2009-09-28 After a not so great morning with a little destroyed rental car and sweaty and stressed on the airplane, I landed in Edinburgh. I felt great after sleeping on both flights. The only question now was if we should have better insurance on our rental in Scotland than I had in Monaco. We got better insurance, a GPS, a bigger car and two drivers on the record. Pierre, my physio, drove the first bit on the tiny roads here in Scotland. He was brilliant in the left lane and I wasn't even nervous.
Finally at Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St:Andrews, the home of golf! Felt great to drive past the old club house and see that wide fairway combining the 1st and the 18th hole. The weather was how it should be, cloudy and a few drops falling from the sky. After a few hours finding out exactly what equipment I should go with our mission was accomplished on the course today. My coach Pete Cowen showed up and surprised me with a framed picture of Ben Hogan, my idol, as a gift for my win first win a few weeks ago. Pete signed the back of it and I know exactly where it's gonna hang:)
A few pics from today...
Dark town but it's still Mecca for golf.
Pierre is always happy...He loves coming out to tournaments and work us hard in the gym!
Working hard in the Callaway truck!
In Swedish colours as well!
We will have some serious games here.
Our manager kept her promise! The weights were here when we arrived!
Now comes the sweetest time of the week...watching the new episode of Entourage! Love mondays!
See you tomorrow
2009-09-28 I was a little stressed when getting to the airport this morning...had a lot of time but feuling up the rental, returning it, change terminal and so on made me leave the gas station with the fuel hassle still in the car. Not a great move! Another very bad move was to wash my kind of new trainers in the washing machine on high temperature. They shrunk a little. Probably fits a 5 year old now:)
Meeting up with my physio at the Edinbourgh airport to try to navigate ourselves to St:Andrews Golf Course to get some work done on my equipment. Gonna get a new set of irons and new wedges. No grooves left in the wedges and the irons feels a little old. Gonna work some with Seamus who works with putters for Callaway. Trying out some different lofts and grips. Love using new stuff. It's like christmas! I remember when I got a new wedge when I was little. Went stright to the chipping green and tried out how much spin it had. Spin was the most important thing in the world back then. It still is when trying to be cooler than your buddy on the practice green. On the course though, I would love to never spin the ball back ever again. Hate when you land it by the pin and it sucks back a few yards. It's gonna be good next year when we don't have as deep grooves.
I hate airports and I'm not a fan of airplanes either. It's too much stress around it. It feels like you have to get earlier and earlier to the airport for each time you fly. The security is getting more serious and the time you spend checking in overexceeds the time in the air most of the times.
It feels a little weird leaving Monaco after such a great week. Golf, gym, sun and beautiful surrounndings! The best mix! Was looking for an open gym last night. Monaco is literally dead on sundays. It's a law that no place can be open. There are a few exeptions. One of those was this posh gym that I sneaked into for free:) I've never seen a gym with a view like this before. I've always preferred the undergound gym with free weights lying around everywhere and the smell of sweat and chalk. This place smelled of Dior cologne and successful business people. But, with a view like this even biking was nice.
The only bad thing about Scotland is the weather but when the weather is good, it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. The golf courses are at the very top! Kingsbarns is such a fun course to play. It can play so different from day to day. A hole you drove the green on, could be such a struggle to reach in regulation the day after with a different wind. Carnoustie is just a great great golf course. It has it all! St:Andrews is like no other course. Huge slopes everywhere and the ground feels holy!
All the best!
2009-09-28 I'm trying to answer some of your questions and I translated them to English so everybody can read:) Hope it's ok!
Q. What muscle groups do you train to help you do the very one-sided golf action?
A. I train my whole body in many different exercises. Try to become as all-around as possible. To be to golf specific tends to hurt my body as there are too many golf moves per day.
Q. Do you speak a lot to your playing partners? Who is most fun to play with?
A. If I like them, we speak quit a lot. If, not and if for some other reason I'm not in the mood to speak, I just speak to my caddie. I love playing with Alvaro Quiros...He is the funniest guy ever. A few years ago his English was really poor so it was even more fun back then. He should never have improved it.
Q. What shakes do you take after working out and how often do you take it?
A. I take protein shakes after every training session and sometimes when I feel the real need to take one. When the food is really bad or when I've been flying all day.
Q. Do you live in France? Do you have friends there to play with? Have you got a bunch of new sponsors after your win in Switzerland?
A. I live in Monaco. We are a few golfers there but it seems like we are never there at the same time. The weeks I take off from tournaments, the other guys play and so on. Had a few fun offers but nothing decided yet.
