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Who Said Golf Was An Easy Game?

2006 is hopefully to be the year for me. My aim (as was last year) is to become a professional golfer this year and to document the journey, trials and tribulations! I hope this may prove useful to anyone going through similar experiences to me. Of course, my unique perspective on other things will manifest itself throughout too. Happy reading......

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New blog....

Well folks after extreme high demand the blog for 2007 is now up and running. The link is:


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

End of 2006 blog......

Hey folks. This blog concludes my blogging for 2006. I may well continue blogging into 2007 but i'm sure how practical it will be.

I've just got back from Edinburgh with the 'lady' and we certainly made the most of an unfortunate situation. Hogmanay was cancelled due to amazingly high winds! I've not experienced windy weather like it in a long time and obviously it must've been pretty grim for them to cancel a party in which some 100,000 people were supposed to be attending!!

We were gutted as we were looking forward to not only a great party but also the concert in the gardens where Paolo Nutini was playing. We both enjoy his music and were extremely looking forward to seeing him play. Check this link out for a cool version of Moby's 'Natural Blues'.

Anyways, the date of leaving home is growing ever closer. The reality of starting a new job is very daunting but I am excited about may lay ahead and cant wait to find out either!

To recap on 2006, I have to say I look at it as a complete success, especially compared to 2005.
For me to finally pass the playing test and get to the stage now where my first year as a Pro Golfer is underway, is an achievement I thought at quite a few times would just never happen for me. I'm so glad I stuck it out. Had I come through this year no closer to my goal then I believe that some serious decisions would have had to be made. Thankfully, that didn't happen and so now I guess I'm one of those very lucky people who happens to be working in the field they love. It's pretty cool.

Further on from that, to give a couple of reasonably good showings in professional events certainly did wonders for my confidence and I have no doubt that with some pretty intense hard work over the next couple of months, I can compete well in Kent and also in the South Region. I wont be able to completely focus on my playing career for 2 more years (when I'm fully qualified), as I'm a trainee right now so have coursework and assignments to think about. But I'll use this time to cut my teeth and just enjoy the experiences that come with it.

To conclude this blog, I wish to all those who have read - or even enjoyed my blog ;) a very happy, healthy and successful 2007. My life's about to change big time, and I cant wait to see what's in store. If I could be a bit cheesy for a moment and pass on the three biggest things I've learned this year, they would be:
1. Never lose faith in your own ability.
2. Don't feel the need to impress other people &
3. Never be afraid to go for anything, sometimes its best to break out of the comfort zone. This one is the most imminent for me.

Anyways on that note, be well readers. Till next time.....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Exciting times ahead.....

I am very excited to report new ventures ahead for 2007. Me and 'the missus' have decided to move in together, which after four years, perhaps it is about time! (lol).

I have landed a new job at Kingshill Golf Club and start on Jan 8th so this is very exciting. I must admit that to be moving to a new area, a new job, moving out of home, and moving in with the lady has been strange to come to terms with. I have now, and am very excited about what may lay ahead for 2007. I can't wait for us to start actually start looking at places we might live in! This is a first for me so I am chomping at the bit to start hunting.

I have set myself the goal of completing all my PGA assignments by xmas, so I can enjoy xmas/new year and moving without having to obsess about deadlines. I could do without the unneccesary stress of having to get everything done by the last minute.

I was very nervous about giving my notice in, but my 2 bosses were absolutely fantastic and supportive which made me feel so at ease - perhaps they will be pleased to see me go ;). All the members where I am now have said some very nice things to me and it is very flattering to know that I will be missed. I will strive to keep in touch and play golf with as many of the friends I have there as possible. I will miss Mid Sussex a lot but it's nice to know that I can return without feeling awkward.

I have to comment on this now, how good should the final of X-Factor be this week. I've found myself hooked on it and I've got be honest, as is the popular opinion, Leona has got to be the most talented singer i've ever heard in ages. She lead me to another musical discovery which sadly accompanied some sad news. She did a version of 'Over the Rainbow' (not a song i've ever been too keen on) which Simon Cowell described as 'the best performance he'd ever witnessed' and it was outstanding.
Whenever I hear a song I like, I search for the chords and lyrics on the internet so that I can play it my keyboard. I came across a version by lady called Eva Cassidy I must have listened it 3 or 4 times back-to-back. Wow, I thought, what a talented singer and guitarist she is. I wonder what else she's done or if she's released anything recently. Sadly, it turns out that this lady died 10 years ago at the age of 33! I spent my evening downloading and listening to her music and reading about her tragically short career. It appears that this was a lady of enormous potential taken just as she was about to hit the big time. If anyone is interested in hearing what might have been, please hit this link and forge your own opinion. All I can say is that I'm gutted to have discovered this 10 years after the lady has gone!!

