My therapist (Dr. Laura Malnati!) has really helped me to get through this back pain in good time. I've been doing "back mobility" workouts the last three mornings, and I have been able to feel my range of motion increasing everyday. This, of course, has led to my back feeling better and better for my golf swing as well.
I am disappointed not to have had awesome practice during my off-week last week, but looking back on it, I'm glad that this back pain appeared when it did. My week of healing has me ready to go this week for the tournament, and now that I am nearing 100%, I will be able to take advantage of the great practice facilities here at St. James and have a solid week of practice while playing well in the tournament! Although I had a week off from practicing last week, I am still very much dedicated to achieving my process goals. I know that my wedge play and putting will be a big part of reaching my outcome goals this year, so I will dedicate a lot of time ensuring that I am sharp in those areas. In addition to that, I want to slowly build back into a good full-body fitness routine. I was in great shape when my back started to hurt, so I don't think I have lost very much, but I want to make sure that I am very careful as I start to work strength training and cardiovascular workouts back into my daily routine. My main objective this week is to be certain that I ready to compete to my best ability in the tournament, but I am also going to work hard to complete all of my process goals. It is going to be a great week!
This tournament is particularly exciting because the two courses that we will use for the event--The Reserve Course and the Founder's Club--are both very demanding and very fun golf courses. Both require accuracy from the tee and precision into the greens. Hazards, homesites, marshes, and trees line the fairways, and water, sand, and steep drop offs to difficult chipping areas protect most of the greens. The real challenge of both courses, however, lies in the demanding putting surfaces and the areas immediately surrounding them. Undulation, elevation, and small landing areas characterize the green complexes at both courses, and short game skill and creativity will be required for success. The venues for this event demand high performance in all facets of the game. I really enjoy playing these kind of golf courses, and I feel like my game is well-suited to handle the challenges. I am pumped!
My game has felt great the last couple days as my back has improved enough to let me play. I am swinging smoothly with great rhythm, and I feel great about how I'm hitting it. I have one more practice round tomorrow, and I really feel like I'm close to firing on all cylinders. By the time Wednesday gets here, I think I'll be ready to play great! Stay with me for more updates soon!