Welcome along and first and foremost a happy new year to one and all. I hope you and your loved ones had a great Christmas and that you perhaps got some golf in over the festive period. Even if you didn't I hope 2022 will give you everything you want both in golfing terms and in life in general.
If you are familiar with the previous Three Off The blog (which you can read here) then this opening blog of the year is usually a look back at my golfing year and a nod forward to my hopes and aspirations for the year to come.
So where to start? Well as we all know 2021 was another crappy year in terms of the global pandemic and the impact it had on golf and of course it had an effect when we were locked down. Some of you may be aware I work in an intensive care unit and so not having golf had a detrimental effect on my well being. I wrote about it (read the post here) and it absolutely seemed to resonate with so many people around the world. I think I simply articulated what we were all feeling. The only positive that came out of that was it was the most read post so thank you if you read it (still time) and hopefully my ramblings provided a moment of clarity and hope that we'd be back on the course soon.
From a negative start, something more positive and my annual pilgrimage to the British par 3 championship. I have been very luck that Champions UK plc have been very generous in helping me as a tiny youtube provider and blogger to get behind the scenes access and a chance to talk to some of the famous faces taking part. If you head over to my Three Off The Tee Youtube channel (and why not subscribe while you are there) there is a dedicated play list covering my exploits (which you can find here). This year was another great event although not having any spectators did take the edge of proceedings. However it didn't disappoint and junior golfer Will Bailey started his opening round with an ace. He then followed it up on the second with another. To add to the madness his playing partner Pavan Sagoo then aced the second as well. Read the full review of the event here
Onto the elephant in the room, my golf. I started the year with a handicap index of 11.6 and I finish the year on 13.4. A hefty dent in the "Quest For Single Figures". In my defence I have had a number of serious health issues, not just the mental health problems I touched on earlier, but sciatica which put me out of action for six weeks and I was in hospital as an emergency admission on the 19th of this month.
Clearly as I'm getting older, and qualified as a senior at Royal Ascot on the 16th June, and with ongoing health issues to resolve, "The Quest" is going to be a tough nut to crack. That doesn't mean I am calling time on my pursuit of single figures. What it does mean though is a change of focus. If you do read some of my previous new year blogs this isn't the first time I've said this. What I plan to do though is document my progress more closely and let you know when I find a nugget that works (at least for a while). I am hoping that a journey shared, especially to you high and mid-handicap golfers, will give you some inspiration, you can provide your own snippets of success, and together we can all plot our way to becoming better players.
Firstly I need to get to work on handicap. Again I would argue that at times I've played better than I've scored. It is a recurring theme. I need to finish rounds off and stop making card wrecking errors. I've had a series of lessons with my long term teaching professional Andrew Piper at Lavender Park Golf Centre and I don't plan to stop those in 2022. We aren't reinventing the wheel, merely looking at my weakest areas and trying to bring those up while trying to tighten the whole game up as a unit. The short game, especially in the wet, muddy winter conditions we're experiencing at the moment is still my golfing nemesis. That is my main focus (again it's a recurring topic) for 2022.
There is lots to look forward to in the coming year. I'll face "The Quest" head on and try to finish this year on a lower handicap. Aside from that I hope to be back at the British Par 3, and I hope to bring you a host of reviews and other content on the youtube channel. I already have a a long term product review about to start as I look at CBD. CBD stands for Cannabidiol and I am going to look at how it improves (or not) my performance and general well being. I am very grateful to Golfers CBD for sending me a gift pack to try out and I will be running a competition in due course to give a pack away.
I hope you all have everything you want from 2022 especially in terms of your golf. Thank you as always for reading my opening blog of the new year. There will be plenty more to come (far more content I promise - whether you want it or not!). Please let me now your golfing ambitions and resolutions for the new year, either in the comments section below or via my social media links on the front page.