Posted: 25th February 2010
My last event, the Avantha Masters in India, was almost a good week. Unfortunately I made a few too many mistakes, most notably on the Saturday afternoon. On the Sunday I bogeyed 14, 15 and 17 and then managed to make eagle at the last which made up for it a bit. The way I played from tee to green I was really hoping for a better result but I have to say that I was very pleased to see my good friend Richard (aka the albino) Finch, doing very well and giving himself a chance. The man who frequently gets dressed in the dark has had a bit of a tough time since his two wins a couple of years ago and it was great to see him up there and playing well again.
The Leela Kempinski hotel where we stayed for the tournament in India was just fantastic and I managed to avoid the dreaded Delhi Belly which was a bonus. The golf course was also wonderful but the travelling between the hotel and course was definitely a game of two halves. In the mornings with no traffic the journey took about twelve minutes, but on the Friday night leaving the course at 5.30 pm the journey back took one hour and forty minutes, so you can imagine what the traffic there is like. The hotel is totally five star and so is the golf course but between those two places the poverty that exists in the country is there for all to see and is most certainly an eye-opener. I really enjoyed my time there and definitely look forward to returning.
I arrived home on the Monday and the boys were on half term so we all trooped off to Northern Ireland. Having thought long and hard about what I’m doing I’ve now made the decision to move back home to Northern Ireland. I bought a house about fifteen years ago in Portrush that I haven’t done anything with up until now – the JCB went in last Monday to flatten it and I’m now going to do a total rebuild which is really exciting. It’s great to be going back there – Royal Portrush is one of my all time favourite golf courses and I’m really looking forward to being beside the ocean once more. I also spent some time with Alison and we went to see the movie, Avatar, in 3D, which was absolutely brilliant and I can highly recommend it.
On another note, I watched a bit of the golf from the WGC in Arizona and I’m absolutely delighted for Ian Poulter. Poults has his critics and he’s had a bit of a hard time here and there but I’ve got a huge amount of respect for him and his worth ethic and how he’s risen to number five in the world rankings.
I returned to London on Monday night and then on Wednesday I played golf with DJ Spoony, his friend Winny and Jamie Redknapp at Queenwood, which was a good day out. Today I’ve spent some time down at Queenwood with Karl Morris and Rob Watts, my trainer. Jessie James from TaylorMade also came up and I’ve been testing some new equipment to see if I can get the spin rate down on my Driver a little bit to get a bit more out of it when it hits the ground and hopefully we’ve sorted that out.
On Friday I’m off to Sunningdale to play with my good friend Keith Maxwell and hopefully the weather will be kind to us – it has been just horrific down here this week. So on that note I’m really looking forward to getting to Malaysia and feeling the 100 degree heat alongside the 100 percent humidity – this always help with the weight loss programme! Hopefully I can take up where I left off in India and finish a little better.
I am however really looking forward to returning home from Malaysia as I’m meeting up with a guy called Hywel Morgan who is an expert fly fisherman and probably the top fly casting fisherman in the UK. I can’t wait to get some tips from him as I’m off to the Bahamas again to do some Bone fishing and after that to the Florida Keys to go Tarpon fishing, so after having a lesson from such an expert like him those fish had better watch out.
I’m playing in the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco which is a pro-am event and my partner for the event is my Dad, Godfrey, who has never partnered me on the golf course before. I have put him on a strict training regime practising diligently on all aspects of the game, but he seems to be ignoring me completely and is still spending too much time in the bar! His practising and mine seem to be totally different but whatever happens I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun together.
The former European Tour golfer and ISM founder looks into the world of golf, life on the world's fairways and the fortunes of his stable.
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Overall my ambitions are to foster goodwill through the game of golf and to show children all over Ireland that golf is a great game, it’s a healthy game which promotes integrity and honesty and can be played by people of all ages.