2009-11-30 Started reading a great book yesterday written by Gunde Svan, one of the world´s all-time best cross country skiiers. He is known for his incredibly hard training regime. He describes it all in his book and it´s really enjoyable and inspiring to read. The craziest thing he came up with to improve his performance was to have a huge tree log on a sledge behind him attached to his belt while running for a few hours at the time. The best thing with training with his log was that he could now run at the same speed as his wife, he further explained. He also ate 8000 calories a day during his toughest training weeks. The normal active person eats about 2000 calories a day.
I think food is one of the most important parts of improving in anything. I´m trying to eat more than ever before this week to really see if it makes a big difference while training hard. My first day of trying this felt great and I had so much more energy and focus and could train golf and lift weights with better quality than normal.
This is what I ate today. I don´t know how many calories but I haven´t felt hungry all day.
7.00 AM Breakfast: 6 slices of smoked salmon, 2 eggs, salad, 1 tomato, 1 banana, 1 kiwi, 1 avocado, 2 cups of mixed nuts, 2 glasses of water, 2 glasses of ProViva Active Re-energizing drink.
9.00 1 Red Bull to prepare for the workout.
9.30 AM Workout. Lots of water while training.
11.00 AM Post workout meal: 1 big protein shake, 2 cups of mixed nuts and lots of water.
1.00 PM Lunch: Big salad with 1 big steak, lots of water.
3.30 PM Snack: 2 double ham sandwhiches, 1 Pro-Viva Active drink, 2 oranges, 1 banana and 1 cup mixed nuts.
4.00- 6.30 PM Golf training indoors.
4.30 PM Snack: 1 big protein shake.
7.30 PM Dinner: Big steak, green salad, 2 tomatoes, 1 avocado, 3 glasses of Pro-Viva Active drink.
9.30 PM Snack: planning on having Yoghurt with cereal and apple sauce, 1 ham sandwhich and lots of water.
Normally, I eat similar food to what I ate today but not as much. I have 7 weeks left until my next tournament and I´m now trying to maximize my workouts so I will gain enough muscle mass and strength to feel great when it all starts next year. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I´m certain eating more will make me improve my golf training as well.
Gunde Svan explained that the best way of getting enough energy for the next day was to go to bed totally stuffed and feeling the food all the way up your throat. Then you know you have eaten enough!
Can´t wait to go to bed and read some more of his book...
2009-11-29 Just got back to Sweden after a few days away including the book launch in Dublin. Nice to get back and I´m planning to do a serious training week this week. Just stored up with more groceries that I could fit in the fridge to get through the workouts with Pierre. I´ll get back with the schedule but it will be a lot of indoor golf as well and after this afternoon session with SAMS Putt Lab I´m very motivated to improve my putting.
My buddy Viktor Gustavsson and Martin Petterson (Putting guru) working with the SAMS Putt Lab and finding out my strength and weaknesses in my putting. It´s a very accurate screening test and gives you all the data you need to know to improve.
Martin further explained that if you can fit the ball in between these gates you will be able to hole out from pretty much anywhere so I got the gates to bring with me...they will be my best friend´s from now on:)
High-tech! Martin explained how it all worked but I still don´t have a clue! Working some more this week with the lab and will learn a lot more it feels like.
Going to bed early to see if proper amount of food and sleep will make me improve faster in the gym. Steak is on the breakfast menu in the morning:) Beef time!
2009-11-27 Headed over to Dublin to attend my caddie Colin Byrne's booklaunch of his second book, Bagman 2. Great place irland!
Portmarnock Golf Club's clubhouse. The wind is up as usual.
Colin's hometown, Howth.
The launch was held at Colin's homeclub, Royal Dublin. Played here with the Swedish National Team in the late 90's.
Busy man that Colin!
Love this label:) White...
And the gladiator and caddie for Peter Hedblom, Jesse.
Great food at Ivans in the harbour.
Me and the producer of the documentary they are doing about Colin's life on tour which will be out next year. Saw a little preview of it and it looked great. Bagman 2 can be found at www.booksunlimited.ie and Colin's first book Bagman is on amazone.com I believe. Really fun reading!
Back on the plane now...
See you later!
2009-11-26 Just a few thoughts on this winter...
I saw some of you asked why I'm not going to play in South Africa before christmas to try to get in to top-50 in the world by the end of the year (I'm currently 53rd) to be directly qualified for The Masters Tournament at Augusta in April. The reasons I will not be going are:
- There are not many world ranking points in the South African tournaments, so I would have to finish really high to get into the top-50.
- If I'm going I want to practice before the tournaments somewhere warmer than Sweden and that will take some days off my resting and working out schedule.
- I need these 8 weeks off to get enough time to recover mentally from a long season of golf and to get enough time to do proper working out in the weight room and be fit for the next season.
- Also, the things I want to work on in my technique takes a lot of time and now is a great time to work hard at it when I don't have to think about scoring the next day.
- If I play well in the beginning of the year, I can still qualify for The Masters Tournament.
So all reasons combined made me think off long-term improvement instead of chasing one tournament which feels more short-term to me. I have always worked for long-term improvement and sticking to it.
