mammoth journey home awaits me!!!!

Monday 6am
Brisbane – Melbourne (2 hour ✈️)
• 2 hour lay over
Melbourne – Hong Kong (9 hour ✈️)
• 6 hour lay over
Kong Kong – Heathrow (9 hour ✈️)
• 2 hour lay over
Heathrow – Madrid (3 hour ✈️)
• 2 hour lay over
Madrid – Malaga (1 hour ✈️)
• 1 hour

24 hours flying, 12 hours waiting and then the final drive home to top it off!

37 hours door to door if no problems or delays is some going…and going back to the opening line of the blog…Australia is a bloody long way away!!!

“Put a fork in me, I’m done”.

Over and out guys, see you in 2018! Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas!

2018 early schedule:

18th Jan – Abu Dhabi Championship
25th Jan – Dubai Desert Classic
1st Feb – Malaysia

Best wishes to you all.

Off and running in Hong Kong!!

I wanted to touch on a different subject at some point in one of my blogs, and last week in Hong Kong felt the right time, as it was very apparent that week!

I pride myself on my preparation, and I’m pretty sure Justin Rose does too; for me he’s the ultimate golfing professional! But one thing for sure is I’m pretty certain his days are extremely different to mine and he has to be even more careful with his time, which in turn probably makes his time away from tournament golf even more important!

Let me start with my Wednesday preparation:
• 7am alarm, up for breakfast at the hotel
• 8am, bus to the course
• 8.30am, physio treatment to get rid of my aches and pains from run/gym night before
• 9.30am, range session working through my bag, testing new clubs, Trackman games
• 12pm, relaxed lunch
• 12.45pm, putting drills, tech session and competitive games
• 3pm, short game, bunker work
• 4.30pm, few drivers to finish off in a different wind direction
• 5pm, early dinner at the course
• 6pm, bus back to hotel
• 7pm, gym session/run and cool down
• 8pm, write up the day in my diary then chill out, watch TV, speak to family

Sounds pretty easy and fun, right…?

Well, I got to do exactly what I wanted to do, preparation was great, I ticked off my ‘to-do-list’ and everything I wanted to achieve, and was ready for my first round!

So, from what I see, read and hear from other players, let’s now try and piece together what Justin’s Wednesday might look like:

• 7am alarm, up for breakfast at the hotel
• 8am, private courtesy car to the course from sponsor’s hotel (perks of being top 5 in the world)
• Arrive at the course 8.45am, get stopped by every man and his dog for a photo, autograph and chat!
• 9am, get sorted in locker room and head to the range (repeat above en route)
• 9.15am, spend an hour hitting balls, having every shot watched and I’m sure admired and sometimes even criticised by the public and press!
• 10.15am, press conference, more autographs/photos
• 11am, early ‘quick’ lunch
• 11.30am, meet pro-am team
• 12pm, play pro-am which is also your practice round, so studying course and practising whilst entertaining the team (importance of a good caddy here)
• 5.30pm, after 5 1/2-hour round, spend 45 mins with team
• 6.15pm, now too dark to practise, so courtesy car back to hotel
• 7pm, arrive at hotel
• 7.30pm gym session
• 8.30pm dinner and bed with no real time to chill out
• 5am alarm for round 1 to start!

What I’m trying to say is, the better you get as a player, the more commitments you have, the less time you have, and at times the more selfish you have to become as you still need to do YOUR job.

That’s why I sometimes/not always have sympathy for players spending hours doing autographs or receiving abuse for not signing another kid’s hat.

There has to be a point where they stop – don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it’s part of the job/success that comes with playing and I’ve seen first-hand how happy it makes a young boy/girl to get an autograph, but I also understand that at times it’s tough!

I saw it first-hand with Rory at The Scottish Open; he stood and signed autographs for people for 25 mins, and the second he walked away some guy sarcastically shouted “Thanks” for not signing his…that’s unfair, surely!

Rory seems a great guy too!

I did see at Valderrama, which I thought was cool, a kids’ only area for autographs! Now I’m all for that – there is nothing worse than seeing kids gets pushed to the back with adults leaning over them to get autographs for themselves or even worse to sell on eBay…get a grip!!!!

Anyway, that’s my little topic covered from a playing perspective.

Great third hole

Great third hole

Now back to the tournament…

Last year I really struggled at this event, I was like a cat in the headlights! Different grass, grainy greens, and so firm.

I don’t think saying ‘I wasn’t ready’ are the right words, but I didn’t embrace it!!

The layout of the course is fantastic, it has such variety, you maybe hit only 6 drivers, but even when you do they need to be good ones!

The course, I would think, is well over 100 years old, so is shaped wonderfully through the trees! The whole atmosphere around the event is cool too – I’m pretty sure it’s not a cheap place to play your golf!!!

But let’s just think about my preparation for 2018 compared to last year.

So, on finishing the 2016 season I had a pretty grim month of weather at home before flying to this event in Hong Kong for the 2017 season, I was probably practising every other day, maybe doing a few hours indoors at Woodsome and, if I was lucky, got outside some days.

Flash forward 12 months, and following the end of the season I had two weeks’ training followed by two weeks’ solid practice in great weather and really good golfing conditions!

I actually can’t believe some people felt a move to warmer climates was a bad idea and that giving yourself the best opportunity to be the best golfer you can be was not right!

Arriving in Hong Kong I felt prepared, if anything it’s just getting a card back in your hand now and feeling the butterflies!

I’d played a few games over the last few weeks but it’s still not the same.

It’s a tricky course in Hong Kong and one which I mentioned I really struggled on last year, propping up the leaderboard with a few scores in the mid-seventies!!

And with a sneaky wind in round one I posted a 1 over (71) but this year it actually felt ok; it’s not an easy course as you can soon get out of position with it being so firm and at the end of the day I was in around 50th position.

Day 2 I played really solid, everything went pretty smoothly, I controlled it nicely and shot a bogey free round of 66 (-4).

