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The Hornlihutte will have to wait....now for Turin

When we arrived in Zermatt the first person we bumped into was the golfer Pablo Martin.  We were leaving the train station heavily laden with all our bags and he had just dropped a Spanish friend to the train home.  It was a little surreal - both of us standing looking at the other, thinking I recognize you, who are you? then the penny clicked and it was like hey I work with you!  Pablo had moved to Zermatt in May this year and was really bemused that Bev and I had chosen to holiday there.  I don't think he'd ever expected to see another European Tour player there, and I guess neither had I!  He offered to take me mountain biking and climbing the next time we visit.  Unfortunately, or thankfully, he'd already made plans to visit his girlfriend in Sweden so I was excused this time, I doubt I'll be so lucky the next time!

I find 4 tournaments in a row is a lot for me.  I don't tend to perform as well if I play that many, so I skipped KLM though I wished I had played as the weather and course looked great.  Some of the lads can play week after week but I get tired, then I get sick.  I think it depends a lot on your personality type, the real chilled out guys can play week in week out.  I tend to try to hit the perfect shot every time and I think that burns a lot more energy.  So we were off to the hiking trails for 3 days to recharge and build some stamina. 

I hadn't looked at the trail map on Monday when we started, Bev was in control.  She told me each stage we were walking to so that I could navigate when I was ahead but she hadn't told me the final destination or for how long we'd walk!  That was a mistake and one that won't be repeated!   We left Zermatt 10am, got back about 5pm and she let me sit down for about 1 hour during the entire day and that was only to eat!  She is a tough drill sergeant!   Reudi, the golf mad hotelier we stay with, was impressed as Bev recited the walk that night at dinner.  I could hardly keep my eyes open and that was having already had a nap!  We covered about 15-20km ranging in altitude from 1600m to 3000m.  I was knackered!  Bev looked like she'd been out for a nice gentle walk.  Tuesday and Wednesday were not as tough; I made sure to check the route before we left and to swap the heavy bag for at least part of the journey each of those days.  We still covered 10k each of those days across the same altitude.  The scenery was spectacular and totally different to the way it looked in early May when the snow was still deep!  I had hoped to walk to the Hornhuilte, the hut the climbers make their ascent of the Matterhorn from.  Unfortunately there was too much snow when we arrived on Monday and Tuesday and we didn't have enough time on the Wednesday before we left.  I was gutted that we couldn't go up to the hut, Bear Grylls book talking about adventuring and Everest has got me interested, it's nice to not be thinking about golf all the time.

It was great to arrive back into the UK having had some heat Tuesday and Wednesday to sunshine and warm temperatures.  I spent the rest of the week practicing at the Wisley in my shorts, nothing beats that!  I always have to remember to put sunscreen on though.  My legs are so white as they're always covered up that they burn so quickly!  I spent a lot of time working on my putting and even managed to convince Bev to come watch and then caddy 9 holes on Sunday.  She wasn't all that impressed as the bag is quite heavy, but she couldn't refuse after making me walk so far in Zermatt!

It was a sporting weekend in our house.  Friday night was spent flicking between the Ulster Game, watching my friend Niall O'Connor play, trying to ignore the Welsh commentary, and the Andy Murray semi-final at the US Open.  I'm glad to say the results went the way we'd hoped.  Then Saturday and Sunday were spent watching the US Golf.  I was really pleased to see Rory add yet another title to his collection.  He's been playing so well recently and it solidifies his status at number 1 even further, another massive credit to Northern Ireland. 

I've also been reading the Hank Haney book about Tiger; I managed to read it in 3 days.  Normally I spend a few weeks or even a month reading a book so to have read this one in 3 days says a lot!  It's fascinating reading about what Tiger was working on in his swing over the years to try and improve his Driver and how much effort he would put in on a daily basis makes me feel lazy.  As I was working on my game if found that putting with a claw or pencil grip with the right hand really helps my tempo which tends to get too quick on the backstroke, so I'm going to use it in Italy and with confidence.

We left for Turin on Monday morning, the wind and rain having started again.  The forecast is great for this week, 26 degrees.  The course has been waterlogged the last 2 years and they had to cancel the pro-am.  The hotels the Tour have used haven't been great in the area the last time I've played this event so we've rented an apartment this year.  It's about 500 yds from the gates of the course and is really quiet.  Not only is it close it has free Wi-Fi and we managed to catch the first set of the US Open men's final last night.  I was happy to wake up to find that Murray had won his first Grand Slam Title, well deserved.