2009-11-10 After finishing the last round in China, I had 10 hours to kill at the hotel before heading to the airport. I didn't think any other players were still there so headed for the gym but there I saw Kaymer, Dougherty and Fernandez-Castano working out trying to make the time pass as well. We were all tired but there was nothing else to do. The hotel was in the middle of nowhere. It was pretty nice though to have a lot of time to reflect back on the tournament. I learnt a lot of things and I'm gonna try to describe them here.
1. Never Give Up! Not just the fact that I was 3 over after my first nine holes of the tournament but also by watching Phil Mickelson making up and down on 16 after hitting it only an inch on his first attempt to flop it on the green. Leaving that 16th green on a high, he went on to birdie 17 and par 18 for his one shot win. Off course Tiger was dissapointed not finishing higher than he did, but he cam back from 4 over after 7 holes the last day to finish off the day level par. That's also strong.
2. Shortgame is very important. Putting the most important thing there is maybe. Getting up and down from all kind of places will save a round or make a round. A good shortgame will put less pressure on your long game. Saving a par in the middle of a birdie run will help you keep your momentum and keep making birdies. Soren Kjeldsen showed some great shortgame skills and especially his putting. Every putts he hits either goes in or has a great chance of going in.
3. Loft and bounce control is important. Controlling the loft on your club in the swing will help you with your distance control and your spin control. I'm gonna take Kjeldsen as an example again, he hits avery thin divot and gets a lot of loft at impact and a lot of bounce and hits the most beautiful wedge and short iron shots. They all come out at the same speed and height it looks like and when the ball lands it's dead, it doesn't spin back. I have worked a lot on keeping the right loft and bounce and I can see a lot of improvement and it's nice to see someone like Kjeldsen show you beacause then I know that I'm on the right track.
4. Pace yourself. The most important thing is to be fresh and have enough energy all throughout the tournament, especially the last nine holes on sunday when it all happens. I found myself very tired over the weekend beacuse I had trained a lot harder than other weeks. I felt like I needed the practice so I had to take that risk of getting tired and just deal with it. Now, I happened to finish of the tournament great with 5 under the last 7 holes but maybe next time I'm too tired and it will go the other way. I couldn't see either Tiger, Ernie or Phil practicing after any round last week. It felt like they saved their energy well.
5. Take your chances. I learnt a lot just playing the 8th hole last week. It was a long par 5, just on the edge of reachable. I hit 4 great drives there and had three good chances of reaching the green in two shots. There was a creek short of the green and long was not the best place to be either. Laying up to a wedge distance was a good play because the wedge shot was fairly easy with a green sloping back at you and a lot of players hit it close for birdies. I'm an aggressive player and I wanted to reach the hole in two. First day, I didn't even listen to the yardage my caddie gave me and just went for it to find the ball short in the creek. The second day, we had a good yardage for the threewood again and after another good shot found the ball in the creek one more time. The third day I laid up short and wedged it on becasue the wind made it impossible to reach in two. The last day, I had a great yardage again but this time for a hybrid club which I hit good but to find it in the creek again. So, three times I hit good shots and all three times I hit it in the water. You think maybe I would have learned after the first time but I thought so clearly I could do it the second time and especially the last time so I didn't even think of not making the green and laying up short. After the last time, I just laughed and came to think of what I had read Arnold Palmer saying in an interview. He was asked if he hadn't been a little too aggressive a lot of the times in his career. He aswered by saying that he has never hit a shot where he thought he wasn't able to pull it off. I felt exactly the same way about the 8th hole so that's why I wans't as mad maybe as people think I should be. Although, I learnt how far my clubs are going so next time I will maybe play a bit more conservatively:)
6. Use energy to gain energy. After being very tired after friday's round I decided to hit the gym still. I wasn't sure that was a good idea while being that tired but my physio had told me a workout session will make you tired right after but the next day you will feel better (off course it depends how hard you work out. I did a medium hard workout). And he was right, I came out a lot fresher than I thought and could give myself an opportunity to play well.
To sum it all up, it was a great week. I learnt a lot and I know what to expect in future events like this and I know what I need to work on to move up the leaderboard.
