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.
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)
• 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.
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.
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
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!
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
Mark Pearson – Coach
Steve Tooby – Caddy
Iain Highfield – Mind
Rachael Tibbs – Fitness
Laura Hanson – The boss (haha)
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!!