I'll leave you with that.......

Monday, November 27, 2006

PGA work under way now....

Hello once more, this is perhaps the biggest gap i've had in writing this blog but quite a bit has been happening.

I've now been on my PGA Residential Year One Course. It was a very good week and I came away feeling good although two of the lectures were a bit rubbish.

My favourite part of the week was the swing coaching day, in which it felt like i'd tripled my knowledge about the golf swing and gave me some stuff I knew I could use when I start teaching (which should be very soon hopefully!).

The Business lecture was interesting but didnt focus enough on the assignment we've been given. The Retail Assignment Brief was, to say the least, ambiguous and its been tough to get the work right. Considering the word limit was 2000 words and I ended up writing 3500, I had a job on my hands to chop this down but fortunately got there in the end.

I didnt enjoy the Club Repairs Lecture or the Sports Science lectures. No offence to either of the facilitators but I'm just not remotely interested in focusing my career on either of those areas.
I've been thinking a whole lot about my career and stuff recently (in the winter the mind wanders), and it has really come clear in my mind that playing and teaching are my areas of complete interest. Its quite frustrating that we still have to cover the other areas of the PGA Programme, but I know and accept that it is compulsory.

I am itching to get the next golf season underway, it cannot come soon enough! From January onwards I am going to undertake a strict and organised programme of practise, especially on those areas of weakness in my game so that when April comes, I am ready to go. Sometimes I wonder if the people around me truly know how passionate I am about playing this game as it goes way beyond what is probably perceived.

I know how hard it is to make a career out of playing golf, which is also why I am interested in developing my teaching skills. Thats why I got into golf, playing and teaching. If it ever became apparent that either of these two areas were being overshadowed, i'd have to rethink some things. But playing professional golf tournaments, and learning to teach other people to play golf are where I feel I'm headed, down the line. I'm extremely fortunate to have a job that gives me the freedom and flexibility to do this.

I'm soon going to begin cutting my teeth as a golf coach and have some major confidence issues to deal with, that I must overcome before I start doing this. I'm very lucky to have the boss where I am. He is extrememly pro-active and very passionate about teaching and is really trying to push me into getting involved with this. I know I can learn a lot from him as he has all the good communicational qualities that I feel I need to work on, and he knows how to get the best out of people. I've just got to start getting involved, and observing lessons. I feel my practical knowledge is good and that I know what I'm talking about, the problem is 'will they know what i'm talking about?'.

Anyways, i've got lots coming up to look forward to. Christmas is always fun and and exciting, especially with my little nephew Maxy around. I enjoy family times like this and have seen a lot of him, my brother and his partner recently as they have moved nearer to us, which is great.

For the new year, I'm off with my lady to Edinburgh for a right good knees-up. I'm informed that the hogmannay (correct spelling??) celebration is awesome so this should be a new year to remember. We've been together over four years now, so all credit to her for perseverence!

I'm also off to Bulgaria in March for a week of skiing and a final breather before I get my first full season as a professional golfer under. I am excited about the challenges ahead and can't wait to see how I fare.
Till next time......

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's bloody wet!!!!

Greetings again loyal readers. The rains have finally come and as the title suggests it's very wet and I now have a manky cold. Oh well, thats what happens in the winter.

I have played a minimal amount of golf recently. Ive been practising maybe twice a week and very recently played my first full round of golf for over a month! Very uncharacteristic considering I like to play every day in the summer.
It's a shame I turned professional as late on as I did this year. I really felt like my game was coming together but sadly ran out of time. I know that when the season kicks off next year, I'll be ready and raring to go. I cant wait!!

My level coaching course went well last week. As mentioned before it was a two day thing at a small venue in Swanley. The first day basically consisted of a lot of stuff about health and safety (particularly with children which are the main focus of a level 1 coach) and a background to teaching full swing, chipping, pitching and putting.

The second day involved being assessed which was quite nervewracking. We were all assigned an area of the game to teach and had to conduct a 15 minute group session on that area. Sods law, I get the full swing which was a combination of everything!! Thankfully I passed my assessment and sometime in the next few weeks I should receive my level one coaches licence.

Other than that, my focus has turned to my cousework now as obviously i'm not outside playing golf as much sadly.
I've got 6 assignments to do before April. They are: Retail, Coaching x 2, Sports Science, Equipment Technology and Coaching Children.

