Winter rules?

I’ve played very little golf this year. Not through any choices I have made, but on medical grounds. It’s been a strange year as a result. I went to Wentworth and saw Luke Donald putt for victory on the 18th. And, I, like many of us watched from the edge of our sofa as Europe held on to the Ryder Cup. But, I didn’t play. I had a couple of hospital procedures and lots of physio.

It’s now dark at 4:30pm. It’s cold. It’s windy and it has been raining a lot. That means Winter rules. At our local 9-hole pay-to-play, that also means Winter tees. (A raised platform with fake grass and a fixed place for your tee). Even so, I want to play. I want to get my clubs out of the garage, along with the Go Kart that has seen little action this year and play 9-holes.

I suspect I will be awful. My shoulder is still very ‘tight’. I won’t have much success. But that won’t matter. I’ll be playing again.

Only, I know I have work to do before I can get on the course again. I need to be fitter than I am. I need to increase the mobility in my shoulders. I have to work on increasing my overall flexibility. And, I have to go visit the Pro at the local course as I suspect I have been compensating for a dodgy shoulder for too long… How does one learn a new golf swing and ‘unlearn’ bad habits?

Answers on a postcard, please?

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Exercise and the work/life balance

Since the recent changes at work, and since the beginning of the year (when I stepped in to take over while my boss recovered from a serious illness), I’ve let my gym membership go. I struggle to get home before 8pm most nights, and as I leave the house before 7.30am I’ve been finding it hard to strike a balance. So…I now car pool. Yup. Me. I car pool two days a week with a friend. And, it’s making a difference. I leave the office at 6pm latest.

So what about the exercise?

Well, I’m thinking about turning the nursery room (ugh) into a room that has the sole purpose of housing a treadmill or a cross trainer. Good move? Not sure, but it’s got to be better than just not getting to the gym, right? Now all I need are recommendations for a decent piece of kit and then I’ll get the room ready and fit for purpose.

As I approach 40…

I get braces.

Yes.

Braces.

After much debate over the last 12 months, I’ve made the decision that I need to try to keep my own teeth and if I don’t wear these things I’ll lose them.

So, for an enormous fee, I get to have the most uncomfortable devices fitted to my teeth. I deliberately avoided reading or researching the comfort factor – because, had I known, I wouldn’t ever have gone through with it. I would now be going down the road to dentures. Or would I?

So, for one week so far, I’ve survived on smoothies, soups, porridge and risotto with the occasional pasta dish thrown in (but gone are my favourite al dente dishes). Gone are my apples, pears, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snaps and peppers (all raw). In favour of mashed banana, chopped up grapes and oranges (peeled and pith removed). Oh how the mighty have fallen. I can’t even have my muesli bar before the gym – they are all too chewy or too crunchy.

If it’s not the pain/ache from chewing with braces that’s a problem, it’s the amazing cuts that are caused by the wires and brackets. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

So for the next 17 – 23 months, I’ll be living on nothing that I really enjoy. I can have cooked veg (bleurgh), can’t have steaks (can’t chew), and I can’t do my fruit salads.

I have totted up my calories and I’m averaging 600-700 a day. No wonder I’m losing weight. The worst bit is I’m not eating enough calories to sustain my usual workout, so I’ve not been to the gym.

Ah the joys of being vain. Actually, is what I’m doing vain? Trying to retain my teeth?

Pitlochry Golf Course

From the second tee...

From the second tee...

Played and survived.

What a different experience of playing a “short course”. Hmmm. The first three holes are not only a test of your golf skills but of your fitness levels. As you stand on the first tee, little do you  realise as you look up the hill that you’re actually heading up…up…and up again.

The 5th is a challenge…at first it looks like a straightfoward hole until you realise that the pin is about 30ft above you on a raised platform… The elevated 6th tee has amazing views of the valley below, the Atholl Palace hotel and the rest of the hole. And it’s pretty much the same as your round progresses – stunning views, uncompromising golf, and immaculate grounds. Advice from the locals – push on through the first three holes to settle into an easier pace on the way around and always take a club longer than you think you need…

Golf buggies are not allowed on the course as it’s too steep! But, if you have a Powakaddy or something similar, it’s definitely worth the effort to take it! If not, speak to Mark (the Pro) in the shop and hire one of those on offer.

Stop for a bite to eat at the restaurant and enjoy the views of the first tee and the 18th hole as you do. Spectacular golf course! Challenging golf!

http://www.pitlochrygolf.co.uk/home.php