As we are nicely into the season, I like to get a good team in place.
Although I always work with my coach, Richard Lambert, I look into pulling together the rest of my team season by season.
For example, my main sponsor Hudson Office Furniture Ltd. have a review each year and see how we can move on from the season before. They look at all aspects of the sponsorship, including whether or not they’re making enough money, if they’re happy with the advertising that I give them and if there are any other ways we can work together.
I always hope to get all of this sorted before June/July when the big Tournaments start. Luckily for me, Hudsons are back on board again this year, and I am over the moon to be working with them again. It is always good to know that you have financial backing! In return, I spend a lot of time with Nigel Hudson, of Hudsons Office Furniture Ltd., as he gives me a great base to work from, the things we do are along the lines of:
1. Golf lessons for Nigel
2. Weekly rounds of golf
3. Social media input
4. Golf away days
It is always good to surround yourself with positive people, who offer great feedback and support before a competition week. However, it is also just as important to accept (and take note of) any bad feedback on any areas I could work on. You only get out of golf what you put in, so in an average week where I have spent time playing, but not hitting the heights I normally do, my team may say that they think I’ve been neglecting practise and need to get back to it – it is always beneficial (even if it’s not what I want) to hear!
Before an event, I have a very different plan and really concentrate a lot on the team around me.
All of my work with my team is done in the week leading up to the event. But on the day of the event, I have a few rituals which I stick to:
1. I don’t take any phone calls on the day.
2. I sit down and have some positive words of encouragement from my parents and my girlfriend.
3. I listen to some good, motivational songs on the way to the event – this helps me to relax.
4. I fully plan the day with my caddy.
Now I'm going to give you an insight into why I have a caddy (and who it is).
My caddy is a 62-year-old Crosland Heath member. We met whilst I was giving him some lessons at the club. He plays off a handicap of 6. He is very good both on and off the course and he talks about all the right things.
1. No golf talk on the course.
2. Positive talk…good shot etc.
3. Football talk. This helps me relax and take my mind off golf.
The main reason that I have a caddy is because the golf course can be a very lonely place and it’s always good to have someone who knows your game and is there to help. Also, at my age now, it helps my back and my fitness. I wouldn’t recommend a family member doing this job, as they are always too keen for you to do well. With my caddy, there is less pressure.
Choosing my knitwear before a competition.
Choosing the right clothing is very important to me before I play in any competition. After all, looking good and feeling good can only improve my golf. The Merino sweater is my absolute favourite piece of Glenbrae knitwear. It is the highest quality of wool and has the fitted look which I like.
On the first day of a competition, I always wear a Black or Charcoal Merino sweater, with a Black polo shirt underneath. Don’t ask me why I do this, it must be like Tiger Woods on the last day wearing his red T-Shirt…a superstition.
On the last day of a competition, I wear one of my favourite colours – Zest or Saffron, again in Merino. This tells the field – ‘watch out, I’m coming!’ like Tiger Woods. As the pressure is off and the last day is moving day.
I love the Merino sweaters so much because they really do keep their shape, no matter how many times they are worn. This gives me the confidence and support I need when playing – the knitwear is a valued member of my team!