Season 2023 Kicks Off

Normally on a Monday I am writing short reviews of the tournament winners on the PGA, LPGA, DP World tour & LIV. However this week, the two main events were so out of my timezone that I only watched brief coverage of both.

Congratulations to Matt Fitzpatrick and Grace Kim for winning, both through playoffs, Grace winning for the first time.

Due to these timezone challenges, and the announcement by my golf club on Thursday, the golf season has officially kicked off. Fine cool weather greeted us, accompanied by howling gales. It was going to be great to get out on the course again, but how would the winters’ thoughts play out.

All the best laid plans

Over the winter I have been playing simulator golf almost every week. Partly for social reasons, partly to keep the swing in shape, this winter took on a “Need for speed” approach.

I had planned to get some sort of fitness plan together and incorporate. speed training. However, this did not happen, but I did manage to get my swing speed up by about 5MPH on average I think. Will this be seen on the golf course?

First tee at Forest, Pickala Golf Club, Siuntio, Finland


Warm-up: I spent some time on the range aiming at targets to improve my striking. I took breaks between shots.

Putting: I focused on lag putting and also practiced some green-side chipping to remember what it’s like to play from grass.

Exercise: I did some light stretches and swings, but I could do better.

Expectations: I had set a goal to break 100 due to the windy conditions, but I ended up shooting in the mid-80s with four penalties. On the second day, I broke 40 with a comfortable 39, but I missed a short putt on the last hole with penalties.


Driving: My driving was fairly solid until the end, but fatigue and stamina may have been to blame.

Approach: My approach shots were generally poor, but I was positive about the distance. Shots that fell short were due to miss-hits instead of under-clubbing. However, my accuracy was still off.

Short game: My short game was very poor, but I managed my expectations since I knew it would be rough at the start.

Putting: My putting was pretty good on the first day, but not so much on the second day. I made a careless miss on the final hole, which goes back to my mental process and routine. I should concentrate on each shot the same way, regardless of the outcome. Even though I missed, it was just a fun game anyway.

Anyway shots: There were a few shots that didn’t go as planned, where I wasn’t set up right or was non-committed and I just hit the shot anyway, but I attribute it to fatigue towards the end of the rounds.

Body & Mind

Mental: I remained positive and did not get upset, even though I hit consecutive bad shots and a lot of chunks. However, the winter mats may have played a role.

I got ahead of myself on the second day, even though it was only a 9-hole game. I was playing steadily and was actually -1 after 5 holes, having just birdied a par 5 and made an easy par on what I think is one of the hardest par 4s on the course. I tried to birdie the next hole and ended up in trouble, needing a miracle shot to reach the green in two. I ended up with a solid par, but my game deteriorated after that.

Physical: I forgot to eat and hydrate, which affected my performance. I need to remember to take care of my body while playing.


First shot of the year

Filming: I tried to film my shots, but it’s hard to do it by myself on a busy course. I missed my best shot of the day, which was a nine iron to about 2 meters that I holed.


J6 - a personalised measure of 6 fields of performance in golf.

It was very windy, but I managed to account for it quite well. I had too many penalties, including one chunk and two potentially due to the wind. The final one was an anti-slice shot that came over the top to pull hook. I didn’t feel comfortable, so it was one of the “anyway” shots.

Overall, my golf game wasn’t great, but it was great to be out again with friends, in nature, and exercising.

They told me “golf is fun” – do you agree?

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