That felt great and boosted me up the leaderboard to T15th… they’re the rounds you really enjoy, not feeling to make mistakes as generally you make birdies, so to go bogey free is pleasing!

So, the first event of the year and some weekend golf, that’s a good start, but of course in the position I was in I wanted to push on!

Again, I played nicely, carding a 67 (-3) and left a few good chances out there!! I actually got it to -5 through 14 holes, but a poor bogey on 15 and a closing bogey on the tough 18th left a slightly sour taste in the mouth!

But to get myself into tied 8th with a round to go in the first week is pleasing, and you just never know what a Sunday has to offer!

Unfortunately for me this Sunday wasn’t to be, maybe I wanted it too much? Is that possible??

But a poor tee shot off the first led to an opening bogey and I just never seemed to get it going.

Through 8 holes I was +1 but it felt so much worse. Shaking that feeling off is tough, you feel to be trying and trying and getting nothing, it feels the world is against you!

Nine is a tough hole, a demanding tee shot, and a tricky second even when in position.

I tried to draw it round the corner, over hooked it and then compounded my error with a three putt triple bogey!

That hurt big time!!!

The next hole then provides a chance; I failed after two shocking pitch shots and luckily ran off with a bogey, and actually hearing the crowd laugh at my first pitch was pretty gut wrenching!

My only birdie came down the next, followed by plenty of average pars before short siding myself into the 18th and leaving myself no shot in the trap!

So, a 76 (+6) to turn a great week into what all of a sudden felt an extremely average week!

Of course, there are so many positives to take from the first event of the year, as you guys keep reminding me (huge thanks!) but I’m better than what happened in round 4, and I shouldn’t be letting rounds get away like that.

The only saving grace is that it was in round 4 and not round 1, as that would have made playing the weekend a lot tougher!!

As ever, in true #TeamHanson fashion, we’ve assessed the round/week and after two flights to Brisbane for the next event it’s time for a fresh start and prepare for the Australian PGA Championship!!

Game on!

End of year ‘round up’

So, the 2018 season is starting and it’s not even Christmas yet!

As always I try to recap on the previous year and there is no better time to write it than on a long Heathrow to Hong Kong night flight!

I will try to cover what went well, what didn’t go so well, any regrets, the low points, the high points and, of course, what I enjoyed the most!!

Overall it’s been an incredible season, even though I didn’t achieve all my goals, I sure gave them a damn good go! But I guess most importantly I have a job for 2018 and again on the European Tour!!

But with no one really knowing how the Rolex series events would affect the cut off for keeping your card, and of course with it being the top 100 and not the top 110 like 2016, it was a total guessing game…other than we all knew it would require a lot more.

Tour media

Tour media

Going forward I’ve already started looking ahead to 2018, setting some new goals etc, but I have to, because as you know Hong Kong starts this week!

I had a few weeks off with the family following on from Valderrama (T18th) but my pre-season two-week boot camp soon started, especially since I had some new equipment to try!

I had areas of my game I wanted to improve, some new equipment to test, and a great few days planned with my coach to get match ready for the start of the season – I’m excited!!

Stats 2016 vs 2017 (from europeantour.com)

Stroke average = 71.69 vs 71.06
Driver accuracy = 58.8% vs 65.9%
Distance = 292 vs 294
GIR = 68% vs 72.2%
Putts = 29.9 vs 30.3
R2D = 108th vs 89th

Highest OWGR = 295th

29 events = 11 miss cuts (4 by 1 shot)

Best results
• T6th Trophée Hassan II
• T11th Dunhill Links
• T11th British Masters
• T14th Czech Masters

As you can see from the stats the Tour keep, most areas have improved, but I also keep my own personal stats which are much more in depth and which you may have seen me tweet or seen on some of my blogs via golfstattracker.co.uk

I’m happy with my progress and all my stats are trending in the right direction.

I didn’t achieve my best result on the Tour this year, which was a shame, but I certainly performed better in a few bigger events, notably the Trophée Hassan where the prize fund was increased and I banked my biggest cheque to date.

Then of course the British Masters on home soil where my T11th in a strong field came with a timely cheque towards the end of the year and a boost up the OWGR to my career high 295.

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Other experiences and memorable moments….

I’ve played with some good/notable players this year, some really impressed and others not so much, but as ever I learnt from all of them, how they managed their games, the crowd and their emotions!

Poulter, Fitzpatrick, Lowry, Kaymer, Donaldson, Larazabal, Johnston (Beef), Dubuisson, Oleson to name a few…

Who’s the best……?

I won’t go into detail again, as I’ve covered these in previous blogs which you may have read but they’re not even on the above list – Richard Sterne stood out tee to green as one of the best ball strikers I’ve played with.

And of course Anthony Wall for someone who never leaves a shot out there; he really was world class around the greens and I learnt bucket loads off him.

Memorable moments…

One of the most stand out feelings/moments this year was on the iconic 17th green at Valderrama in round 4. I was playing with BEEF and Pablo Larazabal who is, of course, a Spanish favourite.

Pablo holed a fast putt down the hill for birdie from 15ft and the roar and atmosphere was out of this world! It’s fair to say he’s a bit of a showman, and he held the Spanish flag above his head after waving it around – the noise levels were through the roof! #goosebumps

Low points…

Unfortunately you have them, we all do, some more than others, and thankfully this year there were more highs!
But missing six cuts in a row wasn’t nice, and didn’t help with some of the ‘words of wisdom’ you get sent through or hear from other people.

• “Is it the caddy?”
• “Why move house?”
• “Why did you miss that putt?”

What hurt even more was missing the first two in that run of six by one shot, and both times bogeying my last hole in very poor fashion!

Thankfully, the amazing number of good will messages makes up for most of the above and I really can’t thank you guys enough!!

Prague was also a shitty feeling; after 36 holes I was leading by 3 shots thanks to some nice playing and some good weather breaks, and after 39 holes I was leading by 4…

To then fritter away my chance of winning or a high finish and end the week 14th, was pretty miserable! But I didn’t dwell on it in the slightest and never hide away from failure or setbacks. Straightaway the team got together, addressed the week and put a plan in place to improve certain areas of my game and mental game – and at Close House I reaped the rewards!