Q. Do you also have special training routines for practicing strategy, approach, mental strength och så vidare?
A. I'm better at structuring and planning my work outs than my golf training. I have a red line in my training and mental work but no daily plans for specific training hours and so on.
Q. How good is Bro-Hof compared to the European Tour courses you play?
A. Bro Hof is at the very top in the world. We never play a course that good on the European Tour.
Q. What do you think when you are over the ball?
A. I think of what kind of shot I want to play. The trajectory, the shape and so on. And to waht target. A little bit of how my body should move to make that happen.
Q. As a 16 handicap, should I use blade clubs to make the next level? And when is it good to change to blades?
A. I think you should always use the most forgiving clubs possible. As a pro, I don't use blades. I think they are to tough. I use a little more cavity-back clubs to make the game a touch easier. It's hard enough as it is.
Q. Have you been to the nightclub Jimmy'z in Monaco yet? =)
A. Yeah, was there once but very quick...rather go to outdoor places in Monaco. Being a Swede, we love the heat, speacially at night.
Q. I was looking at your stats that your putting will be the answer to reach the top players(i guess a more accurate driver if you going to win majors) With your greens regulation is world class is extremly impressive and with a hot putter, that will give rest of the players a scary feeling down the strech. If this they case what is your plan for the future on this ?
A. I plan a lot of putting work ahead with tough exercises to put a lot of pressure on the putting to make it stronger.
Q. The exercise where you hit wedges with open, square and shut club face, what's the purpose with that?
A. I like to have control of the blad at all times. To hit with different lofts make me understand how the ball will move in the air and how to make it move. The shut face lowers the trajectory for example, but to still hit it high with a shut face you need to do certain things that can improve your swing. I want to fins ways to improve my swing. Sometimes, I need to hit with shut face to get rid of some fault, the next time with open face.
Q. Alex, I was wondering why you were hitting draws and fades with wedges? Maybe something that I should try out?
A. I think when you move up to the pro level you need to have a lot of different shots. The greens are fast and slopy and sometimes you need to hit a little fade from 70 yards to make the ball stay on the green and not spin down the slope for example. It's also good to practice draw and fade on very small chips for control of the face and your swing.
Q. Hi, I'm just wondering what kind of program you follow at the gym? which specific parts do you believe that me as a young female golfer should focus on at the gym?
A. I do a very all-around work out. Different reps, exercises and weight all the time. I believe you should work a lot on controlling your body in stomach and back exerices, cables, push- and pull exercises for the whole body and so on. The more control and strength you have over you body the more control you will have over the club.
Q. It seems like you hit a lot of balls from range mats, doesn't that make it tough for you to get the right feel for the shots?
A. I like hitting of mats, I have always done. We didn't have grass turf on the range. But, I know it's better to hit off the grass. I'm lazy, you don't have to clean your club after each shot from a mat:) But, it's very rare I practice of mats. Never at a tournament.
Q. Have a problem with "early extension" where my body raises at impact and I can't hold the correct angle of my spine. Do you have a good gym exercise that will help me improve this?
A. I have always had the same problem. The thing I used a lot was "The Leaderboard". There is an exercise on the CD they give you that explains it where your right foot is back and behind the left and you have to keep it there during the whole swing. Hard to explain. I think it's worth getting "The Leaderboard" just for that exercise. Also, push and pull exercises in the gym are really good. Cables are great I think.
Keep the questions coming!
See you and good luck out there!
2009-09-27 Had a look around Monaco yesterday and saw a lot of cool stuff. The yacht show makes the harbour look even more busy! It was such a lzy day for me...got stuck into doing nothing all day and it feels great to be out on the course again and get some work done. Sometimes it feels great to take a day off and not even work out.
Seeing all these things makes me realize how crazy this place is. It's so unreal and way too much in every aspect. Although, it's great for relaxing and to train so I love it! But, it's gonna feel great to get to Scotland where the life is a little bit more normal and down to earth.
Dunhill Links Championship is coming up next week and it's a great tournament! Each pro play with an amatuer partner all four days and we play one round at Kingsbarns, one at Carnoustie and two at St:Andrews. Could be worse:) Same as previous years, a few of us rent a house outside St:Andrews and we have a great week. This time, our manager ordered some free weights to the house so we can work out for real...Pierre "the vein man" is coming so we will train hard I hope.
Have fun and see you later!!!
2009-09-26 Here is a little video of what happened the last few days. It's mostly some tips on short game and how I train it but also some scenes from the awesome air plane show I saw a few days ago! Hope you like...