Finally at 2.15 AM I was heading for the airport and the airports are not very busy at 3.15 AM as you can see...
There was a lot of fog that morning in Shanghai and I was really looking forward to land in sunny Dubai.
And the sun was shining...32 and sunny for the next ten days on the weather forecast. I love it!
The view from the 39th floor. Sharing with Hedblom this training week and it will be great to train with him. He loves practicing so it's gonna be a hard and fun week.
Just woke up at 4.45 AM due to jet lag and we are going to the Montgomerie Golf Club today to work on our shortgames. They have a great little par-3 course with short holes and water hazards right around the greens. I love par-3 courses!
2009-11-08 I'm totally dead after the last day here in China. It was my first WGC (World Golf Championship) event and I am so happy to have experienced it. It was a top event and everything about it was super! The course was unreal and the field was great! Phil Mickelson won in the end and he played great golf all week! I finished tied 19th which I'm kinda pleased with. I didn't feel great at the start of the week but my game improved and in the end I felt the best I've felt all year so I'm really excited right now. Flying out to Dubai for a week of practice now with Peter Hedblom to prepare for the Race To Dubai Finale coming up the 19-22 of November. It will be awesome! But, a week of training will also be great and I'm really looking forward to work on my shortgame. The top player's shortgames are unreal and just seeing what they can do gives me a lot of motivation to work harder on mine.
Since I'm flying all day tomorrow and will not have time for a gym session I will hit the gym now. I feel motivated to get in there as well after seeing Tiger walking around looking like he lives in the gym.
Tried to answer some questions you guys sent in. Hope you understand my english:)
Q. One question about the gym work - you've said occasionally that you've been hurting after a session during an event. Do you just make sure next day to warm-up and get rid of stiffness? Only asking because I'd be scared to work so hard during an event because I wouldn't want to be stiff when I need to swing. Or is that rubbish?!?!?
A. My goal with working out is to get a stronger and more flexible. If I keep a good program going for every year until I pack in tournament golf (which I hope will be a long way away) I will be fit and stay healthy and I have a good chance to improve my golf in the way I want. So, I figure I have to work out hard during evey week of the year, even tournament weeks. If I played a lot less tournements I wouldn't work out as hard during the tournaments. But, I want to play enough tournaments to improve my golf game and have a chance in the rankings so I think this is the best way possible. I do get a little stiff but I have gotten used to playing with it. If I warm up a lot and do all the stretching and exercises before the round I feel good. I try to prevent sore muscles by doing recovery work such as hot and cold showers, no resistance work on the exercise bike and drink a lot of water. Also, the harder and the more often you work out, the better the body responds and you don't get very sore. I think 3 hard sessions a week and some lighter sessions in between is a formula that works good for me.
Q. Good luck in China. Just wondering what kind of mental training and preparation you do at practise and in front of a tournament
A. I don't do much specific mental training. I do breathing exercises that I think helps out a lot. It helps me focusing better. Working out is great for the mind as well. If I feel a little down and low, I go hard in the gym and after I usually feel great after!!! I think the best mental training is putting yourself in positions where you don't feel comfortable and then figure out a way to get comfortable in them. For example this week at WGC in China, I felt a little out of place when walking past Tiger and Phil and all the rest of the top players in the world on the range. The first day, I started bad and didn't really enjoy being there at all but I tried my best and tried to find ways to make me understand that I need to be here and experience this to get better and feel more comfortable playing with the best for the future. You have to experience the bad feelings to understand how to overcome them and work it all out. Golf is a very mental game and you need to get a strong head. I have never been very confident and strong mentally so I have to work very hard at it all the time.
Q. I hope you had a nice day on the course with Henrik and Søren. Maybe you can telI us a little about your normal morning schedule before a tournament round. When you get up, what kind of breakfast you eat, do you workout before the round, when you get to the course etc...