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#TeamHanson

What can I say…no one has a more honest and hardworking team in place than me!

We all sing off the same hymn sheet, we all strive for the same successes, and not one of us is fragile to criticism, we all think outside the box, and give 100% to the cause!

Golf may not be seen as a team sport, but you couldn’t be more wrong!

So thanks must go to…

Duncan Maxim – MB (MarkBlundell) Partners, Manager
Molly Thorne
Hannah Lee
Mark Pearson – Coach
Steve Tooby – Caddy
Iain Highfield – Mind
Rachael Tibbs – Fitness
Laura Hanson – The boss (haha)

Sponsors/partners…

Without you guys it also couldn’t happen, there are too many to list who have contributed and in so many ways and I wouldn’t want to miss anyone out, but you know exactly who you are – a massive, massive thanks!

The unofficial #TeamHanson

This is a seriously big unofficial ‘team’ and it’s ever growing worldwide! It starts close to home with my family and friends who have been with me from the start but continues to grow with the amazing friendships I’ve made with many people from local golf clubs such as Woodsome Hall, Crosland Heath, Bradley Hall, Outlane, but also all around the UK!

Then to many great friends at tournaments around the world, to families who have accommodated me from Ireland to Australia to South Africa and even looked out for me from across the pond in the USA!

I’m truly grateful for all the support, and I really hope you continue to enjoy the journey, wherever it takes us!!

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The Andalusian Masters!

After finishing T50th in the last Rolex Event of the ‘scheduled season’ in Italy, it was straight onto Spain for the last event before the top 100 cut off for retaining a European Tour Card and the magic 10 access lists spots would be confirmed.

The feeling going into the Andalusian Masters was rather different for me compared to the Portugal Masters last year, which was the final event in 2016 where I felt I needed to make the cut to be safe.

Also the fact I was only 40 minutes from where we are now living made the week more relaxing, but I reckoned my job for 2018 was 95% safe on the main list but 100% safe on the access list!

If you don’t know how the access list works it’s not something I’m going to explain on here, but basically because I earned most of my points/money in non-Rolex events, it meant I was safe as houses!!!

I felt pretty well prepared for the event too. I had a week off in mid-September, when I missed Portugal to many people’s disapproval, and I spent the week practising, resting and more importantly having a practice round at Valderrama.

And I just love the place!

The condition is world class, the definition, the greens, the fairways are pure…the welcome, the setup, the hospitality are just so special, it has to be one of my favourite golfing venues!!

That week I played on my own on a Thursday morning, there was no one around, the weather was perfect and I just strolled around playing two balls trying to keep a score.

Valderrama is such a great test and so tough, but when I played it on my own it was as easy as it gets…no wind, plus you get to kick your ball out of the trees and move it to the other side of the fairway when overhanging trees are in the way…ha ha!!!!

But when you’re out playing it in tournament mode it’s brutal, it tests every aspect of your game and more than anything your patience!!!

You have to get the ball in play off the tee, and that’s not just on the fairway, you have to be on the correct side of the fairway!! The Valderrama cork trees overhang so many holes, and I actually worked it out…

You could hit the fairway on the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, 16th, and 18th and not have a shot to the green!!! Some people hate that! But that’s part of it, you have to be patient and accept you’re going to get ‘unlucky’ at times!

Having already played my practice round, I had the luxury of just playing nine holes Tuesday and spending the rest of the day and Wednesday going through my preparation to-do-list!!

By Thursday I felt ready to get playing, I love the process, the preparation but I think competing is what I really enjoy about the game, it’s the fun part, it’s not the work, the lead up to events is the work and the game day is the play!

Round one I started on ten, the wind was up and my first tee shot changed from the three iron in practice to a knockdown driver sliding it off the trap.

I started birdie, birdie and was off and running, another birdie on my 5th (14th) and I was three under and on the leaderboard! I dropped one on the next not doing much wrong but then fatted my 80 yard approach into 17 40 yards short! Splash!!

Was nice of them to catch that on TV too…doh!!!!

Level par out, and 1 over coming home to shoot an ‘ok’ 72 (+1) to finish the day around 40th, disappointing after the start but Valderrama did exactly what I said it could do…beat you up!!

Round two I let a few slip and made a shocking bogey on 18 to finish plus three for the day which made the cut on the mark at +4.

So, once again, exactly 65 players made the cut, and the great thing about this course is you know if you go out there and shoot two level pars you move up the leaderboard…there are not many courses you can do that on!!

Saturday we played in two balls and I played with the Spaniard Jorge Campillo, a decent player and again someone who goes under the radar making well over half a million euros each year!!

I played again tee to green world class, picking up strokes on the field with my approach play, but super-fast sloping greens made even an 8ft putt tough! In the end I shot three under, which was a happy moving day!

I then followed it up Sunday with a 70 (-1) playing in a pretty special marque group, Andrew ‘BEEF’ Johnston, and Pablo Larrazabal a Spanish fav!!

We had good fun out there, I played solid again, BEEF had a frustrating day but battled till the end birdieing 17 and 18, whilst Pablo was as flamboyant as ever, pleasing the crowd with some special short game and some nice birdies near the end!!

If you know Valderrama you will know how the water sits short on 17 with the amphitheatre back drop creating an amazing setting. I smashed my drive and found the green in two with a 5 iron for my second shot.

Beef…lay up short, wedge on, holed out from 12ft.

Pablo…’fore’ left, down the bank, lay up short, wedged it on to 14ft, holed the putt for birdie to the most electric reception I’ve ever been involved in!! #goosebumps

Me…three putted from 50ft for par!!!! And that sometimes sums up golf…

But another under par round at Valderrama and a solid weekend to move up to 18th along with another top 20 for 2017! And of course 100% wrapped up my playing rights for 2018, finishing 89th on the Race 2 Dubai.

