End of the golf season means time to reflect; what went well, what could be better and how am I going to improve? It’s the same thought process I usually have after a tournament… sometimes in my head but usually I type it up on my phone. This time I’ll attempt to blog about it. At least I tried… I started this blog over a month ago but got stuck on “what went well” and got too busy working on my weaknesses… but finally I’ve got there in time for Christmas! So here we go:
What was the difference? A few people asked me that, after returning home from my best season yet as a pro, where I won twice on the Ladies European Tour Access Series. At the time, I didn’t really know the answer, I’m working it out by writing this. Statistically the main difference has been a significant improvement to my putting. That’s black and white, the rest is grey or multicoloured … so many factors go into performance that it can be hard to ascertain why. But maybe it’s as simple as that, if I putt well – I play well…
I know I have a tendency to overthink, however, in this case I think I can justify delving deeper into ‘what went well & why’. It could be a blueprint after all.
My main goal of the year was to get my LET card, it was a clear goal and attainable, having come fairly close before. Outcome based goals are not always necessary but I think it definitely helped me to focus and kept me motivated each week. I felt like I needed to win in order to secure my card, as the players around me were playing well every week.
Another thing I’ve learnt is that experience counts. Both venues where I won, I had played there before. At Allerum, I played as an amateur in 2018 and missed the cut. However, on the final day I went out to watch the leaders and cheer on my room-mate who went on to win. Looking back now, I realise I learnt a lot just watching those few holes and maybe not surprisingly have performed well there since, with a top-10 in 2019 and a win this year. Knowing the courses also allowed me to prepare well – and efficiently – which helped a lot as I came to Allerum on the back of five straight events and was beginning to fatigue!
Despite the fatigue, I think having such a busy run of events was another key to success. It allowed me to find form, a prolonged period where I was highly tuned into my swing thoughts & feelings with a heightened sense of knowing where the ball was going. I wanted to keep playing. In hindsight now, I realise that there was another bonus to the busy schedule and fatigue. It meant I spent more of my practice time on the putting green and less time on the range… what did I say about my putting stats again!
Both my experience gained and the busy schedule helped me to perform well, not because they improved my technique, but because they helped me tactically and they gave me confidence. Attitude is everything once you’re on the golf course, and I think this is where I have improved the most over the years. Winning isn’t flawless and I definitely made lots of mistakes during the weeks I won. But I was able to recover from them with positive self talk (inside my head) and a relaxed attitude. I wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself to win even though I had the lead – I was already proud of how I played to get into that position. My mum told me to “not get in my own way” and it’s something that comes to mind now. I’ll keep trying.