2010-11-03 There is no better feeling than waking up to a not all-the-way-closed curtain that lets in the sunlight 25 minutes from Valderrama.
Driving towards Gibraltar.
My 8 over par worseball from day 1 has improved to a 7 over par for the second time around with a lot more fairway and green hits.
Spent a lot of time on the range as well. Was a long time ago since I spent 2,5 hours in one go on the range.
Then a quick coffee break...
...then back at it again.
No.2 fairway. A little blocked by the trees. Low runner.
Par 3 course is as good as the big one but just shorter. They left a few trees here as well. This is the 7th hole, 53 meters and you need a long lobshot that just goes over the tree.
The long days out on the course put their marks on the workouts. I'm completely done and it's so tough to push myself. I need Pierre or Edfors their to compete against.
My swing coach Darren comes tomorrow and it will be even longer days now. The longer, the better though. Specially at a good course.
I understand a lot of you guys are interested in why I have a new coach. Me and Rikard finished working after Nordea Masters in Sweden. I really like Rikard and I think he is a great coach and has had a lot of success with his players. When playing on this level it's so important that you feel comfortable with your swing and movements. I've always swung the club differently than what Rikard believs in and I thought I needed to get more towards the swing he's teaching. The change felt too big for me and I decided to step back and work on my own. Rikard wants a clean swing and I do too. But, as you all know, scoring is the most important thing and I had such a hard time scoring when it didn't feel natural to me with the new movements.
After working on my own since then, I've gotten back into scoring mode and had more success.
The courses out on the European Tour are very varying in difficulty and style. That is a great thing for us players. We need to learn all types of shots and playing in all types of weather.
When I got to Dunhill Links I had two great weeks of practice at home and my game felt good. I had been working on a fade with the heavy club and my draw was a little one that was easy to handle. When playing the last two rounds in a row on the weekend at St:Andrews I hit the draw on every single shot. The only place to miss a shot at St:Andrews is on the left where there's tons of room. Right is now option so a draw was the shot I used. The draw got bigger and bigger.
Then we headed down to Portugal where the course is super big and plays pretty easy with short clubs into the greens so it doesn't matter to much if you hit the fairway or not. I played the draw again and it now got even bigger. (My natural shot has always been a draw. I like the draw but it easily gets to big and out of control.) Last week in Castellon, the course played similar to Portugal and my long draws were working fine.
Then it really hit me. Valderrama is no place for a guy with a big slinging draw that bounces away under the trees that are just outside the 20 yeards wide fairways. The greens are smaller than people's living rooms and my hard draws were spinning of them and it got pretty frustrating in the end.
I need to be able to play well on these tougher courses to take the next step. I'm better when there is more space where I feel more free and a missed fairway doesn't cost as much.
So, working on my own works fine for me to a certain point, but what my new coach Darren I and work on feels really natural to me. I now understand what I need to do to hit the shots needed for tough courses.
I've always searched for people who can help me with my game and I've always tried to learn it myself from reading books or studied swings on film. I know what kind of game I want and that's the reason why I do things the way I do. The bottom line is that I want to get really good and I do whatever I think I need to get there.
I hope this make things a bit clearer for you guys. Thanks for all the questions and comments about this and I'll try to answer more of them later on.
AND THE BEST THING NOW IS THAT I WILL SPEND A WHOLE WEEK AT VALDERRAMA TRYING TO LEARN THE THINGS I NEED TO LEARN. I will keep you guys more updated and show more of what I'll be practicing out there on the course. I'm so excited.
What a tough course if you're not on top of your game. It felt pretty much the same as last few weeks but every little miss costs so much. It's easy to start doubting and not have the same confidence. But, I'll keep working...
Just had another great lesson with my new coach, Darren Webster Clarke. Worked on the total body action and how to put pressure on the ball and avoiding the left misses.
Just broke my record on the complex olympic bar exercise! So excited. 62 kilos on 3 reps. Total 15 reps on the 5 different exercises. My previous one was 60 kilos in Florida earlier this year. I don't know how I got it up, went for a long run and a bunch of leg stuff before. It's all mental;)
I'm gonna get better.
2010-10-28 Sun is out today again.
Just about to head out to the golf course. Valderrama plays like a links course. Instead of deep bunker, there are trees here you have to avoid. Play short of that tree or past and left of that and so on.
It's one of the best courses I've ever played. And it's in awesome shape. Greens are among the smallest in the world.
12.20 Tee off. See you guys later!
Everything is in it's order here at Valderrama.
The swing police is here.
The golf course is in stupidly nice condition!!!
And Costa del Sol is delivering!