The only thing then was to wait and see if I got into Turkey; it’s 78 players and last year the list went down to 103rd place, but there were the terror problems which this year they don’t have.

But people thought I may have a chance…in the end it was a non-runner and I finished up 8th reserve, so that was now the official end of my 2017 season. Of course I’m disappointed not to achieve my goal of playing the final series… I’m still very happy with how the year has panned out!!

End of season blog to follow…

The Italian Open

After a disappointing Dunhill Links, it was nice to know I would be jetting off back to a course where last year I had some success! Golf Club Milano in Monza for the Italian Open and another cash-filled Rolex Trophy event at an extremely important time in the schedule!!

It was make or break week for many players, and a very clutch time for me too!! Lots of guys needing huge weeks to keep their playing rights for next year and with tenth place paying around €100,000, it was the week to do it!

And if I quickly flash ahead to Sunday, plenty guys did it…Gregory Havret on the brink of losing his card for the first time in probably 20 years secured it with a €65k cheque.

Max Kieffer needed to perform and did!! Matt Wallace needing a huge week to improve his category and did, winning €297k

Also Marcus Fraser who has struggled all season banked €251k and wrapped up his top 100 spot!!! Impressive stuff, and as they say in the sporting world, it takes some big balls to do that, well done guys!

My week ended up being pretty frustrating; I felt after Wednesday I had got my game in a good place and Thursday played very nicely. My approach play was world class.

Rounds of 68, 70 (-4) only saw me scrape through to the weekend on the mark as the scoring was good, and with Soomin Lee making birdie on 18 he knocked everybody on -3 out for the weekend and, from a selfish point of view, nicely reduced the cut to 65 players, which is the perfect number!

Had Soomin made par, the cut would have stayed at -3, an extra 18 guys would have made the cut and then with the new rule, that would have meant a round three cut and a watered down prize fund!

So, with the money on offer this week it was definitely the weekend to shoot two 65s.

I got it to a couple under in round three through 7 holes but too many stupid mistakes and very poor mental attitude cost me and level par wasn’t the round I was after!!!!!

It certainly wasn’t the weekend to waste shots, I was determined to make up for it in the final round. I have wasted too many opportunities this year and need to improve on this to be a much better player!!

So how did round four go? After that last paragraph it should have started well but it didn’t!!! The difference from playing early compared to after lunch was massive, by midday people were going for the first green in two with irons…at 8.30am it was cold, misty and you couldn’t get near the green in two.

I hit a decent drive, a good lay-up, then wedged it to 12ft – sounds good? It does until I three putted giving a shot away on the first!!!!!! What an absolute idiot, to put it politely!

An 8 iron to 6ft on the second and a 6 iron to 5ft on the third meant I bounced back strong and after a few more good approach shots I ended up shooting 68 (-3).

Relatively happy with my round, I hoped to climb a few places, but with everyone making birdies everywhere I only grabbed two extra places and moved up to 50th.

My Rolex series performances haven’t been great, but it was still a much needed €23k on the OOM…there are not many weeks you win a cheque like that and move down in the Race to Dubai (93rd)!

So, with one counting event left in Spain before the ‘end of the season’, it’s important I stay focused, I have goals I still want to achieve and pushing for a place in Turkey is high on the list!

It’s a field size of 78, and with many players who may choose not to play it could fall further down the list, so let’s fight for every penny at Valderrama and see where we are Sunday night!!!

On another note, I must say a huge thank you to Phil Shaw (Woodsome) for his amazing support this week in Italy. Phil enjoyed his trip to Prague last year so much he wanted to support me at another event. This week he cheered me along for 72 holes, joined me for dinner all week, and we had a great time, first class company!!

Then Friday, extra support appeared, Richard Sykes (Woodsome) was out with work in Milan and joined Phil on the sidelines to cheer me along!!

I can’t thank you guys enough for the support, hope you had a great time!!!

British Masters & Dunhill Links!

THE BRITISH MASTERS @ CLOSE HOUSE

After flying in from Spain on the Monday morning (25 Sep), it was great to spend a bit of time with family and friends before heading up the A1 for my first British Masters.

I arrived at the hotel late that evening, unpacked, ironed a few bits, and got to sleep ready for an early start Tuesday for some practice before my coach Mark arrived to join us for a practice round.

I’d heard the course was quirky from when the Europro played there earlier in the year. I’d also heard from a few players that it wasn’t great…but in May for the Europro it was firm and bouncy!!

But I would guess most of those views are because it’s not your ‘standard’ sort of European Tour course…so on arriving at Close House I was very impressed! Driving in you see the elevation changes straightaway, but with well-defined fairways lined with wispy long US Open grass, I thought on the eye it looked great!!

You then follow the road down to the clubhouse and hotel which felt like a good half a mile…and on arriving at the clubhouse the Geordie welcome was fantastic!

Super friendly, a beautiful clubhouse and I just felt there was so much pride in hosting this event! The staff couldn’t do enough for you!!

As the week went on, the atmosphere started to build. A through road split the 18th green, 1st tee, 4th green, 5th and 12th tee and along the wall there the crowds lined up to watch the golf unfold.

It really was a great viewing area; from there you weren’t far from the 6th tee, 11th green and the driving range, it was hustle and bustle all the time, and the friendliness of the fans spread throughout the crowds!


For me personally it was pretty special too. Only being two hours from home meant plenty of people came up to watch – friends, family, Woodsome and Crosland Heath members, plus many others from Yorkshire and afar who I’ve met along my journey to the European Tour – it was great to see you in the crowd!!

Playing with Poulter on the Saturday, everyone kept shouting his name, but he didn’t know any of them. I knew every time someone shouted my name I had to look as I knew them, and really wanted to say hi too! That was special!!

The week for me started nicely, my preparation had been good and from the games I did in practice I knew my game was in good shape.

First round I ripped it up one, missed my birdie chance but then birdied the next three holes! Apart from a three putt from 55ft on the 8th, I played the first 9 holes perfectly making 6 birdies!

A couple more on the back nine and I happily signed for 6 under!!
Throughout the week I played solid, managed my game really well, and felt very comfortable in my first British Masters!

