Date: 28th - 31st March 2013
Since returning from Australia, I made the decision to commit to some swing changes. The reason being that I want to improve but also because I had been suffering from pain in my forearms.
To understand why this was happening Stuart Little (my coach) and I went to Reigate to see Mark Bull, who specialises in Biomechanics. It was extremely informative and helped us to understand exactly why I've developed forearm pain. Stuart and I have been working together to implement these changes. It's a slow process but I can already notice the difference in my forearms.
Morocco was the first event on the European Calendar and I was looking forward to escaping the frankly disgusting weather we've been having. I knew it was going to be a tough week, as up until a week before I had only managed a half swing with an 8iron! There's never a good time to make swing changes, it just takes a lot of patience.
Arriving at Golf de L'Ocean and being able to hit balls with less than 5 layers on was very refreshing. You forget what a bit of blue sky and sunshine does to make all the difference! I was also keen to work on my putting as I haven't been able to practice this properly. They weren't as smooth as I'd hoped but they were a world away from the winter greens and the carpet at home.
On Wednesday I had an unexpected and rare treat. I played a practice round with the legend Laura Davies. Apparently I'm on a short list of people who have ever done that as she normally uses the Pro-Am as her practice round. It was so lovely. She really is such a wonderful and approachable person. I asked her how many swing changes she's had to make in her career, she said "None, I've never had a lesson!" So then I asked if she's had help with the mental side of the game, she said, "it's all just common sense, you can't go far wrong if you use common sense." Got to love her. Hehe
Day one of the Lalla Meryem Cup and we were greeted by some fairly breezy conditions; at least a 2/3 club wind with strong gusts. I hadn't really done much wind practice and keeping the ball down proved to be difficult. My short game was going to need to be good. Unfortunately, not only was my long game off kilter, my putting wasn't great either. I kept leaving myself 5-6 footers and I missed every single one, which wasn't like me at all! I felt good over the putts, but they decided that going round the edge was more fun! I tried to stay positive but it became more and more demoralising the more I made bogeys. There was no doubt about it, it was a tough day. They weren't easy conditions, but I never expected to miss quite so many putts. Thankfully I was part of a very friendly group, and we all got on like a house on fire, otherwise I would have been beside myself. Tomorrow was another day.
Day 2 was a lot less windy, so I was able to find a bit more connection in my swing. I was hoping I could get some putts to drop and start making the all important birdies that had eluded me the day before! Sadly, it was a similar story on the greens but on the plus side I gave myself a lot more opportunities for birdie, I just wasn't taking them.
As I had the weekend off, it meant that I could spend some quality time working on my swing. After a spot of lunch, I popped next door to watch the men at Golf du Palais for bit. I caught up with fellow Gloucestershire player Chris Lloyd, he was just coming to the end of his 3rd round, and he recognised me prancing outside the ropes! It was great to see him doing so well. What a beautiful course, tough but very picturesque, fit for a king you might say!
Glad to be home for a few weeks to continue the hard graft on the swing in preparation for the next event. Lets just hope Spring arrives soon.
Enjoy the Masters this week. I've got my money on Rose and Kuchar, but I can't help but think Tiger's got something special up his sleeve. Very exciting!