A. I usually get up 3 hours before a round. My usual breakfast is a lot of water, bacon, eggs, salmon, salad and fruit. I try to eat a lot since I don't eat too much on the course. Then I go to the locker room and do a few flexibility exercises, a few core exercises and some stretching. My physio is out every other week on tour and he helpes me in the mornings those weeks otherwise I just do the warm-up myself. I start the golf warm-up with putting, then some shortgame and then onto the range to finish with it off with a few putts before going to the 1st tee. If I start with hitting balls on the range I feel stiff when I get to the 1st tee, that's why I get on the range last.
Q. Hot and cold shower? What? Is that a tip from your trainer? How does that decrease the recovery time?
A. I got the tip from a guy I worked out with in Sweden. He had a really bad back and he did it after every workout session to recover faster but also to get the blood pumping and to make his muscles a little looser. I'm not a physician but a lot of physicians says shifting from cold (always start with cold and finish with cold) to hot water in the shower makes you recover faster.
Q. For me you have got one of the best swings on tour... I see you played with Kjeldsen today. Dont you think he swings the club great as well? Its really compact and not a lot can go wrong. They say he is one of the best at shaping the golf ball.
A. Kjeldsen swings it great! It looks so easy for him to play golf. He shapes every shot! Beautiful game. He hits it quit long to for not being a big guy. I really admire his game. I learnt a lot from playing with him the last two days. If the flag is back left, he hits a smooth little draw that moves onto the flag and the opposite for right side flags.
Q. When you play are you looking to shape a lot of shots one way or the other? I realise we want our natural swing to just hit it straight but most of the time holes or certain flags require you to move it both ways.
A. I always try to shape the ball a little. Just a feeling most of the time. I have always had a draw. It's my natural shot. Most of the times, my draw turns into a too big of a draw and I need to feel a fade to hit it straight. So, I usually want to hit the ball fairly straight but with a feeling of a cut. On a good day, it goes straight. But, I would love to be able to work the ball both ways and know what shape is coming. It would be such a nice feeling. I can do it with the driver for some reason but I'm not as good doing it with my irons.
2009-11-07 My cousine Mathias came over to support and also took some photos of today.
Me and my caddie Colin checking the clubs.
Flop shot practice:)
Peter Hedblom always does his usual "tee-drill" on the putting green before he plays.
Hedblom's caddie Jesse looks like a gladiator next to us...
Was fun to play with Stenson and Kjeldsen today. Teaming up with Kjeldsen again tomorrow.
2nd hole going back towards the club house.
Felt great to have some Swedish supporters in the group today.
A lot of bunkers on this course...
...and some enormous houses.
A huge crowd following Tiger Woods on the 18th.
Felt good on the course today and really looking forward to the last round tomorrow. Tiger and Phil play together in the last group and that will be great for the crowd!
I will look at all the trick shot videos when I get some more time and will send the prizes as soon as I get to Sweden. Thanks for all the videos, awesome stuff!!! You guys are good!
Bye for now!
2009-11-06 I get easily inspired by other people and I love hearing stories about how much other people practice or do impressive things. When I heard about how much Tiger worked during his knee-injury rehab I got very inspired and wonder why I didn't worked as hard when I was injured. I don't know why but I guess I didn't want to get back as fit as he did. I can't find any other reason. Now though, I think I don't have any lack of motivation. I love golf and I want to get really good at it. Although, Tiger has always had really high goals for his golf and I've never been a goal setting type of person. Maybe I should become one, but I never seem to stick to any of the goals I have set up for myself in the past. Goals don't seem to motivate me. Feelings do though. For example the feeling of not being able to hit a certain shot or the feeling of not being able to win or the feeling of not being in control of the ball flight. I hate laying at night before a tournament not knowing where the ball is going to go on the course the next day. So, all I know is that I want to be able to play good golf and that's my main goal. It sounds a bit vague but I can't describe it in any different way.
So, since being inspired by Tiger's work ethic I got really motivated to work harder at my game and everything around it. I started my new plan by taking a really cold and hot shifting shower to make my body recover faster after the evening workout. I felt a little light headed after the 2 minutes of streaming cold water and then going for 2 minutes of hot water to finish off with 2 minutes of cold water again. I almost fell to the ground after of the shock to the body. But, I heard you get used to these kind of showers. Good, because I feel great now and want to do it again if it makes me feel more fresh after working out.