After a 3 under round two, that put me in a tie for second and brought a TV fixture for day three with Poulter!

You hear mixed rumours from caddies, players, and people in the golf world about Ian, but I’ve always had full admiration for what he’s achieved in the game. The guy is a serial winner and a Ryder Cup legend – who cares if he tweets about his Ferrari collection? He has earned it and it certainly hasn’t just been handed to him!!

I’ve always been fascinated with the insight into his life on Twitter, and also many other players and sportsmen/women, that’s why I love Twitter so much!

Anyway, in typical Hanson fashion, I probed him throughout the round with questions, and certainly learnt from his game how to manage certain situations.

I also felt I had a first-hand example of ‘player power’ when he called the ref for a ruling on the back of 8. A wet, boggy lie on the fringe but no casual water . . .

On the ref arriving, Ian’s words in a stern voice were something along the lines of “Hi Ref, this is GUR isn’t it” and the ref obliged allowing a drop in Ian’s favour.

I had a similar incident in Crans this year where I was in a faded white line, shocking area of grass which we felt should still have been GUR. On politely asking the ref what he thought, I got a firm “NO, just play it how it lies”.

Maybe a sterner presentation from me would have got the desired drop…who knows!?


So, in round three I shot 69 (-1) to stay in the mix and get the three ball pairing of Fitzpatrick and Lowry for Sunday.

Two great guys and very enjoyable company! I started the round hot: birdie birdie out of the blocks and into the lead. I played some good stuff throughout the day but unfortunately dropped a few shots down the back nine which meant I finished the tournament in T11th.

But what a great week, and some very needed Euros on the OOM at such an important time of the year! I was happy, #TeamHanson was happy, and the drive up to Scotland that night was a fun one!!!!

Beep, ting, vibrate, the phone was non-stop and the hundreds of messages of support flooded in as ever. It is truly amazing and extremely overwhelming the support I receive each week!!

So again, thanks from everyone at #TeamHanson, hope you’re enjoying the journey!

Also a huge thanks and congratulations must go to Lee Westwood for hosting the event. I can’t imagine what commitments he must have had throughout the week, and then to play as well as he did just shows what a professional he is!!!!!

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ALFRED DUNHILL LINKS @ THE HOME OF GOLF

So straight from Newcastle and three hours up the road to St Andrews for the next event! Laura and the girls flew in to Newcastle on the Thursday morning (28 Sep), and they were with me again for the Dunhill Links, which was great!

We also stayed in the official hotel, which we very rarely do due to the expense, but the crèche was in the hotel this week and not at the course as it usually is (due to there being three courses in play). So it was just really handy to be on site and fantastic for the kids!

It’s a week I was really looking forward to. I had a few family members up too and we were all looking forward to meeting my amateur partner and good friend from last year, Art Moossmann and his wife Jacqueline.

We had both requested to play together and were quietly hopeful we would get to team up again. So on Tuesday night at the ‘draw’ party it was a huge disappointment not to get that privilege…there is never a guarantee you will, but with us both requesting we thought we might.

We wished each other luck, but still planned to meet up throughout the week as much as possible!


So after three days’ preparation around the three courses, I still felt my game was in good shape. We walked St Andrews and Kingbarns with just a wedge and putter to hopefully save some energy and on the Tuesday played Carnoustie, or Carnasty as some people like to call it.

It’s a long week, and the day you play Carnoustie you have to factor in the 6 hour rounds and the hour trip each way around the Dundee estuary.

I got drawn to play St Andrews Thursday; it’s a very special venue but certainly a course I haven’t got to grips with yet.

On arriving at the tee I met my new partner for the week, Nikesh Arora, we got on great throughout the week, but unfortunately for both of us we certainly weren’t firing on all cylinders.

We battled hard but links golf certainly beat us this year!!

And at times it truly did beat me hard! I’m not too sure why, but I seem to find it a lot harder than everyone else, or that’s honestly how it feels.

Firm turf, massive slow greens, huge amounts of run, cold winds and deadly pot bunkers!! I’m not embracing the challenge like I should and for me that’s strange, as put me on every other course and I’m a pretty patient player.

The wind for the week wasn’t the norm and we played the front nine at St Andrews into a very tough wind into and out of the left, I didn’t drive it well, struggled to commit to my lines and got myself out of position too many times!!

We then turned downwind on 9, I drove the green to 20 ft then three putted! Argh!! That summed up the day…

In the end I shot 74 (+2) then followed that up at Carnoustie the following day with a 73 (+1), which then left me a lot of work to do at Kingsbarns, needing 65 (-7) to make the cut!


Sorry to be negative but that probably wasn’t going to happen, but I sure wanted to give it a go!!

I started on 10, missed a good chance there, birdied 11, then bombed a drive down the 12th, a pretty straightforward but spectacular par 5. I went for the green with rescue but found the greenside trap. Up against the lip I had to give it a go – the ball popped up, hit the face, bounced back, then hit my club again…oh dear…a double bogey 7 and all of a sudden the day got a whole lot harder!

In the end, I signed for plenty and hung around near the bottom of the leaderboard; a tough and frustrating week, but as always a learning curve, to play with JB Holmes day one, and then former world number one Martin Kaymer day two, was interesting but then the highlight of the week was to meet and play with Wladimir Klitschko on day three.

What a legend he is, one of the most recognisable sporting champions in the world and possibly one of the nicest guys I’ve met!!! Extremely down to earth, so modest and a pleasure to talk to, and as ever in Hanson fashion I totally interrogated him about his boxing career!!

To learn more about professional sport, yourself and to become a better person/professional, you have to take these opportunities to question the greats in whichever sport they’re from!!

So, another Dunhill Links was over early and I’m sure if I’m back I will be better prepared!!

So it was time to say a tough goodbye to the girls and leave them at Edinburgh airport and head down to Huddersfield to get a Monday flight back out to Italy for the next event – the Rolex Series Italian Open, where I have fond memories from last year!

