• Facebook
  • Twitter

I'm looking forward to getting back on Tour but my diets not the best

I had a busy week off this week.  It started with a trip to London to visit a nutritionist.  It was a follow up appointment to receive my results and be given the list of foods I was to exclude from my diet.  I thought there would be a few foods I was going to have to try and avoid but I wasn't prepared for the list of them I actually have to exclude.  The most inconvenient are wheat, oats, bananas, beef, dairy products and eggs.  It means most of my favourite foods are now on the "banned" list!  It also provides a bit of a problem for me trying to get enough nutrition on the course, most of the bars I would have eaten contain some milk protein so they're now on the banned list and bananas are definitely not allowed at all.  The best idea Bev and I have come up with is peanut butter sandwiches made with gluten free bread.  I think eating out in restaurants in the UK will be ok but trying to find something to eat at some of the events around Europe is definitely going to be a challenge! 

I also had a meeting with a mental coaching team.  Bev had been reading the Chimp Management book by Dr Steve Peters.  He's a psychiatrist based in Sheffield who's helped Sir Chris Hoy, the British Cycling Team and Ronnie O'Sullivan to name but a few.  My previous caddy Owen Craig had put Bev on the trail and it's taken over a year to get an appointment with the team, as they were busy with the Olympics last year.  I haven't found out all about the model but I've enjoyed what I've heard so far!  It seems to have more of a scientific basis than a lot of the other models I've come across before!

I then headed to the Wisley for a few days practice, shame the weather didn't cooperate.  The rain was coming in sideways on Tuesday and it was only 7⁰C and my hands were freezing!  It was definitely a day to be spent indoors, so I gave up on the chipping practice and spent a bit of time hitting from the covered range.  Thankfully Wednesday was a much nicer day and I was able to fit in chipping, putting and some on course practice.  The fairways at the Wisley are narrow so it's always a great way to test your accuracy from the tee.  There were several of the other lads out practicing - James Morrison, Mark Foster and Ross Fisher.  Greg Rusedski was also there but I failed to get Bev an autograph as I was too busy checking out all the cars in the car park!  Mark Foster was keeping me going saying he knew I was over as it was really cold; Dennis Pugh told me last year that I needed to go back to Belfast as I'd managed to bring the rain with me.  Last year was the wettest year in over 100 years in the South of England, and apparently it was all due to my presence!  I headed home on the 8pm flight, which was delayed so I headed straight to bed.

I didn't do much on Thursday, just sneaked in viewing a bit of the golf and finished off a few house things before heading to the second of the antenatal classes I can attend.  It was interesting and all about pain relief.   I wasn't too keen on the thought of an epidural but I guess we'll just have to wait and see how things turn out on the day; all I can say is I'm glad it's not me having to go through it!

I went to Carton House on Friday to fit in a practice round before the Irish Open.  It's a course I've played a few times before and I have to say I find it a bit of a chore when the wind is blowing.  It's a long and exposed course with little respite.  Thankfully Friday was a glorious day, and as I'd convinced Johnny Foster to accompany me (and drive) I had a lovely day out.  The rumours about Rory and Horizon Sports Management in Dublin had emerged overnight so we had plenty to discuss on the way down and back up.  I've no idea what happened, or if the rumours are true but plenty of other players have already made the move to independent management; myself included.  One of the main reasons guys like me are doing without managers is cash flow; managers take a big percentage of your winnings and any sponsorship deals they generate but they often don't deliver much in the way of sponsorship these days.  It won't be the same for Rory though as I'm sure he's made more money than he could possibly ever spend!  Sometimes it's due to personalities - I personally don't like someone walking me from the range to the first tee or being there when I do well - that's what my family is for but everyone is different and some of the lads are never without their manger.  I guess if you were at the very top level having someone with your diary and making sure you were at the right place at the right time would be very helpful but at the moment Bev and I are coping just fine. 

I was hoping to catch the North West 200 on Saturday, Joel Taggart was going to arrange a pass for me, but the rain came in and the races were cancelled.  I've never been to it before and it's definitely on my to do list now!  I'd like to see the bikes go 190 down a straight; instead I dragged my father-in-law out for possibly the wettest walk I've ever been on.  We were well prepared but still ended up soaked to the skin.  The Bushfoot river was in full flood as we came back across it, it was impressive how much it had risen in the hour we were out for the walk.

I dragged everyone out for the same walk on Sunday but the weather was much kinder and we managed to stay dry, even if a little of the path was under water along the river.  As we walked along the side of the Bushfoot Golf Course, one of the local golfers said hello, I wasn't that much craic though as I was starving and looking forward to some food! We arrived back in to the house in time to catch the end of the golf and see Graeme come from behind to beat Thonghchai in Bulgaria.  The weather looked glorious, the heat shimmer even coming across on the screen.  I really wish I'd been there to enjoy the heat but hopefully there's always next year!  The trophy looked heavy and I'm pleased for Graeme.  He's had an inconsistent start to the season this year by his standards even though he's won twice now and looks like he's coming back into form.   I'll be interested to see what happens between himself and Rory in regard to Horizon Sports.   I don't think it'll make any difference to the two of them but I'm sure everyone will be asking both of them all about it!

I haven't been back to Madeira since I won the event in 2010.  There are two courses and I'm not as keen on the course they've played the last two years; hopefully it returns to the one I prefer next year.  The weather seemed difficult for Thursday and Friday this year and a lot of the better known players didn't make it through to the weekend.  Peter Uihlein eventually made it through and claimed the title.  He's had a bumpy start to his professional life; big things were expected from him after winning US Amateur in 2010 but as a result he will really appreciate doing well.  He is the only American I think playing the European tour, it's so different to their tour that not many last so it's good to see he has.

I'm off to Wentworth on Tuesday and am really looking forward to getting back out on Tour.  There's a lot of golf coming up over the next few weeks and I can't wait.  I just hope the weather improves!  I'd also just like to say a huge congratulations to Gareth and Liz Maybin on the birth of their first child this week.  Reeve has arrived just in time so Gareth can head to Wentworth with me on Tuesday.  I hope it's a good week for the two of us!