I also have my Residential Course in a couple of weeks and have been advised not to begin my coursework until I've been there, as they will run through all the assignments there. I have done bits of each assignment though in an attempt to get myself organised.

I've also dedicated myself to getting back in the gym and shifting a bit of weight (or I was before this cold took hold). I really want to be in good shape for my golf tournaments next year and need to start saving some money so I can enter all the things I can!

Thats about all for the moment, its a quiet time of year.....

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hello again

Hello again. Its been a while since my last entry but to be honest, there's not been a lot going on.

I have received all my PGA assignments now and have begun doing some of my coursework. It's basically a case of doing assignments for 6 months, doing exams at the end and then having the summer to concentrate on playing golf, which is cool.

I still havent begun doing any coaching yet. Tomorrow I have my level one coaching course which is in Swanley, Kent. I'm looking forward to this and hope I come away feeling a lot more confident about my ability to help people to play golf. My initial focus will be to teach children, mostly in groups. This will be cool as I will mostly be observing moreso than actually running the lesson, at least to begin with anyway.

In about a months time, I have my year one residential course up at the Belfry. This is basically a week of seminars and an opportunity to discuss the programme with the tutors face to face.

Other than that, not a great deal to report really.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sussex Open - the final event!!!

I played the Sussex Open yesterday. This was the final tournament of the year for me so I was determined to do well as I have been playing pretty well and was feeling confident from making the cut at West Hove in the Sussex Pro's Championship.

Overall, to be honest once again my scrappy side came out, far from the me that eased around Hollingbury in 69 the day before. However, I threw a good battle together.
I got off to a great start by making birdie at the first 2 holes and from there on it was just a case of scraping it round and dropping the occasional shot.
When I arrived at the 18th tee (a par 5) I was +3 for my round and feeling pretty sure that while a par would probably get me in, a birdie definitely would!
I hit my best drive of the day and was stood in the fairway with only a 5 iron left to the green. I had been pulling quite a few of my iron shots left and I knew there was out of bounds up by the green on the left too so I knew that I would be risking it. I pulled my shot left but not by much and was completely amazed by the guys up at the clubhouse waving at me to say I was out of bounds! I dropped another ball and whacked it up by the green, chipped and putted for a bogey and finished with a four-over 75 which I still thought might have a chance of making the cut.
It's a strange game, if I had hit a crap tee shot like I had I had been all day, I would have had to lay up and would have made an easy 5. Instead I hit my best drive of the day and messed it up from there.
Oh well, I hung around anxiously for a while after to keep an eye on the scoreboard but eventually 32 guys came in at 74 and better and as I feared, my mistake on 18 cost me getting through. Thats life, and that's most certainly golf!!!

So, thats my golf season over for 2006 and now is the time to reflect on how it's gone...

To be honest, given the PGA Playing test failures of 2005, I had said to myself that my only goal of 2006 was to pass my playing test and anything else that happened was a bonus.
Thus, passing my Playing Test in such a confident fashion that I did was undoubtedly the highlight of my year. It really was an achievement to come back time after time with added pressure and then go out and blitz it. I'm still very proud of myself.
Other than my Test, the rest of the year has been pretty average really. It's only recently that I've felt any kind of form coming together. Having said that, I truly think I must have gone up a level with my golf though as my ability to score when I'm playing badly is probably my best strength right now and shows that I must be doing something right.
Maybe its because of pride not wanting me to shoot high scores but in the PGA Tournaments I've played so far, I feel i've definitely held my own and performed pretty well. I really enjoy playing in these tournaments and to make the cut in my first attempt in a pro tournament did wonders for my confidence and showed me that I have as much right to be out there as anyone else. I feel more comfortable playing professional golf than I did as an amateur, bizarre as that may sound. Its a shame that I turned pro as late on as I did as I can't wait to play next year.

That just leaves the winter now and my plans. I have long-term swing things that I need to start working on now with my coach in Chichester. Now the season is over I will dedicate myself to these. I am looking forward to working hard in the off-season although I feel like I might have a bit of a break or at least wind-down in the amount I play now. My biggest area to work on is undoubtedly putting as this let me down A LOT this year.

I look forward to improving myself in preparation for next year and truly feel that with some good work over the winter I can emerge strong for next year and not having to rely on an average long game and good recovery game. Its reassuring to know I can still perform when I'm not at my best.

Thats all I've got for this entry folks. Till next time.......