I’m coming to the end of a fortnight off just now and I’ve been working hard on brushing up my short game ahead of two of the most important weeks of the year.
I’m hitting the ball as well as I was last year when I won the Vivendi Cup and did so well at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but I’m just not scoring as well I’m playing.
I missed the cut at the Spanish Open last week as a result and it’s very frustrating because, tee to green, I played well. I just need to get a bit more consistency into my short game, my putting in particular.
I shot an opening round of 67 and a closing one of 65 at the Volvo China Open recently – but I was literally putting with my eyes shut! I’d tried it on the putting green beforehand, to try and develop some feel for the greens as much as anything, and it went well, so I thought I’d give it a go during the round.
It’s not something you’d advise anyone to try ordinarily – and you probably shouldn’t try it at home – but I was really just hoping to try and get my touch on the greens.
Your putting stroke doesn’t really change, it’s more about getting a better feel for the putting surface and, obviously, they change from week to week and tournament to tournament.
Everyone has problems from time to time reading greens but I just want to sharpen up round the greens in general, and shave a few shots off my rounds. It’s the difference between having a decent tournament and an excellent one, and challenging for titles.
If I can tighten up my short game I’m confident I can have a strong end to the season, starting with the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth next week.
It’s a busy time over the next two weeks with a US Open qualifier being staged at Walton Heath the Monday after Wentworth.
I’m then in action at the Saab Wales Open at Celtic Manor and the following Monday there’s a qualifier at Sunningdale for the Open Championship at Royal St George’s at Sandwich in Kent in July.
As I say, it’s a busy, and important, couple of weeks and if you have two good weeks you can really set yourself up for the summer, which is obviously my aim.
So it’s back to the practice ground, and working with my coach Mark Moore, on that short game.