Get back soon!
2009-11-25 Answered some questions from the comment box.
Q. Which wedges/loft do you have in your bag and what system do you use for distance control? I have always tried to master the full and half swing with each wedge. Giving me 4 full wedge distances and 4 short distances where I take back the club until my left arm is parallel to the ground and then follow trough until my hand are at the same heigt as my chest. How many secure wedge distances do you have or do you go entirely by feel?
A. I go by feel and ball flight. I have three different ball flights; soft, medium and hard with all four wedges (47, 52, 56 and 60 degrees). I have never been able to do the system you do but I wish I could. I think it's a good system. Keep doing it and maybe add some different flights to cover all shots depending on green speed and green firmness.
Q. Sometimes I can blast a wedge 15 meters past the flag due to a very low trajectory (my hands sometimes gets way in front of the ball). Do you have any problems like these and how do you practice trajectory, divots and consistancy in general?
A. I usually do a lot of split handed shots. Place your right hand further down the grip than normal and hit shots. Try all different shapes and try to hit very shallow divots.
Q. Lets say you have a 60 meter shot and a 70 meter shot in you repertoar. On this particular hole you need to hit the wedge 65 meters. How do you shave of or add five meters to a wedge?
A. Just by feel and maybe soften the swing. Also, try to grip down on the shaft. A lot of good players do that.
Q. To bad the last put didn't get in, hope you're happy with your result anyway!
I noticed that you have other shoes than before, what happened to the other? Thought the old one's were so cool, classic and different from the other players- quite similar to Jimenez shoes!
A. I just had some really bad blisters last week and needed some light shoes. The old ones will be back soon:)
Q. Hello! I start the swing a little outside the plane with a closed clubface and "set" my hands very late at the top of the swing. Do you have any tips to get more on-plane on the way back and keep the face neutral and not closed?
A. Try to put balls down on a arc form which I showed in the "Monaco practice video". It's easy to see how the hands and clubs should follow the right patch.
Q. How does it feel to play on tour? Are you nervous on the first tee?
A. I feel more and more comfortable. Felt very out of place when I first got on tour but when I started to post some good results I felt more at ease. Now, I love to get out there and compete. Before I was always really nervous on the first tee, now I get more nervous before some crucial shots. Although, at the British Open I had some serious butterflies before teeing off.
Q. Where can I buy the book "Bag Man" written by your caddie Colin Byrne? Also, when does his new book come out?
A. I'm gonna find out where you can buy the books. His new one is coming out this week. I'm heading over for the book launch tomorrow.
Q. I read you have car as a keen "hobby". Do you have a car or thinking of buying some fun car? What is your dreamcar?
A. I love cars and have tried a few cool ones. Driving a Toyota Auris at the moment. Don't know what's next.
Q. Hi Alex, great playing so far! I saw you said in an earlier blog that there are two main things you want to improve with one of them being getting more into your right side. I struggle with that also..... My hips tend to slide a bit which makes my upper body tilt a little. Is there anything specific you work on in regard to getting you more into your right side?
A. Throwing golf balls down the line of the target makes you work on your natural swing. I throw a lot of balls during the winter break now to get the right feel. Just grab a ball and throw it like it was a pitch and bounce it just a little in front of your feet and let it head in the direction of your target. It makes your swing work better and more naturally. There are a lot of other things you can do but it's tough to say when I haven't seen your swing. Send in a video and I will have a closer look.
Q. Great round with that foot :-/ Nice that you hang in there, respect!
Strange when you look at the #1 tournament of the year on tour and hardly any people out there . Is that not a strange feeling to play when its so big money online, and it looks like a challange event behind the ropes ?
A. Yeah, it felt a little weird but the last two days even my group had a lot of people and there were a lot gathered around the finishing holes.
Q. Great score today i didnt manage to catch it on tv so couldnt see the course what holes were playing the most different to practice? How do they make the course harder for tournament days? Your foot looks very painful what shoes were you wearing? Good luck for the rest of the week mate
A. All holes were a little different in the tournament compared to during the practice. They stop watering the course or they reduce the amount of water they put on it. The course got a lot firmer but it still was very playable. Somtimes, courses gets super hard but not this time. I was wearing old shoes. I love old shoes because they are comfortable but maybe they were a little too old and used around the heel so I got those nasty blisters. I was about to quit in the middle of the first round but I just made it and got great treatment.
Q. Sounds like your coach really shaped how you think about your golf! That is really good!
Where you still at college when Anthony Kim went to OU?
A. Yeah, I played at the same time as Kim. He was extremely good then as well. Remember playing with him at the Big XII Championship in Texas one year and he won and I finished second. Next time I saw him was when we were paired together in the 4th round of The Open last year. He beat me both times. Not good:)
Q. Quality stories your coach seems like quite a character!!! I was wondering are there any other pros on the tour circuit now that went to college with you?
A. Hunter Mahan was my teammate and Anthony Kim played at the neighbour college, OU. There were a lot of other players that play on all kinds of tours all over the world now. It was great playing in college to get to know a lot of the players that come out now.