 

The KLM Open!

Weeks feel like they are flying by at the moment – that’s another run of four tournaments ticked off – but it’s great to take plenty of positives away from it all and, of course, add points to my OOM tally!!

In Denmark, my ball striking was world class, but a cold putter led to a missed cut by 1 shot; from there I went on to finish T14th, T37th, and finally T25th last week at the KLM Open.

And it was great to see the effort I’ve put in to my putting pay dividends and see my stats hugely improve, as I promised you all they would!

I had also set some short-term outcome goals to push towards over the previous 4 events:

• win €100,000
• be in contention
• push for top 250 in the world

I didn’t achieve them all, but I got myself in contention to win, I added approx €50,000 to the OOM, and raised my world ranking back up to 331

So, how did the KLM Open go last week?

I arrived with positive memories of a T8th finish last year; I like the course, hence the reason I chose to play this week, rather than Portugal next week which is my scheduled break.

But this year the course couldn’t have played more differently, and the forecast predicted it was going to be another very wet week which would surely affect the scoring.

Thursday morning, looking out of the hotel window, it looked pretty grim; scoring wasn’t great but at the top of the leaderboard players were still making birdies. I watched some of the coverage and the wind was in and out, and the rain was coming in showers then drying up.

It certainly changed in the afternoon. The first of the afternoon groups got it tough, they probably played 9 holes in wind and rain, which progressively got worse to the point where we then teed off and after two holes of fighting with umbrellas and debating with the referee, they called it off!

I haven’t played in rain and wind that bad for a while. I holed a good 10ft putt for par on 10, I then played the unreachable par 4 11th sensibly to 12ft for three, and then watched the wind make a mockery of the putting and I three putted my way to a double bogey!!!

Coming off the course then was the best possible decision. We got lucky to restart the following day and had pretty decent weather for 34 holes!

I parred 12 on the restart then birdied the next four holes making putts from 55ft, 16ft, 8ft and 18ft!! In the end, I shot 68 (-3) and followed that up in the afternoon with a level par 71 to cruise through the cut to enjoy some more weekend golf!!

Bad weather and delays sure make the weeks feel longer and longer, you miss the breaks and down time you normally get during a week, and they’re what keep you fresh for the whole tournament.

And this week I also had to find time to locate a dentist, with half a back tooth falling out in Crans last week, making it super sensitive and pretty painful. Thankfully I got it sorted Tuesday night in the local town, with some help from my manager Duncan!

After a slow start to Saturday’s round, I then made eagle on 6 to change the momentum for the day, it got me under the card and from there I played nicely, carding another round of 68 (-3) which also moved me up to T16th with a round to go.

I had some more #TeamHanson support out this week – Cathy and Jim Baxter cheered me along all the way, so it was lovely of them to join me for dinner Saturday night.

So, one last push and then home for a week to see the girls!!

Through 9 holes I was level par, and both my playing partners were -3. I was playing ok but nothing dropped, all of a sudden it feels even worse when they are pulling away from you!!!

I then went bogey bogey, so you can imagine how I felt!!!

I constantly remind myself that every shot counts, they all have the same importance, all you can do is stick to your process, try to hit good shots and hopefully hole some putts. Down 12 I did and it gave me a little lift!!

I then hit it close on the par 3 14th and birdied 15 after finding the par 5 green in two shots!

I parred in for 70 (-1) which felt ok – it dropped me down the board to T25th but I guess it’s another solid week and nice to shoot four rounds of level par or better.

I’ve now got a scheduled break and then it’s full steam ahead for the final four events: British Masters, Alfred Dunhill Links, Italian Open, and the Spanish Open!!

Four fantastic opportunities – I can’t wait to get stuck in!!!

Just WOW!! The Omega European Masters

The Omega European Masters is an event I have watched on TV for years, admired the views, and envied everyone who played there, but never thought I would get to play it myself!

So achieving the dream of getting my Tour card for 2016 I was so excited to tick this event off my bucket list…but to then end up 5th reserve meant I never got the chance to play and had to watch it on TV again!

So, this year I was even more excited to play and visit Crans Montana, knowing that I was going to get my bite at the cherry after keeping my card for the 2017 season!!

After flying to Geneva from a successful week in Prague, I then had one of the most beautiful 2-hour train rides – courtesy of Omega!!

The train gets you to the bottom of the mountain and then BMW get you to the top! This really is living the dream, they couldn’t make the journey any easier for us!

The climb to the top is breath taking, it plateaus every so often and you think you’re there but then climb again further up the mountain where the views get better and better – to the point where you’re in the clouds!

On Saturday night it actually snowed and it felt you were level with the snow topped mountains whilst playing, but due to the size of the mountains is was just misleading as to how big and far away they actually were!

And the crazy thing was you could keep climbing higher and higher up the mountain we were on!!

The village of Crans Montana has a similar feel to St Andrews…you walk off the golf course into the village, the bars, cafés, shops and the buzz around the place is amazing! Relaxed, classy and totally chilled out!

On arriving at the course I signed in and collected my player welcome gifts from Omega – some aftershave, a cigar and some chocolates!

Tuesday and Wednesday I had some friends arriving – Ben Johnson, Michelle and Tony Booth, and Lin and Mike Ockenden.

It’s fantastic to have some #TeamHanson support at the event and to have them cheering me along through the good and bad of each round is great!

Thanks guys!

It was also great to meet Ian Saxton and his friend who were in Crans for the week and supported me throughout my rounds!

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So I then had two full days to see the course, get used to the altitude and the difference that makes to the ball’s carry distance…and of course get my head around the spectacular views!!!!

Practice rounds can sometimes be tough, you have to play with the right people, it needs to be constructive and you don’t want to waste a minute!

At first I thought the course may be a bit too tricky, a bit fiddly and maybe even unfair…

But I soon changed my tune! It really was a good test! You had to shape the ball both ways, have full control over your shots and be super patient!!

Play well you can win, play poor you have no chance!! It was a fair course and I couldn’t wait to tee it up – I couldn’t have been more wrong!