Now it's bed time and I'm looking forward to play with Stensson and Kjeldsen tomorrow. Can't wait:)
See you later!
2009-11-05 Today was a crazy day. Started off ok the first three holes, then hit a terrible shot on the 4th, but managed to make a par. After that, I didn't hit many more good shots on the front nine and turned at 3 over par. Then saved a great par on 10. After that, I told my caddie Colin that our goal was to get back to even par when we are finished. He quickly replied, " how are we going to do that?". He had seen all the bad shots but I knew somewhere I could turn this around. I've done it before and I knew there were some good chances on the back nine. I hit a good drive down 11 and a wedge to 10 feet and holed out for birdie. All of a sudden, I felt like a different person and i made four more birdies and finished 2 under total. So, as I said before, never ever give up:) I think it helped me to write that in the blog. If I write it, I have to stick to it otherwise it wouldn't mean anything. Talk is cheap like my college coach would have said.
It feels a little unreal walking past Tiger, Phil and all the others when trying to find a spot on the range. It feels really big when all the best players are gathered and we don't see them very often in other tournaments. The scoring shows as well that most of the best players are here. It's not an easy course and some people are just eating it alive...
The Chinese people are amongst the most helpful there are. They always wants to carry your bags and help you with all kinds of things. Just now when I was writing this, two of the hotel staff came in with fresh roses and a nice fruit plate and explained that when they cleaned my room yesterday, they accidently made a little crack in my foot file when dropping it onto the floor. The foot file costs, 3 Euros maximum and I've never experienced anything like this before. They are service minded to the max!!!
Some of you have requested that I should write more about how I train golf and what exercises i do in the gym, so I'm gonna write a little about how I do on a week like this:
My main goals for every tournaments are to win and to learn a lot so I can get better for the next week. To have a chance to win I need to be playing well and stay fresh. I can't train too much golf or be in the gym too much because I won't have enough energy to compete on sunday afternoon. So, if I feel that my game is good enough to win that week I don't practice a lot after the rounds. If I feel my game is off, I will work but not like I would during an off week when I don't have to stay fresh the next day. Same goes for workouts. I work pretty hard but not crazy. It all depends on how I feel there as well. Let's explain my work this week.
- Monday- 2 hours on the range, working solely on technique. 30 minutes heavy workout in the gym. 1 hour massage.
- Tuesday- 30 min warm-up on the range. 18 hole practice round. 2 hours on the range, solely technique. 1 hour putting. 30 minutes short game. 1 hour heavy workout in the gym. 1 hour massage.
- Wednesday- 2,5 hours on the range, working on different shots and technique. 1 hour putting. 45 minutes short game. 15 minutes gym only corework.
- Thursday- 1,5 hours warm-up on range, short game and putting combined. 18 holes play. 1 hour range after solely technique. 20 minutes no resistance exercise bike.
This is the most time I've spent on a range this year. I usually do my technique work in my room but I found that "Swingyde" tool and use it a lot and hit balls with it so I spend more time on the range. Tomorrow I will go pretty ahrd in the gym and maybe on saturday as well depending on how my body feels. I will explain more specific about my gym work later on when I have some pictures to show as well. It's easier to explain the exercises then.
I heard a cool thing about Tiger. When he was injured, he spent 7 hours a day doing rehab for his knee including 5 hours a day on a bike with no resistance. That's dedication right there!!!
This week I have tried a new thing. I want to improve my swing by getting more loft on the club on both the back swing and the down swing and nobody have done that better than Ben Hogan. So I've been watching a certain swing (search for Ben Hogan fairway wood) of his on youtube for at least 100 times a day to get a clear picture of how it should look like. It feels like it helps to get rid of all the doubts in my mind if I'm working on the right thing or not. Since, Hogan was such a great striker, I know I'm watching the right kind of swing.
Off to the exercise bike to feel a little fresher for tomorrow. All the range sessions are making me a little more tired than usual.
See you later!
PS. Today is the last day to send in the videos in the Trick Shot Competition. We got a lot of potential winners but 2nd and 3rd prizes are also ok:)