Not doing cartwheels this morning, very slow stiff start to the day after the gymnastics of yesterdays opening round. Well it must have been gymnastics or some such explosive activity that has me feeling this way. Surely a walk around a watered lawn swinging a stick, such an easy, gentle exercise could not cause this discomfort?
As always it was worth it. For starters, second place is better than third success in competition matters to me. Take the competition out of golf and there would be scorch marks on the gear in the rush to get rid of it. This was my third competition round since starting my pre-season training. Once again relegated to a placing by other golfers playing brilliantly to their fast approaching improved and lower handicaps. Best wishes to them from me, that was how I progressed at various stages in the past.
At the minute all of the preparation, training and practise has achieved the desired and much needed golf ability, a golf game which is consistent and reliable.
At home last night analysing the first competition round of the season just played there were many positives. The result alone proved that I was bettter than 99% of the field. The physical feelings this morning are a reminder of the one major thing that was identified last night as the major improvement needed. I just have to get more fittness. This dear readers is bloody hard, physically the many broken bits gathered in staying alive to this date are much better than in the past. They are still broken though, which requires very specific targeting in training to improve. Here is the simple detail, broken body parts cannot be replaced, they still work though. Like a rubber band this improvement can only stretch so far, then the band breaks. What I have to do and it is easy through the years of knowledge and experience today is spread the excersise and training across a whole body approach.
This reduces the strain on the broken bits, the body is a unified object and a little bit of improvement in several places resulkts in a big improvement over all. Which is why 70% of my physical golf practise is chipping and putting. Less strain on the broken bits and perfecting the most important part of the game. The target is getting the ball in the hole with every chip and putt shot I play.
Excersise is next, my favored strengthening method is strand or cable pulling. This provides stamina, as yesterday proved in the 30-43kph winds all day. I tired with the extra effort to play shots. Simply standing in place on the tee blocks, fairways and greens being buffeted relentlessly, is hard work. Still I could play my best shots required. Which is why albeit 3 hours later than usual I went for my morning walk today and have returned home looser, and feeling much better than when I went out the door.
Which comes to the bug-bear, weight. I have to drop 5 kg at least in the next few months. So far over the hectic summer season my weight stabilised and reduced. That was step one. Now it is time to build on that result. This is the key to improving my game stamina and durability. What has also been a significant improvement is the treatment of the tendinosis in the right thigh. With the regular stretching excersises this has been gradually getting better every week since January. Still tender at times but not debilitating or restricting my golf at this current level.
Fast forward 7-8 years to now and the last two years of having a former European Touring professional staying in my hostel, yes of course golf became part of the conversations. Not to mention the two years of the best ever coaching possible which in total has been, two 9 hole rounds, one session at the practise green and the rest all conversations!
Hit the ball, find the ball, hit the ball...