The first two days I was paired with Anthony Wall and Dylan Frittelli, we all played steady for two days and all made the weekend, which was nice!!

For me, I was on the cut bubble with 7 holes to play and then made six 3’s in a row – four of them birdies – to cruise through the weekend level par cut on -3!!

I’ve played with Anthony a few times now, and the crazy thing is many of you probably haven’t heard much about his game, but to spend 20 years on the European Tour, win twice and bank €10 million is super impressive!

And I personally can vouch for him being one of the best players out there! You wouldn’t watch him on the range and think ‘wow’ like you would with Rory, DJ etc…

But that’s not real golf!! Real golf is scoring, not dropping shots, holing clutch putts, saving pars and making the easy birdies, and not hitting a shot till your 100% ready and committed – it doesn’t have to look as pretty as Rory can sometimes make it look!

Anthony does all the above and I sat down with him after round two to discuss his game! I learnt so much from him again, there were just stand out moments in his rounds which were world class and I can’t thank him enough for his time and the kind words he had on my own game too!!

I actually think that the conversation I had with him had immediate effect; the mindset and the lessons learned from those two days, plus having some great chats with my mind coach Iain Highfield, really rubbed off on me for the weekend!

I struggled off the tee, but wow did I make some Anthony Wall saves and decisions! I didn’t waste a shot and battled so hard over the weekend making every shot count!!!!

Thanks for the lesson, Wally, and your time across the pond in America, Iain!

Over the weekend I shot 70, 69 to hang around the leaderboard in the same position and finish T37th.

Again, more valuable OOM points and so many positives to take into the next week in the Netherlands for the KLM Dutch Open!

Exciting times!!!

How my schedule looks…

  • KLM Dutch Open
  • week off
  • British Masters
  • Alfred Dunhill Links
  • Italian Open
  • Spanish Open 

Denmark/Prague double blog!!

Double blogging this week as I’ve fallen behind… Denmark first, followed by my T14th in the Czech Masters, so skip half way down if you don’t want to read about the Danish event!

So, it was back to one of the best events of the year at the Himmerland resort for The Made in Denmark Championship!

This event is known for its huge crowds, concerts each evening, and the amphitheatre par threes – with the 16th probably one of the most famous holes all year – “Himmerland Hill”.

The reception you receive walking up to the green is amazing and if you make birdie then you’re in for a treat!!!

It was my third year back and I couldn’t wait!

I had #TeamHanson out with me last year and they were here again, but this year we managed to get into one of the on course summer houses, thanks to Jeff Winther one of the Danish players!

The resort is great too, the crèche for the kids is great, it backs onto an amazing miniature adventure golf course, and there is also a swimming pool, spa and bowling alley!

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We hoped for good weather, as the previous two years it was shocking at times!!!

We got settled in the summer house Monday evening, booted out a few unwanted visitors and laid some poison, as it seemed a few little mice thought they could join us for the week!!

Tuesday I played a practice round with Laurie Canter and Eddie Pepperell, had a great laugh out there and felt to get my game in good shape for the week!

Wednesday was the standard practice and preparation day, followed by a fun swim with the kids and the Winther family!!

My last two appearances at Himmerland had gone ok, 50th and 18th, so I was positive going into the week!

We got the rougher side of the draw this week but it certainly wasn’t tough. People still scored Thursday afternoon but with no wind in the morning the majority of low scores came from that wave…

I played solid, stayed patient and in the end signed for 70 (-1); my ball striking was good, but I probably didn’t hit it close enough to create as many chances as I would have liked.

Day two I was out early…the forecast was for strong winds to build through the day, but it never really got worse.

Again, tee to green I played lovely and the stats proved it!

But bogeying my first two holes meant I was on the back foot all day!

I actually led the stats in fairways hit and greens in regulation for 36 holes (GIR).

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And as good as those stats are it then led to some stick on social media as to how bad my putting must have been…

Ok, it wasn’t good, but it didn’t feel that bad and I’m making progress in that department for sure! But that GIR stat doesn’t tell you how close to the flags you were on the greens, remember it’s only saying you hit the green… and those greens were not flat!

With three holes to go I was +1 for the tournament and felt making another birdie I would be safe…. but felt +1 probably had a chance to make the cut too!

It certainly didn’t feel easy!

After waiting around for a bit we soon realised it wasn’t going to make the weekend, and in the end level par was only just safe!!!

So a weekend of practice and training, plus some quality time with the girls before we flew onto Prague Sunday evening!

And you guessed it, I spent most of that time on the putting green! It’s getting there – I will prove it!

THE CZECH MASTERS…

So onto Prague and it was a fresh week and a new challenge, it was my third year here but a first for the family!

If you haven’t been, you HAVE to come for a long weekend…it’s incredible, what a beautiful city, so clean, amazing architecture, cheap food, very cheap beer and so much to see!!

Laura and her parents were here to support this week and they all loved the city, it really is a fun event!

I had the day off Monday, you can’t spend all day every day 7 days a week at the course, so the clubs stayed in the flight bag and we walked what felt like the whole city, proper tourists for the day, walking round with the map and camera out!

We even took to the river for some paddle boating with the kids – tough work on the quads!!

Tuesday it was back to ‘work’ or ‘playing out’, as Laura calls it!!

I played nine holes in the morning and did some decent practice, but I was first reserve for the pro-am so didn’t want to play 18 in case I got the nod for the pro-am the following afternoon….

Wednesday morning was a big putting session then at 12ish I got the call, someone had pulled out with injury in the pro-am so I had to peg it up at 1 o’clock.

It certainly affected my practice plan for the week, but it was also good to keep getting some game time in…. don’t forget I didn’t play last weekend after a missed cut!!

So round one got off to a nice start, I holed from 10ft on the first for birdie then hit the perfect drive down the second and pitched it to 2ft!

Birdie birdie and away we went!! Another birdie on 5 and 9, I turned in -4 and was cruising nicely!

I birdied 12 and my only setback in the round came at the tricky 15th, where I probably got a little unlucky with the tee shot!

