2010-03-22 Woke up at 11.00 AM. The latest I've woken up in years. Got in late to Malaga and after half the luggage of our plane was missing it was a late bed time. Much needed sleep though. A lot of practice, a lot of tension and anger from my part and good gym training last week so the sleep felt great.
Pierre tried to set up the intensity of the workouts and the order of them so I will feel really fresh from tomorrow on. Right now, I still feel really tired.
When starting with Pierre last June my left knee was really damaged and needed rest and rehabilitation. So, our focus was to fix the knee and to strengthen the whole body but in the right order. First of all, I spent hours on the bike to build strength and stamina in the leg muscles. Secondly, I had to make my core stronger. It was really week. I couldn't even do 20 good sit-ups in a row. After the core got stronger, we could start adding weight and as you have seen in the videos, we do all kind of olympic lifting and other weight training exercises. Those exercises are great and you feel like a million dollars after doing them. For me, laying down on a bench doing bench press doesn't give me the strength and power I need for golf. And it certainly doesn't give me the same satisfaction feeling and rush in the body as a full out "clean and jerk" exercise where you move the bar all the way from the floor up to straight arms.
But, the one thing that I've just discovered is how much I love running. I get a big kick out of it and feel great after!!! Tried interval training the other day and wow! It's great to clear the head as well from everything that goes on around.
So, with no clothes today (only got my bag) I've to borrow some (hopefully clean) clothes of Miklko Ilonen and start practising short game. Hopefully there will be some other guys there who are up for some competitions around the green.
Usually the in-flight magazines on airplanes are booring I think, but yesterday one changed my life I think. Read about a guy named Josef Ajram who is an extreme sport athlete. He competes in the most outrages races around the world and is a stockbroker at the same time. Visit his website here. He has the one of the best quotes tattood on his chest; "I don't know where the limit is but I know where it's not". That's a great quote and I got a lot more motivated to train harder and better.
2010-03-21 Just woke up with cramp in my legs, sore stomach and tight lower back. Thanks a lot Pierre! Maybe it could also be a little from a good training day on the course. Heading down for breakfast to get stacked up for another hard day. No workouts, just golf.
Found a corner on the driving range where the turf is great and there is a tree right in front to have fun with. You can hit it over, around and under. Good for the swing to have a clear image and the result is very visible. If you don't manage to hit it low enough, branches will fall off.
Working on getting used to hole putts under pressure, chipping from shitty lies and getting a good turn in the backswing. 3 things. No more.
Here is the backswing I do before every shot. I know it looks a bit artificial but it's good since it is a lot more turn and coil than in my normal backswing when swining. I need to get a full shoulder turn to stop the club shorter and also to sequence the movements on the downswing.
I know I'm technical and I understand that some of you wonder why I am. Out here on the main tours, there are a certain postions in a golf swing that needs to be good to play good consistantly. I have played a lot of good tournaments during my first 3 years but I haven't been as consitent as I want and as good on tough courses as I want. That's why I try to make my swing more reliable.
2010-03-20 After a super long day of hard golf training and a tough workout, all I wanted to do was to eat and sleep. Not today. After debating wether to go to a black tie dinner with fun people we finally went in borrowed clothes that didn't fit whatsoever and sneakers. The tournament had organized this big dinner party and normally at tournaments these things are relaxed and over shortly. After hearing that Prince Hassan II was late and nobody eats before the Prince eats, we changed our minds and went straight back to the hotel. Or not straight. Since nobody could leave when the Prince was arriving we had to wait and sneak away carefully. Finally our car just manage to get past all the guards. Would have been cool to see the Prince and all the buzz around him down here but to be at a dinner party without food or drinks should be illegal...specially when you are starving.
Good productive day today on the course. Me and Colin went through the whole game and trying to prepare for next week. Colin is a very calm and relaxed person but he is very influential and has a lot of wise things to say. He has been caddying for 25 years and won so many times and seen all the best players play. It's so important for me to have a caddie like him because he tells me exactly how they all practice and go about things.
Another day of practice tomorrow before heading over to Malaga for next week's tournament.
Me and Pierre tried to stay off the carbohydrates for three weeks and the first one eating any carbs had to pay money to the other guy. We broke the deal after 7 hours. We almost lasted 3 weeks...
Thanks for all the wise and supporting words in the comments of my last entry. I was a bit upset with myself and still am. But when I see progress like in today's practice I know I'm in the right direction so it's all good!
2010-03-19 Very frustrated and mad right now. I'm not able to hit the shots I want to and the worst thing is that I let my frustration seek into the whole game and stopping me from posting descent scores even though the game isn't there. To shoot even par over two rounds on these somewhat easy courses didn't take me into the weekend. The last time I missed a cut was the Dunhill Links in early October. But since then, I've scored ok but haven't been satisfied with the way I play. It's felt like a constant battle.
I love golf and I want nothing more than playing good golf and being in control of the ball. It's been too long now when I've been standing on the range on wednesday afternoon trying to find a swing feeling that could make me "get around the course" and hopefully shoot under par. I need to have a plan. A man with a plan is dangerous is the saying I think. A man without a plan is lost, and I feel lost right now. I know that my game is not very far away from being good but I just have to make up my mind what to do and what to focus on. When I've spent so much time thinking about how to make my long shots stay inbounds, I haven't had enough time to work on my shortgame.
I need a plan saying how much of everything I should practice a day, a week and so on. And just a few exercises. Not too many so I get confused. Simple, easy and fun. I want to be able to go to bed at night feeling good and knowing that I've done what I planned. With my "no-plan-routine" I never feel satisfied and always moaning to myself that I could have done more today. Planning, executing and checking the box when finished sounds like a fun way to do it.
I got a few comments from some of you saying I looked very tired on TV yesterday on the course. I was exhasuted! I had no idea where the ball was going and I had no idea how to fix it right there and then. It's probably good for you guys to hear that we pros also feel this way!!!:) Not knowing where the ball will go will tear on your mind and make you tired. I didn't get tired because of hard work in the gym. We have only done about 2 hours in there this week and very light on both occassions. Pierre would never make me play bad because we go too hard in the gym. At least I don't think so:)
A lot of negativity from me today but I just wanted you guys to hear how I honestly feel after a dissapointing tournament. We don't always feel great on the course and mostly because we love this game so much we sometimes have this love-hate relationship I've explained above. But, nothing in my mind beats being in control of a golf ball. That's awesome! I want it back!
2010-03-18 Little clinic by Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus.