First of all, however, let me catch you up just a bit on the events of the past 3+ weeks since my disappearance from all forms of social media. I spent the first week after my final event of 2013 working on our new house. Alicia has done a wonderful job turning the house we bought into a home, but I need to put my “manly” touches on it, of course! More like my obsessive-compulsive, ultra-organized touches, but “manly” sounds better. So I did that for a few days and then we were lucky enough to get to celebrate our wedding for a second time as great friends and family joined us in Knoxville, TN, for a second wedding reception. It was a beautiful occasion and gave us a chance to share our marriage with a lot of special people who were not able to attend our ceremony in Kansas City. What’s even better is the fact that the timing of our second reception segued perfectly with Alicia’s Thanksgiving Break from work and allowed us to have a honeymoon. We traveled back to Mexico and spent five days on the beach in Cancun. It was a beautiful spot, and we really enjoyed ourselves. The honeymoon didn’t end perfectly because Alicia picked up a very nasty case of food poisoning the night before we left, but, in her words, the ensuing days forced me to “prove my vows,” and we came through them feeling closer than ever. All in all, the break from golf really was very nice for me, and I’m so thankful for the time that I was able to spend with my beautiful wife. She is a stud for supporting my crazy travel schedule all these years, and I’m really looking forward to being able to take her with me on the road a little bit more often moving forward.
We arrived back in the States on Saturday, November 30, and on Monday, December 2, I awoke anxious to get to the golf course. I started my “comeback” to golf with a fairly relaxed but thorough week of practice. I worked with Bobbo a couple different times and played two matches with my buddies. I got bested in both of my matches, so I know that I have work to do, but I was actually fairly pleased with the way my game felt. I did some good short game and putting work, too, though I haven’t written down any specific goals yet for this one-month offseason. Having a plan for my practice has been one of the things that has fueled my consistent improvement, so I know that I need to publish some goals to direct my practice and hold me accountable. I will do that soon. One thing I have decided for certain is that I’m going to be even stronger, more fit, and more flexible when I hit the road (air) for Hawaii in early January. I had a great week of workouts last week and intend to keep that up throughout the winter and into the tournament schedule next year.
Right now, I am actually on my way to Carlsbad, California, to spend a couple days at Titleist’s manufacturing studios. I’m not a big equipment tinkerer, but I’ll be spending Tuesday and Wednesday with some brilliant people who have a lot of resources to help make sure the best players in the world (a category in which I will soon belong) are using the equipment that is best tailored to their games. Though I certainly don’t ever want to over-think my equipment, I know that these folks will give me some useful information and make sure that my clubs are the best fit for me. I’m very excited to learn from all of the people at the club-fitting studios, but the opportunity that most excites me is the full afternoon that I will be spending with the creators of the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI). The TPI has studied the golf swing from a biomechanical viewpoint and can create workout programs specific to each golfer’s swing that can help him be more efficient. I honestly don’t even fully understand what all the TPI can do for me, but I am very excited to learn from their years of research and expertise. I will keep you posted on everything that I learn.
My visit to the Titleist facilities this week is actually the main reason for my delay in writing specific goals for this short offseason. I want to learn from them and see if any information I gather guides my practice in one direction or another. I am already hungry to improve, and I know that anything I learn during my visit this week will only fuel that fire. I imagine that by the time I land back home in Knoxville on Thursday night, I will likely have a list of goals for the remainder of the offseason ready to go.
Steady improvement has characterized my professional career to this point. If I can continue that trend, my potential is limitless. I know the formula, and I am excited to get after it!
Thank you for caring about me and keeping up with me. Keep it here for news from my exploration in California. I’m going to get back in the habit of keeping this blog updated now!