So a solid first round lying inside the top 5; that was nice to post a decent first round for a change.

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The forecast for round two was pretty grim, rain all day, and wind to go with it!

Lee Slattery went out in the thick of it and somehow shot -7… the round of the day and beating the average by 10 shots – possibly the round of the year!

I really did get the lucky side of the draw, I warmed up in the rain, played my first hole, the tenth, in the rain…

Hit a 7 iron to three feet, made birdie, teed off on 11 and then we got called in!

So back to the hotel and up at 4.45am to get back for a long day of hopefully 35 holes.

Saturday there was no wind, no rain, and pretty perfect conditions, a chance to take advantage and a chance I took!

Ok, I get what people said to me, a long tiring day, but I preferred that to the rain the day before which Lee played in!

I hit seven iron again on the 11th after the restart to 3ft to follow up the first birdie!

I then played the rest of the round nearly flawless, my approach shot stats were out of this world gaining 5.80 shots on the field into the greens – I don’t think I’ve ever been above plus 3 before!

One bogey down my 13th (5th) but I bounced straight back with a birdie, and closed the round out with a 66 (-6) and it moved me into a three shot lead after 36 holes!

A dream start you could say!

As I mentioned with the delays, we were back out for another 18 holes and played the last in near darkness to get round 3 complete!

After starting the round perfectly making birdie down 1 and 2, I then went on to hit 3 scrappy tee shots which got me out of position and if it wasn’t for some very good putting I would have shot in the high seventies!

But I did tell you my putting was getting better, so it was nice to see some fall in!

I signed for 75 (+3) and was happy to get back to the hotel for a sleep and a lie in!

Round 4 I got off to a crap start, a perfect tee shot and a very positive second shot I then went on to play a very poor chip and three putted for bogey!

I’ve struggled all week out of the rough around the greens and had a bit of a mental battle with the shot you had to play, the grass is so thick and wet, and the shorter the shot the trickier it gets, and on camera it probably looks so simple!

I battled well, gave myself some good chances but in the end it was a 73 (+1) and I finished the week with an agonisingly close birdie putt on 18 and a T14th finish!

Would I have taken T14th at the start of the week following Denmark and that progression…? I’m sure I would!

But after 36 holes it’s obviously disappointing not to capitalise on a good week!

But that’s golf, every week is a learning curve and it only makes me more determined to go out there next week and get better!!!!

And especially when it’s Crans Montana in Switzerland for the Omega Masters, an event I have always wanted to play and have heard so much about!

Waiting game… practice, family and rest!

It feels like forever since my T19th finish in the Porsche European Open, but it’s been a busy few weeks! We spent the first week in the UK visiting family and friends and then, along with my caddy Steve and his wife, we hosted The #CharityBall at The Venue in Halifax.

We personally really enjoyed planning and hosting the evening and the feedback we have received from so many guests is that it was a fantastic night. But the most important thing is that we all raised £12,500 for our two wonderful charities, and donations are still coming in.

We were truly overwhelmed, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the support from so many people, friends, businesses, and top golf manufacturers! So, thanks again from all of us!!

The day after the #CharityBall it was all go, we headed straight back to Spain; I had a week of practice planned in the hope of getting into the Paul Lawrie Matchplay (Germany) and my mum was also out to visit!

Back in Spain I’m so lucky to be able to split my practice between two amazing set ups, Los Naranjos and Guadalmina, and for me the best time to practise is the moment it gets light until lunch time.

So, I get to the course for 7.30am, plan out a four-hour practice session, set some goals, then head back for a swim with the kids before lunch. Being able to miss the afternoon heat is perfect, as you don’t really want to be smashing drivers for an hour or so when it’s 35 degrees!

How a typical practice session currently looks…

  • arrive at 7.30am, head down to the ‘members’ area’ at the bottom of the range where it’s so quiet, spend half an hour doing short game whilst they set up the range/balls etc.
  • I then tend to work through my bag; I start with Lob Wedge and just work through my pitching positions trying to hit the numbers on my Trackman, then when warmed up and I have the feel for my positions, I go straight into a couple of Wedge Testing games on the Trackman. 10 balls, it selects random yardages and I have to pitch the ball that number, it gives me a score each time and I push to beat my PB every time! It’s a great way to keep some focus, work on my routine and stay competitive!
  • I will then do some technical work with short irons and mid/long irons, film both swings from face on, and also down the line, then with my swing numbers I will send the data and videos to my coach to cast his eye on them…this week they are flying through CyberSpace to Barbados as he’s on holiday, but that doesn’t stop Mark Pearson wanting to see me improve!
  • again, I will do some Trackman tests where I do another 10-shot challenge with distances from 130-220yds being selected randomly, I work hard to keep full routines and focus on each shot and, like the wedge game, keep pushing to beat my PB!
  • then some driver work, we call it the ‘DD’ session, Driver Development; generally, I drive the ball well, but we are forever pushing to get it better and hit it longer!! So, I check my numbers, videos and keep pushing for a more positive Angle of Attack and a more inside path, again with some competitive testing at the end of the DD session.
  • from there I head back up the range to finish with some technical putting work on the Visio template and a few more competitive games that Mark and I have developed which are relevant to me and my performance on the course in tournament play!

So, that’s what my mornings looked like most of the week, plus a couple of evening short game sessions when it has also cooled down around 7.30pm.

As I mentioned, I had hopes of getting into the Matchplay event but knew it could be a last-minute thing…it wasn’t confirmed until Friday but I had a good idea after the World Golf Championship, as I then went down to 1st reserve; knowing that the winner of the PGA wouldn’t be flying back to Germany I knew the spot held back from that event would go back to the field and I would be in.

And in the end, I got in before that, with Daniel Im behind me in the list getting the last spot into the event!

So, what a bonus, I’m buzzing to play what feels like a bonus event and one I wasn’t sure about playing in, plus an event where only 64 compete and it’s straight Matchplay – it should be fun!

Bring on the challenge!!!!!!!!